With a reputation for innovation and resilience, regional Queensland has long been an economic powerhouse when it comes to the state’s economy. Whether in business, leadership, social issues or sport, regional Queensland proudly punches well above its weight on the state and national stage.
Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) CEO, Jo Sheppard, joined members Cotton Australia and Growcom in a regional visit to North Queensland last week to coincide with the opportunity to attend Far North Queensland Growers’ 2022 R&D Field Day held in Mareeba.
With the expansion of the cotton industry into the region, growth in freight and logistics capability, soil health and AgTech innovation and adoption, the Far North Queensland region has its sights firmly set on the future.
By definition, it’s the largest region in the state, covering about 20% of Queensland and boasting a range of assets including direct international air and sea access, two university campuses and two World Heritage listed areas in the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Area.
Rich in fertile agricultural land, mineral wealth and natural resources, with well-established local supply chains, an innovative culture and resilient and diverse economy, Far North Queensland has so much to offer from both an industry and community perspective.
Excited by future opportunities, farmers in Far North Queensland are also dealing with their fair share of challenges including the ongoing workforce pinch, escalating input costs, the tyranny of distance and significant cost to market. As a strong producer of horticulture, sugarcane, beef and dairy, biosecurity is also front of mind with farmers nervously watching recent threats whilst trying to get on top of exploding feral pig numbers and a range of plant pests.
QFF were pleased to be involved in the field day and will continue to work with our members to advocate for a strong future for agriculture in Far North Queensland. Congratulations to the Far North Queensland Growers’ group for an excellent event and for the work they do in showcasing the innovation and excellence in agriculture.
A timely reminder of the importance of the regions to Queensland from an economic and community perspective and the need for long term investment in key infrastructure including roads, air, water, energy, and telecommunications to support the future of regional powerhouses like Far North Queensland.