Better Beef for the Reef

The Burnett Mary Regional Group’s (BMRG) Better Beef for the Reef project aimed to accelerate the adoption rate of improved grazing management practices and contribute to better water quality outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef. The project is funded through the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program and engaged graziers who have not previously participated in natural resource management programs. Participating graziers are provided with a suite of one-on-one extension and support measures to assist them in developing plans to improve their farms’ profitability, productivity and sustainability.

Since 2017, the project has encouraged on-farm practice change as well as enhanced the knowledge, skills, aspirations and motivations of producers in the Burnett Mary. The project funded and established demonstration sites that remediated active gully erosion and evened out grazing pressure through the use of infrastructure on a number of properties. In addition to on-farm improvements, producers also had access to technical experts and on-going one-on-one extension support from a grazing extension officer to help guide them through any changes. A broad range of topics were discussed with producers through the project such as breeding and genetics, drought resilience, erosion remediation techniques, soil testing, vegetation management, forage budgeting, rotational grazing, wet season spelling and property mapping.

The project has also reported social outcomes. A 2018 survey of some of the graziers’ attitudes, motivations and barriers to land management practice change found:

  • they prefer face-to-face extension activities, including one-on-one extension support and peer-to-peer learning activities
  • when the graziers themselves research management practices they are more willing to change to those practices.

Watch the video above to hear from some of the local graziers talking about some of the benefits they received, including learning about soil types, access to grants and preventing soil loss into the Great Barrier Reef. The project will be completed in 2020. To learn more, visit the BMRG website.