“Through this program I have learned so much about working effectively with landholders to deliver better outcomes for people and for the Reef. I can now confidently provide support and advice to landholders on many topics that were very new to me this time last year. This means that landholders get better support to improve the water quality impacts from their land, my host organisation increases its capacity to partner with landholders, and I get a great launchpad for a career in extension.” (Graduate 2020)
A new intake of graduates have now begun their work on farms throughout the Reef catchments.
The new cohort of graduates will have the opportunity to be mentored by experienced industry experts to gain skills and experience to support agricultural producers located throughout the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Catchments in improving their land management practices.
Graduates will be employed for 15 months to assist the delivery of extension services through their host organisations, supported by mentoring from experienced advisors and a tailored training program. Graduates will also have the opportunity to build professional and local networks with their fellow graduates, industry advisors, previous graduates as well as in their local communities.
Graduates are currently working for the following organisations:
Angus has been appointed as a trainee with AgriTech Solutions, which is an independent agronomy service provider based in Ayr north Queensland. Agritech Solutions focuses on improving irrigation management through energy efficiency assessment, irrigation system design, irrigation automation, surface irrigation optimisation, soil moisture monitoring, irrigation scheduling, and sugarcane crop modelling.
Angus graduated from the University of New England with a double degree in agriculture and business. He has always had a strong interest in agriculture and the environment, growing up on a dairy farm as a child and working on various farms throughout secondary school and university.
Angus is particularly interested in developing skills around smart technology in agriculture such as irrigation automation. He also looks forward to bridging the gap between the scientists and farmers in the north Queensland area, helping to improve farmers understanding of best management practices in terms of irrigation, water use efficiency, productivity and profitability. The QFF’s work-placement initiative will allow Angus to further develop his skills in relation to Agricultural extension and environmental management, that he hopes to use in his future career.
NQ Dry Tropics NRM group, Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning Cooperative and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
For the duration of his traineeship, Brad has been placed with North Queensland Dry Tropics (NQDT) Natural Resource Management group, Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning Cooperative Limited (CHRRUP) and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). He is working with the grazing industry and the bulk of his time is focussed on understanding the complexity of beef grazing systems in the dry tropics, water quality and sediment export and their influence on the Great Barrier Reef.
Brad will be based in the NQDT office in Townsville and will be primarily mentored by Josh Nicholls who is a Senior Field Officer in the Sustainable Agriculture team. Also involved with the mentorship is Megan Willis who is the Beef Senior Extension Officer with DAF, and Simone Parker who is the Chief Executive Officer with CHRRUP.
After graduating from New Zealand’s Lincoln University with a Master of Management in Agricultural Systems. Brad wanted to pursue a career in agriculture that would have a meaningful impact on the natural environment. QFF’s Work Placement Initiative has facilitated his passion by matching him with a host organisation that implements projects that protect the Great Barrier Reef through improved water quality in catchment areas.
Jasmine has begun her placement with MSF Sugar at their head office in Gordonvale, tropical north Queensland. She is a part of their Project Uplift team which facilitates practice change for growers supplying MSF Sugar mills within Great Barrier Reef Catchments. Jasmine’s primary mentor is Nigel Young who is the Project leader and she will also learn from MSF agronomists Graham Cripps, Matt Hession and Michael Porta as she assists them in their roles.
Graduating from James Cook University with a Bachelor of Environmental Practice, majoring in Land and Water Management, Jasmine was motivated to work in agricultural extension because she is passionate about enabling changes and solutions in rural communities.
Jasmine grew up in Gordonvale surrounded by the sugarcane industry her entire life. She was thrilled to apply for QFF’s placement located in her hometown as she has a strong connection to the reef, rainforest and communities in this region.
Australian Banana Growers Council
Molly has been appointed as a graduate trainee with the Australian Banana Growers Council (ABGC). ABGC is the peak industry body for Australia’s commercial banana growers, advancing the interests of growers and ensuring a strong industry future through effective leadership and representation.
With over 90% of banana farms in Australia located in catchments adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the banana industry has an important role to play in contributing to improved water quality flowing into the Reef. Based in their South Johnstone branch, located around 1.5hrs south of Cairns, Molly will be assisting banana growers throughout the North Queensland region to achieve best management practices, largely associated with improving sediment, nutrient and pest management.
Throughout her studies in Environmental Management at the University of Queensland, Molly has developed a passion for contributing to the development of sustainable and resilient communities within the nexus of the global food system. Through the QFF graduate program and under the guidance of her host organisation and mentors, Molly is excited to develop vital skills in supporting banana growers to contribute to a more sustainable industry for future generations.
Clara is being hosted by Reef Catchments, the Natural Resource Management group in the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac regions. Here, she will be assisting Reef Catchments in their mission to facilitate change in the community and work for long-term solutions to conserve, maintain and improve the natural resources and environment in the local region. She was born and raised in Mackay and looks forward to collaborating with local land managers and the community in which she grew up.
Clara recently graduated with a combined Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science/ Marine Science and Management from Southern Cross University, giving her a sound understanding of the impacts of land management practices on the marine environment and a strong interest in the challenges faced by farmers and landholders in managing and reducing these impacts. She is passionate about improving water quality in the Great Barrier Reef, and the Queensland Farmers’ Federation Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program (AEWPP) provides her with an excellent opportunity to work with local growers and grazers to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for both the agricultural industry and the environment.
Burdekin Productivity Services
Ehlena is currently being employed by Burdekin Productivity Services as a Trainee Extension officer and Agronomist. BPS is a non-for-profit productivity group based in the dry tropics, specialising in providing agronomic advice to sugarcane farmers as well as distributing clean seed cane sources. Ehlena completed her Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree at Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga at the end of 2020 and has been working with BPS ever since.
Throughout her course Ehlena gained an appreciation for research and providing new information to growers through extension. Being able to participate in the QFF Graduate Program will be an amazing opportunity to meet other likeminded young professionals and develop her skills around extension agronomy.
Mackay Area Productivity Services
Erin will be placed with Mackay Area Productivity Services (MAPS), an industry-funded and not-for-profit organisation that is the main provider of sugarcane advice and extension for Mackay Sugar growers. MAPS works on a broad range of issues, including: pests, diseases, clean seed propagation, variety of management, nutrition & chemical management, irrigation, harvesting and fallow management.
Erin will be mentored by Steven Garrard and the experienced team at MAPS to help growers improve productivity, profitability and water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef. She looks forward to meeting and working with the many growers that rely on MAPS for quality agronomic advice.
While working as a crop scout for an independent consultancy specialising in IPDM, Erin completed a Graduate Certificate in Agriculture through the University of New England. Erin enjoys the challenges and problem-solving involved in farming systems and aims to continue studying at a higher level. She is particularly interested in IPDM and digital agriculture, and the ways in which growers can use technology to improve productivity in a sustainable way.
Steven has been appointed as a Graduate Extension Agronomist at Farmacist. Based in Mackay, Steven will work within the Project Bluewater team to learn and extend improved pesticide management practices to sugarcane growers leading to improvements in runoff water quality.
He recently completed his Bachelor of Agriculture majoring in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Melbourne. He has been working in Winemaking and Vineyard management in the Yarra Valley whilst completing his degree. Steven decided to move back to Queensland, his home State in pursuit of an impactful career in Agronomy.
Steven is interested in improving plant and soil management through precision technologies and farm practice change.
Nikala is currently being mentored by Farmacist, an independent agronomy and precision agriculture firm in the Burdekin region. Farmacist specialises in tailored agronomic advice, geospatial data collection and management, development and extension activities and supporting local farmers in their practice changes.
After completing her studies in environmental management and soil science from the University of Western Australia and undertaking an internship with CSIRO over the summer, Nikala was ready to apply her knowledge within a practical industry setting.
Nikala applied for the QFF graduate program because she was eager to explore the value of extension and learn about grower motivations behind management. Nikala believes extension is the bridge between research and practice and she wants to work with growers to improve their business, whilst maintaining their soil health and alleviating human induced pressures on our environment. Nikala is passionate about food production and environmental degradation and is looking forward to working with the team at Farmacist towards a sustainable food secure future.
Burnett Mary Regional Group
Sam is being mentored by Abbie, the project coordinator at Burnett Mary Regional Group in Bundaberg, the peak body for natural resource management inn Bundaberg. He will be working in the gazing and Natural Resource Management industries. His time will be focussed on aiding with the completion of the Conserving the Outstanding Universal Values of World Heritage properties: Protecting Saltmarsh and Marine Turtle monitoring Project.
By the time Sam has completed the QFF Agriculture Extension Program he will have also finished his Bachelor of Environmental Science, majoring in water management. It was during his university placement when Sam discovered that he wanted to pursue a career in extension. Extension allows him to be based in the field, helping, and working with people to maintain profitability while ensuring the sustainability of natural resources.
Sam will work to develop his knowledge in pasture management, condition assessment surveys, GIS, and project management, among many others. He looks forward to being out in the field and engaging with traditional owners, stakeholders and producers while expanding upon his knowledge and problem-solving skills. His inclusion in the QFF Agriculture Extension Program will grant him a unique opportunity to develop his knowledge and skills while pursing a career in agriculture extension.
Sarah is working with Farmacist in their Burdekin office in Ayr. She is part of their Bluewater 2 team which aids growers to improve water quality load with customised farm pesticide management plans to limit pesticide runoff.
Sarah recently completed her honours in environmental science at the University of Technology Sydney, focusing on the development of biostimulants and biofertilisers for horticultural purposes. She is passionate about creating circular economies which improved water quality and provided growers with additional protection against volatile markets.
Sarah decided to relocate from Sydney for the QFF initiative because of her passion to create change on local levels, develop relationships with growers, and work with them to improve farming practices.
Mika was mentored by Farmacist, an independent agronomy and precision agriculture service provider in the Mackay and Burdekin Regions. Farmacist specialises is agronomic advice, geospatial data collection and management, development and extension activities supporting farming practice changes.
Mika has a Bachelor of Science with majors in Environmental Science and Marine Biology this degree provided him with a well-rounded background in understanding the large-scale and small-scale impacts of agriculture, from the paddock to the reef. Mika hopes to move into agronomy as he wants to aid the uptake of best management practises and create change on a community level.
In addition to nutrient and chemical management, Mika is also interested in chemical management alternatives such a biological pest control, he looks forward to engaging growers in new and innovative farming practises.
Cape York Natural Resource Management
Harry was hosted by Cape York Natural Resource Management in Atherton. Under the supervision of Michael Goddard, Harry’s work involves engaging with graziers and land managers across the Cape York region to plan, design and deliver projects aimed at reducing erosion and sediment runoff to the Great Barrier Reef. His work will have a particular focus on managing gullies caused by unsustainable grazing practices.
After completing a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours) at the University of Queensland, Harry had a strong desire to apply his knowledge in ecology and community-based natural resource management to achieve successful social and environmental outcomes for local communities. Having previously undertaken work experience with the Wet Tropics Management Authority in Cairns and WWF in China, Harry is excited to extend his practical experience to the grazing industry.
Harry sought to pursue a hands-on career, collaborating with land managers and stakeholders to create real positive changes in land management practices. Moreover, he was eager to be involved in QFF’s Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program.
Herbert Cane Productivity Services Ltd
Ellie was hosted by Herbert Cane Productivity Services Ltd, based in Ingham. HCPSL specialises in providing weed and nutrient management advice, as well as RSD inspections, EM mapping, soil testing, drone surveying, clean seed and facilitating other extension activities.
Ellie has graduated from the University of Queensland Gatton campus and holds a Bachelor of Agribusiness and Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in Agronomy. Having grown up on a broad acre cropping property, Ellie is passionate about seeing producers become not only profitable, but also sustainable into the future.
Ellie looks forward to working with growers and forming relationships with other stakeholders in the community and the broader sugarcane industry. Ellie believes extension activities provide a vital bridge between researchers and primary producers. She hopes to provide education and advice to empower growers to make informed and sustainable management decisions.
Plane Creek Productivity Services
Jefferson graduated from Curtin University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Agribusiness (Honours). During his studies, he developed his interests in crop pathology and sustainability within the West Australian wheatbelt. He sees agricultural research and extension as important components of addressing wheatbelt issues such as secondary salinity, fungicide resistance and soil erosion.
Following graduation, Jefferson was fortunate to be placed with Plane Creek Productivity Services (PCPS), an extension organisation based in Sarina. PCPS works closely with growers in the area to adopt Best Management Practices (BMPs) and new technologies, with the goal of reducing nutrient and pesticide runoff into the Great Barrier Reef. Jefferson will assist PCPS with their daily activities, including fieldwork, data collection and communication with growers.
During his placement with PCPS, Jefferson hopes to transition from his academic studies into hands-on experience of agricultural extension. He considers the placement to be a valuable opportunity to learn more about tropical agriculture, from a background in broadacre wheatbelt systems. He would like to contribute to the transition towards improved agricultural practice and a healthier environment.
Sugar Research Australia
Having completed a bachelor’s degree of Applied Science majoring in Wildlife Science, Hannah gained employment within the sugar industry working at the laboratory at Bundaberg Sugar. She decided to apply for QFF’s Agricultural Extension Traineeship to develop her skills in connecting with stakeholders and other personnel to initiate change where needed.
Her main goals in life are to learn as much as possible while having a positive impact on the world around her – whether this be in personal life, assisting others, or, ultimately, the environment.
Working with SRA and the people within has opened up a multitude of doors for Hannah. Already, she has assisted with sugarcane CCS and juice analysis, harvesting, variety trials, and biomass sampling. She is looking forward to the many workshops and practical experiences that she will gain within the industry while at SRA. Currently, she is looking at developing a project to enable her to contribute to organisation, such as enhanced efficiency fertiliser use, and irrigation management.
While not at work, Hannah enjoys practicing archery for many competitions around Australia. Whenever the weather permits, she also spends her time scuba diving around the Queensland coast, admiring the coral and marine life to be found offshore and around wrecks.
NQ Dry Tropics NRM group, Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning Cooperative and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Sarah has been placed with NQ Dry Tropics (NQDT) NRM group, whilst also working with Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning Cooperative (CHRRUP) and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). She is based within the Sustainable Agriculture department focusing on grazing and sugar cane industries and the bulk of her time is focussed on understanding the sediment and nutrient exports from these sectors into the Great Barrier Reef. Sarah will be based in the NQDT office in Townsville and will be mentored by Linda Anderson who is a Senior Field Officer in the Sustainable Agriculture team.
Sarah recently graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agronomy) and saw the QFF Graduate Program as a great pathway into industry. Sarah shares a keen interest in both the cropping and grazing sides of the Agricultural Industry looking to gain invaluable skills to help improve both profitability and environmental outcomes.
Burdekin Productivity Services
Tahlia was hosted by Burdekin Productivity Services (BPS) in the Dry Tropics. BPS is an industry owned non for-profit company based in Ayr which provides sugar cane variety distribution, pest and disease management and agronomic advice to growers. Tahlia completed a Bachelor of Science (majoring in Ecology) at the University of Queensland. Having participated in a sugar cane intercropping research project during university, she is keen to build her knowledge of the sugar industry and work with growers in the Burdekin region.
Participating in the QFF Graduate Program will be an invaluable opportunity for Tahlia to develop practical and communication skills to pair with her understanding of ecosystem dynamics and research. She is particularly interested in learning about the interface between natural areas management and agriculture, and how productive and resilient landscapes can be achieved and managed. With this paradigm experienced in the sugar cane industry and the adjacent reef systems, Tahlia is looking forward to learning applied agronomy and extension skills with BPS that can be used to achieve productive, profitable and sustainable outcomes for farmers.
Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee
Katie completed a traineeship in agriculture during highschool, followed by a Bachelor of Environmental and Biological Science. Her combined background has given her a strong desire to optimise natural resource management, particularly through seeking out ‘win-wins’ between human practices and the environment. She has also worked as a biology tutor and horse riding instructor due to her love of building others’ skills and confidence.
Katie is excited to be hosted by the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee, which aims to promote a productive and sustainable catchment through community and interested sectors. Her work will primarily focus on working with land managers to repair and monitor eroding gullies.
Katie looks forward to reducing sediment runoff to the Great Barrier Reef while maintaining productive land and learning from the diverse range of people she is sure to encounter along the way.
Dave studied a Bachelor of Environmental Science at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He has always had a keen interest in agriculture, growing up on a vegetable farm as child and working on various farms throughout secondary school and university. He understands the impacts that agriculture can have on the environment and is excited to be involved with an organisation where he will be able to help farmers grow sustainable businesses.
Dave was mentored by Farmacist, an independent agronomy and precision agriculture service provider in the Mackay and Burdekin regions. Farmacist specialises in agronomic advice, geospatial data collection and management, development and extension activities supporting farming practice changes.
Dave looks forward to engaging with growers and other industry professionals to build relationships and broaden his knowledge in the sugarcane industry. As a keen fisherman he is also looking forward to monitoring fish stocks around the region during his days off.
Steven was mentored by Agritech Solutions, an independent agronomy service provider based in Ayr. Agritech Solutions focuses on energy efficiency assessment, soil moisture monitoring, sugarcane irrigation scheduling, surface irrigation optimisation and sugarcane crop modelling.
Steven graduated from the University of Tasmania with Master of Applied Science, majoring in Environment Management. Having previous working experience in IPM (Integrated Pest Management) conducted cherry orchard. Bifan has a well understanding of eco friendly horticulture practice, as well as community-based agriculture management.
Working with Agritech Solutions team has opened a new door through the industry of sugarcane and large-scale agriculture. Other than the IPM and energy efficiency, Steven is also interested in agronomic improvements and smart irrigation systems. He has strong motivation to help growers and stakeholders to achieve a more sustainable agriculture, to get better balance between productivity, profitability and sustainability.
Sugar Research Australia Limited
Jesse was hosted by Sugar Research Australia Limited (SRA). The overarching aims of SRA are to facilitate research, development and adoption projects to increase standards of profitability, productivity and sustainability for the Australian sugar cane industry. Jesse’s role with SRA will primarily involve liaising with producers, millers and industry professionals to provide agronomic and technical support for the industry.
With a combined Bachelor of Environment/Marine Science and Management from Southern Cross University (SCU), Jesse holds a sound knowledge of challenges and problems surrounding land management practices and their implications concerning the marine environment. Through extracurricular activities, he has additional experience in natural resource management, protected area management and research. He has been awarded a New Colombo Mobility Program Scholarship and has completed an internship with DAF Fishery Monitoring Program in Brisbane.
Jesse is passionate about improving water quality within the Great Barrier Reef catchments. He keenly looks forward to participating in the graduate program and working with peers, professionals and other relevant stakeholders to deliver the desired outcomes for all projects.
NQ Dry Tropics
Carleigh was hosted by NQ Dry Tropics (NQDT), a natural resources management group that operates within the Burdekin Dry Tropics region. Through its Sustainable Agriculture Program, NQDT works to empower graziers and sugarcane farmers in maximising productivity while decreasing negative environmental impacts, with many projects aimed at safeguarding the Great Barrier Reef from excess nutrient and sediment exports.
Carleigh recently graduated from the University of Queensland with a Master’s in Environmental Management. She has managerial and communications experience in a project leads company, but is pursuing a career change more in line with personal passions and a recognition that the next decade will be a critical time for both Australia’s environment and the industries reliant on its good health. She considers the agricultural sector to be one of the nation’s most important centres of land stewardship, and hopes to explore opportunities to build resilience within a changing climate and learn more about the potential of regenerative agriculture.
The QFF Agricultural Extension Program is a valuable chance to gain onground understanding of the industry, develop positive partnerships with landholders and other NRM groups, and participate in delivering real, practical outcomes that benefit both farmers and the environment.
Resource Consulting Services
Angus completed a Bachelor of Ecological Agricultural Systems in 2018 at Charles Sturt University. The degree focused on a triple bottom line approach to agricultural land management and was under pinned by systems thinking. Angus has developed a special interest in social and soil ecology and is excited to explore their impacts through the value chain. He has a passion for helping people and exploring new ways to overcome challenges on a micro and macro level.
Angus was placed with Resource Consulting Services (RCS) based in Yeppoon. RCS empowers people through holistic education, professional advice, and professional development. Working with the people, land, livestock/crops and business processes, Angus will be involved in on-ground extension activities with Senior Advisors to deliver professional guidance, mentoring and facilitation for Project Pioneer producers based in the Great Barrier Reef catchments.
Angus is looking forward to working with land managers who are exploring their ability to positively impact their businesses, community and catchment. He is grateful to be a part of a program that invests so much in terms of opportunities and support to graduates and is looking forward to learning and growing through the experience.
Erin was hosted by Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA) in Rockhampton, the leading natural resource management body for Central Queensland. With a geographical footprint of over 156,000km2 and more than 20,000km of waterways, the Fitzroy Basin is the largest river system draining into the waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).
Working under the supervision of Senior Project Officer Rachel Bryan, Erin was been able to build upon a number of skills acquired through her degree in Environmental Science by assisting the FBA team in their delivery of extension and support to landholders right across the region.
In the past, Erin has worked on Heron Island which instilled her with a deep understanding of the many threats which face the GBR. Whilst Erin admits improving the water quality of the GBR was her motivator for applying for the position, she has enjoyed working closely with graziers and seeing what they can achieve, not only for the environment but for also for their businesses in terms of production.
Erin has continued to work for FBA as a Project Officer. Working across high-sediment source catchments, Erin will support graziers with soil management and erosion control, linking them with funding opportunities to stabilise eroding stream banks and gullies on their properties.
Burnett Mary Regional Group Ltd
Dominique has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Queensland and has a keen interest in agricultural extension. Her background consists of a mix of industries, growing up on a sugarcane and beef property and working on a dairy farm for many years.
Dominique was placed with the Burnett Mary Regional Group for NRM (BMRG) and worked as an Agricultural Extension Trainee based in Wondai in the South Burnett. In her time at BMRG, she contributed to soil health and soil conservation projects, along with assisting the Land and Water team with various other projects.
In the past, Dominique has worked as a Development Officer for Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland. It was in this role, working within the dairy industry, that she developed an interest in extension and working with farmers to implement practice change and improve production on farm.
She very much enjoyed her time at BMRG in an extension role and taking on the exciting challenge of working on projects within the grazing industry. She is looking to further develop and learn new skills to extend information to the grazing industry and assist producers to make positive changes.
Lili has a Bachelor of Advanced Science with majors in zoology and ecology, and is dedicated to creating positive environmental change. Her life goal is to strengthen the relationship between people and the environment so that both receive the benefits of coexistence.
Upon graduation Lili was placed with Private Forestry Service Queensland (PFSQ) in Gympie and has worked also with Growcom. Lili worked in forestry, silviculture, horticulture, grazing land management, timber processing and environmental conservation. PFSQ uses managed ecology and sustainable forestry practice to improve landholders’ productivity and reduce their ecological impact.
Using new technology and media tools, Lili has created useful resources for landholders that aid environmental responsibility and best practice forestry. She has inspired change among primary producers and the greater public and introduced them to a sustainable way of doing forestry.
Mossman Ag Services –WITSIP
Kate was placed with Mossman Agricultural Services as a District Extension Officer. Based in Mossman, Far North Queensland, she helped service growers along the coast from Daintree to just below Port Douglas and west to the foothills of the Great Dividing Range.
It was during her studies in a Bachelor of Environmental Management, majoring in Natural Systems and Wildlife, that Kate decided she wanted to use her knowledge of natural systems to work in regions where natural systems are colliding or competing with other resources.
Kate has always been interested in working where she could be based on the ground, in communities, to address interesting and challenging resource issues. She jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the QFF’s Work Placement Initiative, particularly as it involved her greatest passions; people and beautiful natural resources.
North Queensland Dry Tropics (NQDT) Natural Resource Management group, Greening Australia (GA) and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF)
For the duration of her traineeship, Eilis was placed with North Queensland Dry Tropics (NQDT) Natural Resource Management group, Greening Australia (GA) and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). She worked with the grazing and sugar cane industries and the bulk of her time focused on understanding the sediment and nutrient exports from these sectors into the Great Barrier Reef.
Eilis was based in the NQDT office in Townsville and mentored by Linda Anderson, Senior Field Officer in the Sustainable Agriculture team and Lisa Hutchinson, Grazing BMP coordinator. She was also mentored by Damon Telfer from GA and Bob Shepard from DAF.
After graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management, Eilis wanted to pursue a career that would have a meaningful impact on Australia’s natural environment. QFF’s Work Placement Initiative has facilitated her passion by matching her with a host organisation that implements projects that protect the Great Barrier Reef through improved water quality in catchment areas. Eilis is in the process of completing her Master of Agribusiness.
Zoe was mentored by Farmacist, an independent agronomy and precision agriculture service provider that services the Mackay and Burdekin Regions. Farmacist specialises is agronomic advice, geospatial data collection and management, development and extension activities supporting farming practice changes.
During her placement she was exposed to various trials, crop types, industry bodies and she had the opportunity to attend various capacity building workshops, covering a variety of topics from effective extension techniques to precision agriculture.
She decided to relocate from Western Australia for the QFF’s Work Placement Initiative because of her passion for building relationships with people, and her keen interest in the continual improvement of holistic farm systems. Her interest lies in precision agriculture and alternative farming methods. At the end of her placement she remains with Farmacist in Mackay.
Interested in investing in the program?
The right person with the right skills is in high demand for regional employers in Australia, particularly in the area of supporting producers. There is more need than ever for effective and skilled extension services and advisors to provide relevant, up-to-date advice that supports growth in productivity, profitability and sustainability.
Your organisation could be involved. Take a look at our Investor Document for the benefits the program can provide or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t take our word for it, hear from Agriculture Extension Work Placement Program Host Jason Dowie from Farmacist below.
Food security, market supply, workforce capability, technology, policy and sustainable management across the supply chain are key challenges facing the agriculture sector. To meet these and be future-ready, the sector must be underpinned by robust problem solving, innovative and competent people.
We recently hosted Understanding Reef water quality science webinars regarding the latest science regarding the effects farm practices have on the Reef and discussed the science about what is the effect of nutrients, pesticides and sediment on water quality and reef ecosystems.
If you missed it or would like to revisit them, you can watch the watch our webinars below.