Farmer profile - Jeff Cantamessa
Local cane farmer Jeff Cantamessa was amongst the first farmers in the Herbert region to be part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's Reef Guardian Farmers and Graziers program.
Jeff volunteered to be part of the program for the cane sector because he believes in a productive and sustainable sugar industry.
Jeff Cantamessa's cane growing business is an example of farming practices that are achieving win-win outcomes for their business and the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
This includes experimenting with variable rate nutrient application technology with the aim of using precisely the right amount of fertiliser to grow a productive crop without being wasteful.
Jeff's interest in best-practice technology means there are environmental benefits achieved and the community benefits as well.
"Because I employ GPS tracking in the planting and harvesting operations, I spend less time working the ground and more time is available for family and industry activities, such as hosting farm field days," Mr Cantamessa said.
Jeff is one of a number of cane growers along the Great Barrier Reef coastline who are offering their time and insight into continual improvement farming practices.
This will help the GBRMPA build a program that achieves positive environmental outcomes as well as suit growers' needs and aspirations.