NQ Dry Tropics Senior Grazing Field Officer Chris Poole (centre, left) and NQ Beef Research Council chairman Eiren Smith are pictured with other NQBRC members inspecting the Reid River Live Export Facility during last month’s two-day meeting. 

NQ Dry Tropics Senior Grazing Field Officer Chris Poole updates members of the NQ Beef Research Council on projects and extension activities being carried out by the Natural Resource Management group. 

NQ Dry Tropics joins NQ Beef Research Council as an observer

NQ Dry Tropics has been invited to join the North Queensland Beef Research Committee (NQBRC) as an observer.

The committee is one of 11 across northern Australia that suggest priority areas for research and development.

NQBRC chairman Dreghorn Station grazier Eiren Smith said it was important to have a Natural Resource Management perspective in the room with producers, scientists and extension officers.

After 12 months heading the committee Eiren said he felt a bit daunted by the responsibility of representing the interests of graziers in such a wide and diverse area.

“I have been very keen to expand the network of people in the industry who can feed information, suggestions and ideas to the committee,” he said.

Eiren said the committee was comprised of eight north Queensland producers as well as receiving advice from representatives of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and James Cook University.

The committee meets twice each year at different locations throughout the region.

Eiren said the committee needed the broadest possible perspective to be able to identify areas that would benefit most from additional research.

That meant making it easy for more producers and others involved in the industry, including NRM groups, to feed information through the network  to the NQBRC.

Beef, sheep and goat producers pay a transaction levy on the sale of their stock which is distributed to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and the National Residue Survey. 

The North Australia Beef Research Council, guided by its 11 committees makes a formal submission to the MLA Annual Investment Call.

In 2022-23, the MLA plans to invest more than $320m nationally on research and development and marketing.

“It’s a huge task, but by getting as much input as possible, I hope the committee can make quality decisions about recommendations for MLA research grants,” Eiren said.

He said it was also a forum through which information could be returned to producers.

“Some producers are doing some cutting edge stuff, some of that led by NRMs, and it would be good if our network can facilitate communications about that,” he said.

NQ Dry Tropics Senior Grazing Field Officer Chris Poole.

Eiren said the committee had welcomed the nomination of Senior Grazing Field Officer Chris Poole to represent NQ Dry Tropics and had invited him to give a short presentation at the next meeting of the NQBRC on 25-26 October in Townsville.

Chris said NQ Dry Tropics would join the council as an observer member but being at the meetings would enable the company to improve the flow of information to the eight producers on the council as well as with the other non-voting members.

“As a regional NRM, we can share what we have learnt in a host of projects from the MLA-sponsored Producer Demonstration Sites in the Bowen, Broken, Bogie catchment through to gully remediation, land condition projects and others across the whole Burdekin Dry Tropics region,” he said.

“It will reduce overlap between us and other extension providers like DAF and make it easier to collaborate to deliver even more tangible, long-lasting practice changes that benefit producers and the quality of waterways that eventually flow to the Great Barrier Reef.”

Chris said monitoring of some of the grazing management changes made on the Producer Demonstration Sites had returned exciting results, particularly around the latest regenerative grazing techniques.

He said he would touch on all of those subjects in his presentation as well as taking the opportunity to keep everybody up to date on exactly how NQ Dry Tropics was delivering a suite of programs worth more than $16m across the region.