The show must go on – workshops go online

AS the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention”.

To help ensure safety in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, NQ Dry Tropics has cancelled workshops, field days, and all other face to face events until at least 1 June. 

But thanks to the wonders of technology, four soil health workshops will be delivered online during the coming weeks.

The series of Digging Deeper workshops, run by soil health expert David Hardwick, were due to take place at grazing properties around Charters Towers and Woodstock, delivered by NQ Dry Tropics through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

NQ Dry Tropics’ Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator Peter Arthofer said it was important to adapt to new circumstances to support the 20 Burdekin graziers who had originally signed up to participate for the course across five field days.

“We held the first event at Fanning Downs Station last month before the new safety measures were put in place”, he said.

“We contacted the graziers to gauge their interest in using the Zoom video conferencing platform to attend subsequent workshops, and they were all prepared to give it a go.

“David has delivered workshops in a variety of settings, and is currently adapting the course content so it is suitable for online learning.”

Mr Arthofer explained that steps were being taken to ensure participants were well prepared for a rewarding learning experience.

“We have provided them with materials to explain video conferencing, and have been collecting questions in advance for David to answer,” Mr Arthofer said.

“Internet speed is an issue in the bush, so we will be recording the sessions so participants have a chance to watch again in case they miss something.

“We have also given each participant the chance to send soil samples from their property to a laboratory at Southern Cross University for a professional analysis. A key part of the course involves learning how to interpret soil tests, which can provide excellent guidance on improving soil health.

“At the end of the day, NQ Dry Tropics is adapting in order to continue serving regional communities, and we look forward to running successful, informative sessions during the next few weeks.”

Visit the NQ Dry Tropics website at for more details.

NQ Dry Tropics Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator Peter Arthofer (left) and agroecologist David Hardwick.