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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2014
46 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2014 AgForce Sheep & Wool It has been a challenging 12 month period for Queensland’s agriculture sector. What seemed to be a promising start to a good season was overcome by dry conditions. Coupled with an over-supply of paddock and stock-route fed cattle due to the ban on live exports, Queensland was 80 per cent drought declared by January 2014. For Queensland sheep and wool producers, an “out-of-control” kangaroo population decimated what paddock feed existed causing significant rangeland degradation and loss to producers. And of course, the detrimental impact caused by wild dogs continued to be the hot topics discussed around most kitchen tables and meeting rooms across sheep and wool areas of Queensland. AgForce continues fight for our members to deliver solutions to this ongoing challenge. A key focus of this is promoting greater collaboration between industry, state and local governments and Natural Resource Management groups as well as leading the way with improved industry- led coordination efforts through two coordinator positions funded by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and the Queensland State Government. These roles have assisted to establish individual area wild dog groups; and coordinating an aerial baiting calendar in western Queensland that links individual shires from north to south covering approximately 69,500,000ha equating to 40% of the state. Similarly, AgForce successfully influenced the State Agriculture Minister to announce greater landholder access the 1080 toxin. All of these we believe deliver tangible solutions for our members that ensures the viability of the sheep industry in Queensland. Getting back to the grassroots was a clear focus for AgForce in 2013/14 with the decision to hold key regional forums throughout the state. These commenced with the annual members’ conference in Townsville in September 2013 and have continued with a planned run of regional forums for Roma, Biloela, Charleville and Blackall to culminate in a flagship event in Brisbane late November 2014. These forums have been embraced enthusiatically by producers, industry experts and politicians providing the opportunity for all to be heard on the issues facing the agricultural industry and to come up with two way decision making. AgForce’s Sheep & Wool Board continues to serve as the voice of the Queensland sheep industry, pursuing a wealth of policy, advocacy and communication across the areas of animal health & biosecurity, animal welfare, education and training, industry systems, marketing, trade and market access, rural crime and livestock security and research and. Furthermore, AgForce continues with media communications regarding Queensland’s livestock producer’s positive animal welfare outcomes to end consumers; and provides a voice of reason in response to alarmist claims of extreme animal activist groups. We need to satisfy ourselves and our consumers that we are doing the right thing and this will be an ongoing priority for us looking ahead. On a closing note, thanks to the producers and staff of both Sheepmeat Council of Australia, WoolProducers Australia and AgForce Sheep and Wool for their support and hard work on state and national issues in 2013-14. Here’s to a positive 2014-15, with plenty of rain-soaked paddocks, fat stock and full wool bales; and far less predators. AgForce Queensland (AgForce) is the peak lobby group representing the majority of Queensland’s beef, sheep and wool, and grain producers since 1999. AgForce represents around 6,000 members and exists to ensure the long term growth, viability, competitiveness and profitability of these industries. Our members provide high quality food and fibre products to Australian and overseas consumers, manage a significant proportion of Queensland’s natural resources and contribute to the social fabric of rural and remote communities. AgForce provides direction and solutions for our members to overcome challenges and build on opportunities, and links rural and regional Queensland with urban communities through our “Every Family Needs a Farmer” initiative. Richard Pietsch AgForce Sheep and Wool President Drought, Dogs & Some Good News.
Sheepmeat 2015 2016