Reef awards to showcase industry’s best

By QDO President, Brian Tessmann

Dairy has always been a proactive industry when it comes to natural resource management and we should celebrate this with showing our wider community the custodial nature of our farmers. While dairy is by no means the largest agricultural impactor on the Reef it continues to a sector wide leader in implementing on-farm best management practice changes to reduce its footprint. 

The Reef Alliance Awards is a fantastic opportunity to do this. It is so important that as an industry and a community we recognise the efforts our farmers are making towards improving their land management practices and thereby the water quality flowing into the Great Barrier Reef.

Over the past 9 years through funding from the Australian Government’s Reef Rescue and Reef Programme the dairy reef programs have engaged 157 farms, been able to support the development of 149 soil and nutrient management plans and provide support through incentives to 71 farmers with 119 projects valuing a total of $3 million.

In previous years of the Reef Alliance Awards we have celebrated farmers such as Dennis Brynes from the Atherton Tablelands who has made improvements to his effluent management system, irrigation system and riparian areas through creek crossing. Dennis has been a great ambassador and example of how Queensland dairy farmers are leading the way in implementing on-farm changes making a big difference.

I encourage all farmers to think of any of their neighbours and fellow farmers that should be recognised for their contribution towards improving the quality of water leaving their farm through either improved nutrient, sediment or pesticide management. It is essential that dairy farmers continue to step up tell their good story on behalf of the industry and the sector as a whole.

Proactive programs like the Australian Government’s Reef Programme and similar programs are essential for the accelerated adoption of improved management practices on our farms. And we welcome the opportunity by all Government sectors to continue with similar projects.

For more information on the Reef Alliance Awards please visit