Eleven agricultural extension officers were congratulated at a ceremony in Cairns last night, celebrating the completion of the 2021 Agriculture Extension Work Placement Program.
Farmers throughout the Great Barrier Reef catchment have been assisted by these early career professionals through this innovative program which has involved a range of agricultural advisory and Natural Resource Management groups.
The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) partnered with the Queensland Government to deliver this latest round of the Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program which commenced in April 2021.
Working with cane and banana growers as well as graziers, graduates were mentored through the program by experienced extension practitioners to develop the skills to assist producers to enhance their land management practices and farm business acumen.
The agriculture sector was actively engaged in assisting the enthusiastic cohort of graduate extension officers to gain industry relevant skills and build their professional capacity.
This capacity building program provides a great pathway for new people coming into the agricultural sector. It gives participants the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how sustainable farming can deliver good environmental outcomes and drive progress towards the Reef water quality targets.
Following the success of previous years’ programs, we have seen the graduates develop into experienced professionals well placed to actively support farm enterprises.
We also thank the farmers for their support and generous sharing of knowledge and farming experience.
The graduates join a unique alumnus of 21 existing extension officers who previously graduated from the program since 2018. This year’s intake remains actively employed in the agricultural and natural resource management sector.
The 2021 Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program graduates are:
- Clara Friswell – Reef Catchments (Mackay and the Whitsundays)
- Jasmine Graham – MSF Sugar (Gordonvale)
- Molly Blake – Australian Banana Growers’ Council (South Johnstone)
- Samuel Groom – Burnett Mary Regional Group (Bargara)
- Erin Headon – Mackay Area Productivity Services (Mackay)
- Steven Norman – Farmacist – (Mackay) – funded separately by Farmacist
- Sarah Williams – Farmacist (Ayr) – funded separately by Farmacist
- Nikala Passaris – Farmacist (Ayr)
- Angus Middlebrook – Agritech Solutions (Ayr)
- Brad Martin – NQ Dry Tropics (Townsville)
- Ehlena Lea – Burdekin Productivity Services (Ayr) – funded separately by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
The 2021 Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program was funded through the Queensland Government’s Queensland Reef Water Quality Program and delivered by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation.