New QLD beef extension officer appointed

A new North West Queensland beef extension officer to support industry opportunities has been appointed as part of the state government overhaul to minimise the impact of mining on the Great Barrier Reef.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin today welcomed Emma Hegarty to her new role in Department of Employment Economic Development and Innovation and said her role to support the beef industry will have unique challenges.

Hegarty’s appointment comes after the announcement of four new beef extension officers and an agricultural economist, employed to help producers minimise the impact of grazing practices on the Great Barrier Reef.

"We believe the Queensland beef Industry has a very positive future and as such we are firmly committed to supporting the industry’s development," Mulherin said.

"However, we also acknowledge there are a number of challenges facing the beef industry in Queensland today.

"Ms Hegarty’s new role as a north-west beef extension officer will help the Queensland Government in supporting these opportunities and addressing the current challenges in the beef industry.

"Equipped with a rural background and a passion for beef science, Ms Hegarty has joined Agri-Science Queensland’s FutureBeef team t o support producers in an area that carries a large proportion of the State’s beef herd.

"FutureBeef is about bringing the latest research technologies and best management practices to Queensland beef businesses.

Member for Mount Isa Betty Kiernan welcomed the move, saying the new extension position is a positive step for the North West Queensland region.

"The new position will help support the industry in the region which ranges from the beef breeding properties in the northern and southern Gulf and the fattening and backgrounding Mitchell grass downs area," Kiernan said.

"Ms Hegarty will join Rebecca Matthews in the north-west, who has been based in Cloncurry as a Beef extension officer since 2009."

Hegarty brings with her personal knowledge and business understanding of the issues she will deal with.

"I grew up on a property west of Longreach and am pleased to be back in a rural area, using my skills and experience to support producers and the beef industry," Ms Hega rty said

"As well as completing a Bachelor of Livestock Science, I have been employed in the livestock nutrition and meat processing fields.

"In my previous roles I’ve worked on abattoir research and development projects and advised producers on nutritional management and supplementation of their herds," she said.

"I’m also a committee member of the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association (ICMJ) and in 2009, travelled to the US as a member of a meat judging team."

"I’ve begun working on projects including $avannaPlan and Climate Clever Beef, aimed at improving the sustainability and resilience of the beef industry," she said.

"I’m determined to get out of the office as much as possible to liaise with and advise beef industry stakeholders face to face.

"As the position is stakeholder funded, I’ m involved in an interesting mix of relevant projects and work with producers, local government and resource management groups."

"We’re all committed to working for an economically resilient and environmentally sustainable Queensland beef industry," she said.

Image: Department of Primary Industries


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