Reef Guardian Grazier showcases Reef stewardship

Published: 28/05/2012

Local graziers are showing how the benefits of improved land management practices are flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

As members of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Reef Guardian Farmers and Graziers program, Jeff and Karen Mills know the value of community and industry pulling together to strengthen and protect the Reef.

"With everyone working together for the Reef, the world will be a better place," Mr Mills said.

The Mills' are keen to share what they have learnt about sustainable grazing systems with the Fitzroy River community and help educate young people in the industry.

The Mills' have travelled to South America and China to observe and discuss land management alternatives, and have been actively involved in the local Landcare and Fitzroy River and Coastal Catchments groups.

"We are always open to sharing our farming knowledge with people, and we've hosted groups from universities and government departments," Mr Mills said.

The Mills' take a holistic view of land management and have trialled many practices designed to improve the long-term sustainability of their business and the environment.

"I believe we need to understand the energy movement though the whole property and beyond, including the soil, water, weeds, native animals, cattle, grasses and trees."

Recent trials on the property include using tea as compost to improve grass and soil health and make ploughing unnecessary, optimising water efficiency, and promoting regeneration in biodiversity corridors.

"We are seeing the landscape become more resilient to climatic forces like floods and droughts by building the microbiology and physical health of the soil and strategically resting country," Mr Mills said.

Jeff and Karen are continuing to work with GBRMPA to develop evaluation standards for graziers and farmers looking to join the Reef Guardian program.

As the Reef Guardian program celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, it now involves more 110,000 school students, councils throughout the catchment, and a growing number of fishers, farmers and graziers.

Reef Guardian participants and the important work they're doing to improve the outlook for the Reef are showcased in a suite of commercials currently airing across the catchment.

To view the commercials or watch the interview with Jeff Mills, visit Reef Guardians on our website

Name: GBRMPA media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846