Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Honourable John McVeigh

New Future Beef program to improve extension services across Northern Australia

A new partnership has been announced between Government agriculture agencies across northern Australia and Meat & Livestock Australia, which will result in even better co-ordinated beef extension services.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said the FutureBeef Program for Northern Australia would support sustainable and profitable productivity gains for northern beef producers.

“I’ve just been to Beef 2012 and I’m delighted to see that Queensland is not only leading the beef industry in events, but that we also led the development of the National Beef RD&E Strategy. FutureBeef is just another example of our state leading the way.” Mr McVeigh said.

“Beef is our largest agricultural industry, currently valued at $5.4b each year.

“Along with the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia we account for 59 per cent of the national beef herd, so it makes sense to work together to improve our services to the industry.

“Partnerships with industry, natural resource management organisations and other groups are critical to providing relevant and targeted services to the beef industry.
 
“Under this new program, strategically-aligned and co-invested extension projects will be delivered by each partner under the ‘FutureBeef’ brand.”

Mr McVeigh said one of the features of this new program would be the use of new technologies.

“This will include online seminars (webinars), e-bulletins and learning packages and a new beef industry website futurebeef.com.au, which will be a one-stop shop for producers seeking information and tools to support beef enterprise development,” he said.

Other products include a FutureBeef DVD; which is a compilation of publications and reports relevant to the northern beef industry and the recently published Weaner management in northern beef herds; a compilation of the latest research, demonstration and practical know ledge available in northern Australia.

The FutureBeef Program for Northern Australia will focus on:

• aligning services to RD&E priorities to help businesses respond faster and more effectively

• delivering combined investment in extension and training that results in practical tools, management options and information

• helping producers to make better business decisions in beef breeding and reproduction, grazing land management, nutrition and growth and business management

• assisting producers to tap into the latest information via new technologies including webinars, YouTube videos and online learning

• providing pathways for professional development by enabling producers to access innovative and relevant workshops and courses.

Mr McVeigh said the FutureBeef program reflected the commitment by the Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australian Governments and Meat & Lives tock Australia to the full implementation of the national beef production RD&E strategy.

“All program partners will play a major role in the implementation of this strategy, particularly through state agency extension teams and other industry service providers,” he said.

“With 47 per cent of the national herd in Queensland, the Newman government recognises the important role RD&E will play in strengthening the beef industry and enabling producers to expand into new markets both here and overseas.

“The new FutureBeef program for Northern Australia is the first step in many initiatives and strategies designed to maximise growth opportunities for agricultural industries.”

The geographical scope of the FutureBeef Program covers Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Kimberley/Pilbara regions of Western Australia.