Project Name:
Resilient and Productive Farmers Across the Burnett Mary Region

Funded By:
The Resilient and Productive Farmers Across the Burnett Mary Region project is supported by the Burnett Mary Regional Group, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Resilient and Productive Farmers Across the Burnett Mary Region is an extension, communication and engagement-based project, working closely with Landcare, catchment and producer groups to support graziers and farmers in implementing good long-term land management practices. It’s a five-year project ending June 2023.

Land managers must be able to access a wide range of information, receive support, connect and share knowledge to ensure all stakeholders in the region are working towards a strong, healthy and resilient agricultural system at all levels.
Two priority areas have been identified. First is assisting graziers in the Inland Burnett by providing information and tools to support good land management practices. Second is supporting agricultural producers in the Burnett Mary region with information and practical steps to adapt to a changing climate – one which is trending towards warmer weather both in winter and summer, more extreme rainfall events and longer, more severe droughts.

Graziers in the Central and South Burnett catchment areas are able to access free support from the project extension officer assisting in areas such as property management planning, understanding their soil properties and assessing health and erosion risks, assessing pasture and land condition, property mapping, matching the number of animals to the pasture supply, incorporating a pasture resting or spelling system, managing drought and extreme event planning.
This project also brings a range of information sessions and workshops to graziers in the Central and South Burnett catchment areas either for free or at a subsidised rate and tailoring topics to local interests.

Project Scope:
Central to this project is the delivery of workshops, ensuring presenters and topics stimulate conversations while also providing information and support to land managers. These efforts are geared towards building on-farm resilience and will focus healthy soil, pasture management and on-farm activities that encourage native vegetation and biodiversity, as well as considering climate variability.

Work Done to Date:
We are pleased to report a number of activities have been undertaken as part of this project, with great results:

* More than 500 land managers have attended at least one of the 40 events held as part of this project.
* Twenty grazing properties in the Central and South Burnett have been soil tested
* Fourteen grazing property management plans have been developed
* A grazing extension, communication and engagement plan has been developed
* More than twenty communication flyers and additional Facebook posts have supported these initiatives.

An accomplishment of particular note is the successful engagement and support of land managers during exceptionally dry years as well as extreme flood events. Many land managers have been active in attending multiple events and activities and embraced the opportunities which have arisen with several presenters from outside the region bringing a range of different ideas and approaches to land management, to local audiences.

Future Work:
As the project approaches its fifth and final year it will look at building on its existing networks with further workshops and events partnering with Landcare, producer groups and organisations supporting information exchange.
The final year will also include a review of activities and collate information on changes that engaged land managers have made promoted by their participation in activities and events. Land managers wanting to be involved can follow the BMRG Facebook page and BMRG email Bulletin to keep informed of events occurring in the area.