Grazing industry on front foot

Instead of sitting on its hands the grazing industry in Central Queensland is on the front foot, moving towards greater recognition for individual graziers and the industry of their high-quality production and management methods.
According to Fitzroy Basin Association Inc. Chief Executive Officer Paul Birch the industry is steadfast in its support of the voluntary, industry-lead Grazing Best Management Practice (BMP) Program which aims to set and report on the benchmark of best-practice grazing.
“Grazing BMP allows graziers to set the path for their business and the industry – by benchmarking their practices across their entire operation and seeking to continuously improve their business,” Mr Birch said.
Russell and Sheryl Purvis of “Waterford” a 5058 hectare grazing property at Capella are one of more than 600 grazing businesses in the Fitzroy and Burdekin catchments who have become involved in the Program, walking away with positive reviews of the results for their own operation.
The Purvis’ have completed all five modules that make up Grazing BMP, as well as a review of the Soil Health and Grazing Land Management Modules, and will be one of the first producers to undertake the certification and audit process in June 2014. The Program has been developed in partnership between AgForce, FBA and Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
“With Grazing BMP the platform is set for you to sit down in that environment to discuss and compare your practices against the industry standard and have a realistic look at what you’re doing,” Mr Purvis said.
“We took quite a bit of heart out of the fact that we are doing things pretty well in a lot of areas but there’s still room for improvement.
“We were pretty happy with our land management, but things like OH&S it was good to be made aware of exactly what is expected because we probably came up a bit short.
“We would encourage other graziers to get involved to do your bit for the industry to show that the view from some that we’re environmental vandals is inaccurate.
“We’re now lining up for an audit in June which is the next step of the program and while we’ve still got things to work on it’s a good incentive to get them done.
“On top of that, it sends out a very strong message that we are fair dinkum about our practices and are willing to back them up,” he said.
Mr Birch said the more graziers that undertake Grazing BMP the greater opportunity to showcase the management practices already underway in the Queensland grazing industry.
“If we can demonstrate the industry’s increasing take-up of the program as it progresses, we will be able to ease the burden of regulation and green tape,” Mr Birch said.