Grazier profile - Kirk Smith
Distance has proved no barrier for Reef Guardian graziers Kirk and Eiren Smith when it comes to caring for the land the Reef.
The Smith's property Dreghorn Station near Charters Towers is a 22,000 hectare cattle property Kirk has called home since his father drew the land in a 1963 ballot.
Kirk and Eiren are committed to sharing knowledge and improving land management practices.
"My vision for this property is to demonstrate that we can run an effective cattle property without damaging the environment – indeed we can enhance it," Kirk said.
"We've been able to improve our production while achieving environmental outcomes and that's a win-win."
The Reef Guardian graziers have enjoyed a long association with educational, environmental and community organisations including NQ Dry Tropics, James Cook University, and Dalrymple Landcare.
Kirk's son and business partner Eiren said environmental sustainability was a key factor in their business's success.
"The way that we manage this property has continued to change; there has been a huge learning curve," Eiren said.
"There were some degraded landscapes that are now being brought back to their former glory and we now have the skills and infrastructure to continually improve the environment."
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) works with farmers and graziers like Kirk and Eiren through the Reef Guardian program to promote sustainable farming practices that are helping to minimise and reverse the impacts on the Great Barrier Reef.