KEY DISCUSSIONS: Beef farmers and government officials building beef buisness in Banana.
KEY DISCUSSIONS: Beef farmers and government officials building beef buisness in Banana.

Producers and government work side-by-side

DEPARTMENT of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) beef extension staff have been working with graziers and farmers on Barfield Road in Banana to develop a neighbourhood producer group.

The ‘Barfield Road Group’ is made up of several multi-generational family businesses that are committed to the long-term sustainability of beef and grain production in their area.

The group have drafted a strategic plan that details the following six themes: environmental sustainability, animal health and welfare, business, people and community, innovation and new technology, and marketing.

“We are listening to consumers about ethical beef production and it is important to us to that our industry is transparent about the way we manage our land, our animals and our business,” says Melinee Leather from Barfield Station.

“We can see that forming this group will not only help us all make productivity and profitability gains in our businesses, but will build trust and confidence in our product from the wider community.

“Peer-assessed and supported key performance indicators such as pasture budgeting and property management plans will be used to evaluate our group’s progress.”

Since May 2019, group members have participated in activities for forage budgeting, pasture legume establishment and dry season supplementation. Next up are activities that cover workplace health and safety, biosecurity, supply chain, soil health, business management and animal health.

In October, Alastair and Melanie Shannon will host first aid training at their property ‘Wirra’.

“The Barfield Road Producer Group has been a great opportunity to network with like-minded landholders within the industry,” Mrs Shannon said.

“It has provided me with numerous opportunities to increase my skills and knowledge within the agricultural industry.”

Stakeholders such as Teys Australia, Animal Health Australia, Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA), and the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation have offered letters of support for the Barfield Road Group and in August 2019 the group was successful in securing a Community Grant from FBA.