GrazingFutures: Learnings from a contemporary collaborative extension program in rangeland communities of western Queensland, Australia

Rolfe, Joe, Perry, Lindsey, Long, Peter, Frazer, Caitlyn, Beutel, Terry, Tincknell, Jane, and Phelps, David (2021) GrazingFutures: Learnings from a contemporary collaborative extension program in rangeland communities of western Queensland, Australia. Rangeland Journal, 43 (3). pp. 173-183.

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Producer reliance on drought subsidies instead of proactive planning and timely destocking in low rainfall years has prompted Queensland government investment in promoting business and drought resilience. GrazingFutures (AU$6 million budget, 2016-2022) is an extension project focussed on enhancing business management skills of extensive livestock producers in western Queensland, Australia. The region's rangelands are in productivity decline, span 1 million km2 and are managed by graziers operating more than 2400 livestock businesses (beef, sheep and goats). The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries delivers GrazingFutures as a component of the Drought and Climate Adaptation Program, in partnership with regional natural resource management groups and other public and private organisations. Project delivery emphasised upskilling multi-agency staff and livestock producers to promote practice change within three whole of business themes: (1) grazing land management; (2) animal production; and (3) people-business. Three independent surveys (2018, 2019, 2020) indicated positive practice change was occurring in grazing businesses as a consequence of the project. Graziers instigated management changes even under major environmental challenges including extended drought (2013-2020), an extreme flood event in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This paper details the rationale, progress against the objectives, challenges and future direction of the GrazingFutures extension project.

Item ID: 75501
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1834-7541
Keywords: climate forecasting, drought management, grazier decision making, land condition, partnerships, rainfall variability, risk, rural communities, seasonal variability, stocking rates, training, wet season spelling
Copyright Information: © Australian Rangeland Society 2021. Open Access CC BY-NC-ND
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2022 00:01
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300202 Agricultural land management @ 100%
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