Project Pioneer

Project Pioneer managed by Resource Consulting Services (RCS) and funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust Program supports 50 grazing businesses from the Burdekin, Burnett, Fitzroy and Mary catchments to improve farm management capacity leading to the adoption of better land management practices and improved land condition. The project aims to transition 300,000 hectares of grazing land to class ‘A’ land condition, stopping erosion through gullies and streambanks, and reducing the amount of fine sediment reaching the Reef.

From the 50 businesses engaged in the project, 43 have completed the RCS Next Steps Peer Mentor Program, a six-month skill development program with an RCS mentor to help businesses implement changes on-farm. Businesses have also received tailored on-farm consultations to conduct ground cover measurement, property mapping and establish monitoring sites. Project Pioneer reported a total of 440,203 hectares under improved management, such as matching stocking rate to carrying capacity, monitoring and planning, time-controlled grazing and financial, ecological and production data management.

The project has been reporting social outcomes. Before and after landholder surveys in 2017 and 2019 to measure the degree to which landholders felt they had made changes to their land management practices found that:

  • 70% more landholders reported that they were paddock spelling “a lot more”
  • 55% more landholders reported that they were recording data for pastures “a lot more”
  • 79% more landholders reported that they were managing financials “a lot more”
  • 43% more landholders reported that they adjusted stock for feed availability “a lot more”.

The 2019 landholder survey also indicated that landholders said they were on average 70% more likely to have better land condition in the future pointing to greater producer confidence producers since being involved with Project Pioneer.

Read more stories from producers involved in Project Pioneer or watch the video above to learn more about Project Pioneer.