Farmers throughout the Great Barrier Reef catchments will benefit from 11 new extension officer graduates who recently began a work placement program with various agricultural advisory and Natural Resource Management groups.
The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has partnered with the Queensland Government to deliver the Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program.
Graduates are mentored by experienced extension practitioners to develop the skills required to engage with primary producers and assist them to enhance their land management practices and business outcomes.
The graduates, their mentors and key industry and government stakeholders recently attended an induction meeting in Townsville to gain a better understanding of the new roles and develop a workplan for the 15-month placement.
QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis said the agriculture sector had an important role to play in assisting the enthusiastic cohort of graduate extension officers to gain important skills and build their professional capacity.
“The Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program will see the graduates undertake relevant technical and extension training under the guidance of experienced extension practitioners,” Dr Davis said.
“This capacity building program provides a great pathway for new people coming into our sector and is another step towards a more holistic approach to helping deliver Reef water quality targets.”
“Following the success of previous years’ programs, we look forward to seeing the graduates develop into experienced officers that can continue to support farm managers and businesses.”
The new trainees join 21 extension officers who have graduated from the program since 2018 and, importantly, remain actively employed in the agricultural sector.
The 2021 Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program trainees are:
- Clara Friswell – Reef Catchments (Mackay and the Whitsundays)
- Jasmine Graham – MSF Sugar (Gordonvale)
- Molly Blake – Australian Banana Growers’ Council (South Johnstone)
- Samuel Groom – Burnett Mary Regional Group (Bargara)
- Erin Headon – Mackay Area Productivity Services (Mackay)
- Steven Norman – Farmacist – (Mackay) – funded separately by Farmacist
- Sarah Williams – Farmacist (Ayr) – funded separately by Farmacist
- Nikala Passaris – Farmacist (Ayr)
- Angus Middlebrook – Agritech Solutions (Ayr)
- Brad Martin – NQ Dry Tropics (Townsville)
- Ehlena Lea – Burdekin Productivity Services (Ayr) – funded separately by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
To learn more about the trainees, visit: www.qff.org.au/projects/agricultural-extension-program/.
The 2021 Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program is funded through the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program and delivered by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation.