Project Name:
Regional Agriculture Landcare facilitator (RALF)

Funded By:
The Regional Land Partnerships (RLP) program as part of the National Landcare Program

Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitators (RALFs) support farmers, industry and community groups (including Landcare groups) to adopt new and innovative sustainable agriculture practices. More than 65 RALFs are scattered across various Australian locations, working to build the future of our country’s sustainable agriculture. RALFs are on-the-ground in communities to assist stakeholders and liaise with landcarers on sustainable agriculture.

The RALF role in the Burnett Mary region facilitates partnerships to address common agricultural issues by:

  • Engaging with groups about emerging ideas, climate change activities, on-farm biosecurity and chemicals management, innovative practices, and relevant new government policies to help improve the sustainability, productivity, and profitability of agriculture.
  • Assisting farmers, community groups, and agricultural industries in developing new projects and seeking new funding opportunities.
  • Participating in national and statewide ‘Communities of Practice’ to better understand complex issues, improve networks and help develop national priorities.

The RALF works closely with Landcare, catchment and producer groups, and the various agricultural industries to deliver these services.

BMRG’s RALF is funded through the Regional Land Partnerships (RLP) as part of the National Landcare Program to promote sustainable agricultural practices in the Burnett Mary region.

Agricultural productivity is negatively impacted by land management practices which cause soil degradation and loss, biodiversity, and vegetation loss. Significant challenges also exist in increasing resilience to climate and market changes while sustainably improving productivity.

The RALF in the Burnett Mary region helps to improve the sustainability, productivity, and profitability of agriculture. This is achieved through:

  • Engagement and education — farming communities and agricultural industries, sharing emerging ideas, innovative practices and relevant new government policies.
  • Facilitating partnerships — connecting industry, grower and community groups to collaboratively improve agriculture outcomes
  • Funding opportunities —developing new projects and seeking funding opportunities e.g. Smart Farms Small Grants and Smart Farming Partnerships Grants
  • Project delivery — supporting National Landcare Program Sustainable Agriculture projects
  • Departmental reporting and updates— on the delivery of RALF services annually, updates on emerging issues and events e.g. reporting on the impacts of natural disasters.
  • ‘Communities of Practice’ — participating to better understand complex issues, improve networks and help develop solutions for national priorities

Project Scope:
The RALF contributes towards the Regional Land Partnership program’s key agricultural outcomes:

  • By 2023, increase awareness and adoption of land management practices that improve and protect the condition of soil, biodiversity, and vegetation
  • By 2023, increase the capacity of agriculture systems to adapt to significant changes in climate and market demands for information on provenance and sustainable production.

Work Done to Date:
The BMRG RALF has delivered a range of services to support farmers, agriculture industries and community groups in adopting innovative sustainable agricultural practices. Among the work conducted to date:

  • Assisted with Resilient and Productive Farmers ‘Building Soil Health and Pasture Diversity’ field day in October 2021.
  • Delivered two grant writing workshops in October 2021 with THRIIVE consulting (Mundubbera and Gympie).
  • Assisted multiple land care groups with finding presenters for events and assisted event planning (Central Burnett Landcare, Barung Landcare, South-East Burnett Landcare, South Burnett Grazing Network)
  • Produced two more regional date claimers of land care and agricultural events occurring in the Burnett Mary region (November and February)
  • Promoted numerous grant opportunities to groups and assisted land care groups with grant applications
  • Assisted at Mary River Recovery Stakeholder Field Day (December 2021)
  • Planned facilitation of natural sequence farming field day in Biggenden
  • Planned Traditional Fire Management workshop with Gidarjil Development Corporation
  • Organised two RCS-run sustainable agriculture events, hosted by Terry McCosker
  • Produced two technical content documents (soil carbon and integrated pest management)
  • Attended Monto Show on 23 April , hosting a BMRG information and display marquee
  • Held BMRG Living and Productive Soils Symposium and Bus Tour on April 28th
  • Continuing meetings with local agribusiness leaders and land care groups.
  • Attended MRCCC meeting
  • Attended SBGN meeting
  • Sunwater meeting on Bundaberg Burnett regional Water Assessment
  • Hort 360 Reef Certification meeting
  • Gidarjil and BMRG Thornhill Cool Burns Workshop

Future Work:
The RALF will continue to visit Landcare groups, attend meetings and events, and assist in the planning and facilitation of future Landcare and sustainable agriculture group-run workshops.