Canegrowers

Local facilitators

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Mossman

Daryl Parker graduated from Roseworthy Agricultural College with a Roseworthy Diploma in Agricultural Technology in 1974 and subsequently worked for the South Australian Department of Agriculture and later the Northern Territory Department of Primary Production. He worked as an Agricultural Advisor based in Katherine, during which time he completed a Graduate Certificate in extension through the Rural Extension Centre, Gatton.

He moved to Mossman in 2003 to take up a position leading an SRDC funded project working with the local sugar industry in improving the uptake of best management practice in cane production as part of the Douglas Shire Water Quality Improvement Program.

Daryl has owned and operated farms in SA and the NT and has over 25 year’s experience in the field working with farmers as an extension officer; the last 10 within the sugar industry at Mossman

Daryl Parker

Daryl Parker

Mossman

T: 07 4098 2286

M: 0427 304 176

E: Click Here

Tablelands

John Barbetti’s career in agribusiness spans 40 years. Thirty of those years were spent in the fertilizer and agchem industry with Incitec Fertilizers followed by 10 years in retail agribusiness with TGT on the Atherton Tableland. He has served sugar growers in north Queensland and cropping and temperate dairy pasture farmers in Victoria’s Goulbourn Valley. He is well versed in commercial agronomy, area sales, distribution and process management, soil testing accreditation and Fertcare level C accreditation.

John currently owns and operates a small 400-tree commercial mango orchard 10 km from Kuranda; managed in line with the Freshcare Accreditation protocol. Recreationally, he enjoys reef fishing cycling and hiking.

John Barbetti

John Barbetti

Tableland

M: 0400 140 558

E: Click Here

Cairns Region (Mulgrave & Babinda)

Sandra Henrich grew up both on and around cane farms in the Babinda area, developing a keen interest in the industry including its people and the landscape that it encompasses.

In 2007 Sandra started with CANEGROWERS, providing a range of grower services to members in the Babinda and more recently, Mulgrave areas.

Sandra is well known by local cane growers, providing much needed support as growers have contended with changes to their business because of the introduction of the contentious environmental regulations. She has spent countless hours in the past few years helping growers complete ERMPs and DERM chemical record audits. Throughout the Reef Rescue program, as an Extension Officer for CANEGROWERS Cairns Region, Sandra has assisted local growers with all stages of their Reef Rescue applications. In 2011, in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi, Sandra undertook the role of Industry Recovery Officer (IRO). In this position, she was able to help growers’ to access funding so that they could re-establish their cane farming entities and get back into production.

Sandra loves working in the Cairns Region, saying that she believes cane farms in the Mulgrave and Babinda areas border some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. “In the past three decades, cane growers have worked really hard to adopt practices that will minimise their environmental footprint and maintain these landscapes for generations to come,” says Sandra. “I am really excited to be a part of the CANEGROWERS Smartcane BMP project because I think it’s time that we formally (and publicly) recognise the efforts of cane growers and the sustainable practices they have and continue to implement on their farms,” she said.

Sarah Henrich

Sandra Henrich

Cairns Region

T: 07 4067 1313

M: 0428 969 852

E: Click Here

Innisfail

Debra Telford has worked as part of the sugar industry in far north Queensland for the last twenty years. She started out with BSES at Meringa, and then moved to Innisfail as an extension officer focusing mainly on control measures for greyback canegrub and sugarcane weevil borer before becoming a general extension officer for BSES until 2002. For the next six years she worked with the sugar industry as a director of Innisfail Babinda Cane Productivity Services as well as carrying out productivity analysis for cane growers as a contractor with BSES.

Debra has been with CANEGROWERS Innisfail since 2008 in the part-time role of Reef Rescue Extension Officer assisting many growers with successful reef rescue projects. Over the last five years she has also taken on a number of other part-time roles in the sugar industry. In 2010 Debra was the Reef Protection Support Officer, assisting growers understand the new legislative requirements imposed on the sugar industry, as well as helping growers complete an ERMP if required to do so. When Cyclone Yasi crossed the coast, Debra stepped into the role of Industry Recovery Officer to assist growers in the area to repair and rebuild their farming enterprises. Last year she assisted in development and extension of a workforce development plan for the sugarcane industry coordinated by CANEGROWERS Queensland.

Debra is now looking forward to assisting growers embrace and achieve BMP on their farms.

Debra Telford

Debra Telford

Innisfail

T: 07 4063 2477

M: 0428 875 069

E: Click Here

Tully

Frank Hughes is a canefarmer in the Tully district. With his wife Lyn and two sons, who attend high school, he supplies about 10,000 tonne to Tully Sugar. Frank’s family resides in Cardwell, a small seaside town of about 1100 people. His farm is twenty kilometres north of the township. After some initial land was cleared he harvested the first cane off the block in 1995. Further development and improvements have been occurring ever since. Frank’s family have been involved in farming all his life, primarily in beef cattle, small crops and then cane when the industry expanded in the early 90s.

Frank completed a fitter and turner apprenticeship at Tully Sugar in the early 80s. He then did a long stint with an exotic pine plantation company up until late 2012. Developing and working a canefarm while sugar prices were low required having an off farm job, making for some long days and nights. In the plantation company he started off operating different items of heavy plant, then moved on to be a supervisor and finished as principal overseer. In 2008 he attained a Diploma of Business, and then in 2010, a Diploma in Forest Growing and Forest Products. Over this time he has gained knowledge in planning and carrying out operational plans for site development, maintenance, harvesting and export of product.

One of his biggest challenges was to bring his own canefarm back into full production after Cyclone Yasi smashed the entire crop in 2011, leaving a harvest of just two-fifths of its normal tonnage. At the same time, as principal overseer, he had a major role in the planning and operational supervision of the salvage operation to recover as much pine plantation as was possible before the timber became unrecoverable.

Currently Frank is working the farm and taking on contract work in a range of areas including GIS mapping and hauling cane by truck. He says he is enjoying having more time to spend with family and not having to steer rows after having a GPS system fitted.

Frank Hughes

Frank Hughes

Tully

T: 07 4068 4900

M: 0419 653 329

E: Click Here

Herbert River

Maria Battoraro has been with CANEGROWERS Herbert River for some 25 years, with an interlude of eight years in Business Banking at QIDC and Suncorp. She is well known to growers in the local area, liaising on a wide variety of sugar industry matters, from harvesting to cane payment to forward pricing to drainage, to name just a few.

Maria has been the Secretary of the Lower Herbert Water Management Authority (covers 10,500 ha of cane land) for past eight years and Secretary of the Herbert Resource Information Centre (Joint Venture Partnership with Council, Miller, Local Govt, and other industry stakeholders ) for 13 years.

At the office level, Maria manages the administrative team and oversights payroll, accounts and insurance. She also manages the CANEGROWERS Herbert River building assets, including the local Mitre 10 Store.

Over the past few years Maria has stepped in to organise grower workshops for ERMP accreditation, and after Cyclone Yasi, managed the cyclone industry recovery officers. She is also a qualified JP and holds a Diploma of Business Management and Cert IV (TAE) in Training & Assessment.

Maria Battoraro

Maria Battoraro

Herbert River

T: 07 4776 5350

M: 0437 833 584

E: Click Here

Burdekin


Terry Granshaw is the local facilitator in the Burdekin.  Stay tuned for his profile & photo soon.

Terry Granshaw

Burdekin

M: 0437 553 149

E: Click Here

Proserpine

Christine Peterson started with CANEGROWERS Proserpine in August 2013. Having worked for the Proserpine Cane Protection and Productivity Board and then BSES in both the Proserpine and Burdekin districts, Christine is not new to the industry. Her previous roles included farm resource planning, water use efficiency and change management systems (controlled traffic farming). For the last nine years Christine has been involved with natural resource management as Catchment Coordinator, working with Whitsunday Catchment Landcare and the Landcare community on pest control projects, sustainable farming, native vegetation management, water quality, property planning and rehabilitation as well as communicating with land managers, government departments and industry. Christine brings this broad knowledge base of issues and stakeholders with her to her new role.

Christine believes integrating management across the whole property is vital for a profitable, productive and sustainable enterprise; from pest management to soil health and everything in between. She says BMP is about managing inputs and managing the resources available to get the best result. Aspiring to meet or exceed BMP isn’t about meeting requirements set out by others, but about attaining the best results that can be achieved for the farm and being rewarded by better profit and improved sustainability for the business, the next generation of farmers and generations to come for the rest of the community as well.

Christine Peterson

Christine Peterson

Proserpine

T: 07 4945 1844

M: 0429 467 615

E: Click Here

Mackay

John Turner is Mackay Area Productivity Services Limited’s (MAPS) new BMP Facilitation Officer.

John has worked in the agriculture industry in Central Queensland for the last 18 years, with the majority of that time spent working within the sugar industry.

John started with BSES Mackay in 1997 collecting and testing sugarcane, then moved to Proserpine working on soil water characteristics and sugarcane water use properties.

A move across to the local productivity board had John producing farm maps to improve growers’ awareness of natural assets and their management.

In 2000 John was back in Mackay on the Rural Water Use Efficiency Project delivering irrigation management tools and procedures to growers to help them to understand how plants utilise soil water to allow them to improve crop water use.

A move into general extension saw him involved in many grower and industry trials measuring and presenting findings back to the sugarcane industry, including the running of the Back On Track farming systems Project. John moved into agribusiness in 2005 taking on roles in agri-sales/agronomic advice at the individual grower level and worked for a couple of local ag-suppliers.

For the last few years John stepped into management roles in general agri merchandise and regional fertiliser sales.

John started with MAPS in January 2015 as the new Smartcane BMP Facilitation Officer. He has a wide-ranging skill set and knowledge base that will be very helpful when assisting growers achieve their Smartcane BMP modules.

John said he believed the Smartcane BMP program was a great opportunity for growers to assess their practices, which would allow them to strategically set their own direction to achieve best practice on their farms. This will also allow them to be recognised for these achievements within the sugar industry, governments and communities.

John Turner

Mackay

T: 07 4963 6832

M:0438 620 507

E: Click Here

John Eden , is the Chief Operations Officer at CANEGROWERS Mackay and provides on-going advice on cashflows, budgets, irrigation, farm economics, farm financials, farm productivity issues and industry regulation.

agricultural economist, and registered consultant for the Ag Insititute (Australian Association of Agricultural Consultants), John also has a Bachelor of Agricultural Management Degree and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM).

John is a Reef Rescue Precision Planning Consultant and a Smartcane BMP Facilitator.

John Eden

John Eden

Mackay

M: 0438 730 379

E: Click Here

Bundaberg

Veronica Timm is well known to growers in the Bundaberg area, having spent the last eight years in a finance and administration management role with CANEGROWERS Bundaberg. During this time she has also coordinated and assisted with government funded projects, events and training. She has an impressive career in accounting and finance management, including four years in public accounting including auditing of companies and not-for-profit entities and eight years as a company accountant, company secretary and company director.

Veronica holds a Bachelor of Education/Bachelor of Commerce through the Queensland University of Technology and a Diploma of Teaching – Commerce, which she completed through the Kelvin Grove College of Advanced Education. She spent nine years as a secondary school teacher in public and private collages teaching business related subjects including computing.

An active Rotarian, Veronica recently started playing golf a couple of years ago, albeit frustratingly not very well she says. She is looking forward to working with local growers on the Smartcane BMP process.

Veronica Timm

Veronica Timm

Bundaberg

T: 07 4151 2555

E: Click Here

Isis

Wayne Stanley joined CANEGROWERS in 1970 in the Burdekin and was appointed Manager of CANEGROWERS Isis in 1980.

He is a strong grower advocate always aspiring to achieve the organisation’s mission of providing representation, leadership and services and promoting unity in the interest of our members. He is also Company Secretary of Isis Productivity Limited and Central Harvesting Cooperative Limited and Secretary/Treasurer of Isis Landcare Group Inc.

He has been responsible for the project management and delivery of many grower innovation projects, training and workshops, including Rural Water Use Efficiency and Reef Rescue.

Wayne Stanley

Wayne Stanley

Isis

T: 07 4126 1444

M: 0428 734 756

E: Click Here

Bruce Quinn, is a skilled sugarcane industry field officer with 38 years’ experience particularly with the identification and control of sugarcane pests and diseases. Bruce began his career in the sugarcane industry as a farm manager in 1976 and moved in 1981 to work for the Bingera Cane Protection & Productivity Board as a much sought after and respected pest and disease inspector along with management the clean seed plot until 2000. For the past 13 years Bruce has worked for Isis Productivity Limited as a Productivity Officer where he distributed new cane varieties to growers, organised planting of IPL plots, inspected planting material and handled the long hot water treatment of sugarcane. Throughout his career at Isis Productivity Board, Bruce was a strong supporter of BMP for growing sugarcane within his region.

His industry experience in pest and disease eradication includes strong involvement in the RSD Eradication Plan to reduce RSD occurrence in the Isis cane supply area. Bruce also was a key instigator of the Isis reduction in Mosaic occurrence through the distribution of resistant varieties and was the first person in Queensland to discover sugarcane Smut. With extensive training and experience in computer mapping and satellite imagery, Bruce also has chemical accreditation and is a recognised machinery inspector for Biosecurity Queensland. Bruce has lived in the Pine Creek area between Bundaberg and Childers for 37 years and is passionate about fishing, cricket and rugby league.

Bruce Quinn

Bruce Quinn

Isis

T: 07 4126 1444

E: Click Here

Maryborough

Barry Callow, Field Agronomist with Maryborough Sugar has thirty years’ experience in horticulture and sugar cane production. Barry, a graduate of University of Queensland Gatton campus, was based in north Queensland for fourteen years.

During this time he was a sales agronomist for a seed company then went on to become the area manager for Cynamid/BASF, involved in the development and sales of agricultural chemicals.

More recently, Barry spent five years with BSES Limited as a senior weeds agronomist based in Bundaberg, his home town. He now lives in Hervey Bay and has become a keen cyclist.

Barry Callow

Barry Callow

Maryborough

T: 07 4121 4441

M: 0487 017 811

E: Click Here

State

Mick Quirk is the Project Manager of the Smartcane Best Management Practice (BMP) project.

Mick Quirk brings decades of agricultural research and extension experience to the sugarcane industry’s stewardship and productivity program, Smartcane BMP. He’s starting his tenure as Project Manager with a tour of sugarcane growing regions to meet with BMP facilitators.

“I’ve joined the BMP program at a time in which the focus has shifted from development to one of adoption, which is exciting,” Mick says. “The program has a very solid foundation and the immediate challenge is to find ways to make the process as efficient as possible while building its value for growers and industry.”

“ A lot of growers have registered and done the self-assessment stage. Now we need to see more of these growers seeking accreditation and then using the program as a way of identifying further opportunities for improved productivity and sustainability.

“I look forward to meeting with the BMP district facilitators and discussing the progress of the program and their ideas for improving the process and its value for growers.”

Prior to taking on the BMP roles, Mick was with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) where he managed on-farm Research and Development investment. He’s also a 23 year veteran of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries where he was an agronomist before leading a Queensland-wide research and extension team of up to 55 staff focussed on sustainable beef production systems.

Mick is no stranger to the issues of water quality and Great Barrier Reef impact that the cane industry is facing, having been a member of the Independent Science Panel for the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan.

“The BMP program looks at all aspects of growing a successful cane crop with three of the modules also relating directly to how growers can practically reduce loss of nutrients, sediment and pesticides from their farms, thereby helping reduce the risk of any impacts to the reef and associated environments,” Mick says.

“BMP is important for growers in a number of ways.

“The more that the industry can demonstrate that it is applying current best practice for managing nutrients, water and pesticides, the less pressure there will be for regulations or other external interventions into industry practice.

“Just as importantly, the program can help growers identify those practices, or the modifications to current practices, that are most likely to improve efficiency and production.”

Mick disagrees with the view that BMP is just a process for getting ticks and/or crosses, with no lasting value to the grower. 

“The BMP process should be an effective and time-efficient approach for identifying opportunities to improve farming practices and productivity,” he says. “Differences between current practices and those deemed to represent best practice could be due to the specific circumstances on the farm. In some cases, however, there may be real opportunity for improvement that could be explored further.

“The program has district facilitators in place to help producers with the process including accessing any new information and training they need.”

Mick says his work in the grazing industry was focussed on distilling the results of research and making these available to producers in a way that maximised their practical value.

“BMP offers a process for putting new R&D results and innovations into the context of an individual farm, thereby ensuring growers are aware of potential improvements on a continuous basis.

“In this way, the BMP process offers lasting value for growers. Ensuring BMP offers this value to growers will be an important part of my work at CANEGROWERS,” he said.

 

 

 

Mick Quirk

BMP Project Manager

T: 073864 6472

M: 0408 748 141

E: Click Here