Sustainable Agriculture

Our projects and programs

The vision of the Sustainable Agriculture Program is resilient landscapes and productive enterprises, agricultural producers maximising outputs while minimising environmental impacts.

The Sustainable Agriculture Program aims to support and empower producers in the use of best management practices for natural resource management within the agricultural industries of the Burdekin Dry Tropics NRM Region. This is done through:

  • planning for the sustainable management of land and water resources;
  • managing and delivering programs that help protect, maintain and restore land and water resources; enhancing the capacity of the community to manage for sustainability;
  • sharing knowledge;
  • promoting learning, continuous improvement and best practice; and
  • developing partnerships.

The Sustainable Agriculture Program works across the region providing information, training and assistance to graziers through workshops, training and grants to enhance the capacity of farmers and graziers to manage their land sustainably.

The Sustainable Agriculture team supports the delivery of innovation, training, extension and water quality improvement grants for sugar-related projects in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region. At a broad level, these projects are aimed at supporting and facilitating:

  • an improved understanding of the links between management practices and the condition of natural resources, particularly in relation to catchment and reef water quality;
  • the adoption of best management practices for water quality management; and
  • the management of a financial incentives scheme for growers.

Sustainable Agriculture current projects

Point Source Sediment Management Sustainable Soils for the Burdekin Reef Trust Repeated Tender – Burdekin Paddock to Reef
Project Catalyst Reef Alliance Program – Burdekin Grazing Project Reef Alliance Program –  Burdekin Cane Project Patchkey Project

Sustainable Agriculture completed projects

Resilience in Grazing Reef Programme Gamechanger Project Reef Trust Tender – Burdekin Burdekin Gully Prioritisation
Saving Our Soils – Burdekin Grazing BMP Project


Case Study Videos

With much of the region continuing to suffer from drought, an increasing number of graziers are looking for ways to build resilience into their businesses by maintaining good pasture levels and improving land condition. NQ Dry Tropics’ three-year (2013-2016) Building Resilience in the Burdekin Grazing Industry project, funded through the Queensland Government’s Regional NRM Investment Program, has been supporting three grazing families, managing a combined area of 56,000ha, to take part in a long-term trial of the Holistic Management approach to looking after their business and their land.

Barry and Leanne O’Sullivan, who run Glenalpine Station near Bowen, have derived multiple benefits from high-density grazing. They won a 2014 Rural Queensland Premier’s Sustainability Award for their achievements. Check out their story.

Shane and Amanda Watts own and manage Sonoma Station, a 14,400-hectare property near Collinsville. Hear Shane explain how Holistic management, which advocates resting country for long periods, has led to a huge increase in pasture diversity.

Watch how Barry and Leanne O’Sullivan successfully rehabilitated a gully on their Glenalpine Property, using ultra high-density cattle impact to thoroughly break down the headcut and the sides, and achieve a layer of manure and urine slurry about an inch thick spread across the gully system.

Tom and Karen Murphy own and operate Tabletop, their 18,970 ha property near Collinsville, alongside daughter Nikki and partner Harry Howard. Check out their story about how practical, cost effective and innovative approaches to land management have impacted their business.

Case Studies


  1. Adaptive Management
  2. Saving our Soils


  1. Glenalpine trial – Stock impact effectively treats gully erosion
  2. Mt Pleasant with Jamie Gordon
  3. Rob Ahern
  4. Scott Harness


  1. Glenalpine with Barry and Leanne O’Sullivan
  2. Sonoma with Shane and Amanda Watts
  3. Tabletop with Tom and Karen Murphy
  4. Dreghorn with Kirk and Eiren Smith
  5. Mt Coolon with Denton and Goscelyn Sullivan
  6. Melton with David and Rebecca Comiskey
  7. Mt Aberdeen with Steve and Del Norman
  8. Leichhardt Creek with Jim and Tracey Rollinson
  9. Camel Creek with Keith and Alma Atkinson
  10. Low Holm with with Russ and Julia Broad
  11. Illamahta with John and Kate Ashton
  12. Niall with Dan Lyons
  13. Terang with Jason and Megan Philp
  14. Worona with Chris and Theresa LeFeuvre
  15. The Bluff with Ross and Mardi Webb
  16. Terry Creek with Bill and Linda Pepper
  17. Speculation with Ron, Jeneve and Kim Barnicoat


  1. John Delle Baite
  2. Ross Pirrone
  3. Robert Stockham
  4. Adrian Murphy
  5. Andrew Conway
  6. Aaron and Malcolm Kelly
  7. Willy Lucas
  8. Paul Roncato
  9. Mark Castelanelli
  10. Joseph Magatelli
  11. Jeffery Marson
  12. Paul Hatch
  13. Gavin Jones
  14. Chris Lyne
  15. Frank Mugica
  16. Chris Hesp
  17. Aaron Linton
  18. Ryan Jones
  19. Charlie Cacciola
  20. David Paine
  21. Mark Hatch
  22. Brian Strathdee
  23. Joe Tama
  24. Paul Villis


  1. Alan Hickmott
  2. Brad Rosten
  3. John Mauro


  1. Royce Staier
  2. Connell Walker


  1. Women in Sugar
  2. Women in Grazing