Oasis: An aerial view of the hay depot created by the 13,500 bales delivered.Culture of giving alive and wellTruck drivers crossed Bass Strait in early April to join the 250-truck convoy taking a world record 14,000 bales of hay, worth an estimated $6m, to western Queensland producers struggling with their fourth failed wet season in a row.
It was the second time theBurrumbuttock Hay Runners had madethe 1800km trek from southern NSW to Ilfracombeto bring relief to drought-stricken graziers,capturingthe attention of Australia.
See the full story and video by Sally Crippshere.
The Cape’s untapped potential Cheree Callaghan, Fairlight, Laura.
In April, AgForce hosted a forum in Laura, Cape York, where locals united to lobby for an opportunity to develop.
Many like property owner Cheree Callaghan believed the decision makers had“no clue” on what’s needed to develop the region.
At the forefront was the battle against the Palaszczuk government’s attempts to repeal vegetation management laws, which traditional owners feared could signal the return of Wild Riverslegislation.
“Theyare dead scared of Wild Rivers coming back,” said former Cook Shire mayor and Cape pastoralist, Graham Elmes.
Click here for the full story, by Lea Coghlan.
Ag schoolsQueensland Education Minister Kate Jones moved to allay the fears of teachers, students and parents following reports herdepartment was planning to dumpagricultural science from its senior schoolcurriculum.
The QueenslandGovernment announced earlier in theyear that it would introduce a new senior assessment and tertiary entrance system, starting with students entering Year 11 in 2018.
TheMinisterhas set up a Senior Secondary Assessment Taskforce to lead the change.
Shadow Minister for Education and Training Tim Mander said the relatively low numbers of students studying senior agriculture had some educators concerned that the Government may opt not to re-write the agsciencesyllabus to cater for external exams, meaning the subject would not be available tostudents in Year 11 and 12.
But inresponse to questions fromQueensland Country Lifethis week, Minister Jones said schoolcommunities could “be assured that Agricultural Science will continue to be offered in Queensland schools.”
Ms Jonesdid not confirm if itwould be offered in senior years.
“Consultation with teachers and the wider education community is an important part of this process,” she said.
Onepassionate advocate for teaching agscience wasJeff Buchanan who has taught the subject at Downlands College for the past six years.
Mr Buchanan believes the subject isfor students who will not go on to university, but who will go back into agriculture either as an employee, or onto family farms.
“For most of these students agricultural science is the only senior science subject they will choose to study, as they find it relevant to them,” hesaid.
Mr Buchanan said subjects covered inag science, includingbasic ruminant nutrition and meat science, gave students a broadunderstanding of the industry.
Full story here.
Flying Start: Roma’s Sarah Packer says some of the skills she learned in her school ag science studies have helped her forge a career with TopX.
News that the State Government may be looking to cutagscience studiessaw former students like Sarah Packer come out swinging.
Now aged 23, Sarah is ona promising career path as a livestock agent with TopX Australia, a job she credits, in part, to her focus on ag science at school.
The government since confirmed ag studies would not be cut.
Full story on Sarah by Penelope Arthur here.
Bymount raises $23,000 for Red Dean Special presentation: Wayne Dean, Cr Janelle Stanford, Careflight pilot Dave Hampshire, Margaret Dean, Careflight’s Sarah Delahunty, Danny Sutton and Vern Dean.
The gutsy effort of a small yet powerful community in the Maranoa resulted in the handover of a $23,000 cheque to Careflight in April.
Much loved and well respected helicopter pilot Jeff “Red” Dean died when his helicopter crashed after a day mustering north of Mitchell in May 2015.
Mr Dean’s accident sparked the Bymount community’s family fun day in tribute to Red, while alsoraising crucialfunds for Careflight.
The full story and a gallery from the day are available here.
Russell Cooper no regrets on gun changes People Power: The Port Arthur massacre left 34 people dead and sparked demonstrations across the nation on gun reform.
The horrifying Port Arthur massacretook place 20 years ago andhad far-reaching consequences for the Borbidge coalition government when it supported Prime Minister John Howard’s subsequent gun law reforms, with supporters flocking to One Nation and giving government to the ALP and Peter Beattie, but the Police Minister at the time says he would make the same choice if he had his time over.
Russell Cooper described it as a “no-win” situation, butknew something had to be done.
Full report by Sally Cripps available here.
Australia Post lostpassport serviceRURAL and remote Australians were outraged by the news in April that Australia Post’s contract to process passport applications would expirein June, 2017.Australia Post has provided application lodgement services on behalf of the Australian Passport Office since 1983.
Full story here.
ToowoombaShow supreme interbreed stud champion K5X Lois J40 with a bull calf at foot claimed the Malcolm McCosker supreme interbreed award and is pictured with Doug Russell, Bradley Hayward, exhibitor Stephen Hayward, Rob Sinamon, and Cameron Collins.
The Toowoomba Royal Show closed on a rewarding notefor Angus stud breeders Stephen Hayward, and Kellie Smith.Allora, when they were awarded the Malcolm McCosker Memorial supreme interbreed exhibit.
“It is really rewarding to win this award as I had known the late Malcolm McCosker and enjoyed a life-long relationship with him through showing and presenting cattle,” Mr Hayward said.
Full story by Helen Walker here.
ValeJohn Dunnicliff John Dunnicliff and daughter Jane Armstrong on Beetaloo in 2014.
In April we farewelled John Dunnicliff, who died aged 75. Mr Dunnicliff had built a multi-million dollar beef cattle business from scratch.
In every step of his progress from a small block at Bundarra, NSW,he pushed past convention.
His final play, the $40 million development of Beetaloo Station in the NT, was astonishingly bold and ambitious, but it was by no means a new game for him.
Full story here.
Silage gold Farmers’ gold: Justin Rodger, Brookfield, Taroom, was keen to see results from his family’s corn trial at Hatcham Downs, Taroom.
Manywould raise eyebrows at the notion of a corn crop in Central Queensland, but one beef producer was delighted to secure great results from hismaiden trial.
John Rodger, Hatcham Downs, Taroom, took a leap of faith and planted 65hectares of corn in January toservice his privateon-farm feedlot and said energy levels from the silage were highly valuable.
“It’s higher in energy than other silage and feedlot cattle generally eat to an energy requirement.”
For full story, see here.
Sorghum on the Cape New Industry: Cape York grazier Paul Ryan is behind a major dryland farming project on his property Olive Vale at Laura. Harvest of the first trial plot of forage sorghum is underway.
In April we visited Laura cattle producer Paul Ryan at his property, Olive Vale, on Cape York to see firsthand the potential of good development in the region.
Harvest had started on a 150 hectare forage sorghum crop as part of the Ryan family’s, who also own Retreat, Longreach, 31,800 ha dryland farming project.
Cropping gives the Ryan family the option to finish cattle in North Queensland, avoiding the drought in the western parts of the state.
See Lea Coghlan’s full story and video here.
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