NATIONAL Agriculture Day presents the perfect opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the beef industry’s capable land managers and diverse workforce, according to the new chair of the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework and Queensland beef producer, Mark Davie.
“The Australian beef industry spans 52 percent of our land mass, and day in day out the stewards of this country are working to manage their environment, demonstrating their commitment as custodians of land and livestock,” Mr Davie said.
“On National Agricultural Day, more than ever, we encourage beef producers to proudly share their stories, helping to promote our industry to customers, but also attract new workers that want to be part of the world-leading production systems we have in Australia.”
Mr Davie is adamant that measuring, verifying and demonstrating responsible and productive land management, and utilising tools such as the ABSF to highlight those credentials, is the best way to respond to criticism aimed at red meat production.
“We are stewards of the land, and the development of programs to further build biodiverse ecosystems will help to reinforce positive stories of the beef industry in a meaningful and verified way. They also work to defend our production systems from criticism from those with an anti-livestock agenda.
“As reported by the ABSF in our annual update, we have already seen emissions reduce by over 50pc since 2005 and we know that cattle production is only responsible for 10pc of total emissions – so we have a great story to share and National Ag Day is a chance to say thank you to all those beef producers who are making a real difference.”
Mr Davie also believes that a growing workforce is key to a sustainable and thriving beef industry, with employees supported through ongoing training and development.
“A safe, healthy, and capable workforce, together with prosperous and resilient regional communities, is essential to the long-term sustainability of beef production.
“We are attracting workers and ensuring they receive the training and support they need. It’s incredibly encouraging to see the number of beef industry traineeships and apprenticeships increasing over the previous four years, and it’s vital we continue to track this moving forward.
“The beef industry promotes a healthy and growing workforce and can provide greater access to skills and labour. This National Agriculture Day, we want to promote land management and other amazing careers in our industry, where people can contribute to producing healthy, safe, nutritious food for everyone.”
The ABSF was developed by the Australian beef industry, and currently reports on workplace capacity, focusing on education, training, and diversity in the workforce.
One such example of the beef industry increasing capacity is the Pastoral Real Jobs Program, operated by the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association. Through the program, NTCA has provided training and job opportunities to more than 250 Indigenous people, setting them up with crucial life skills to secure employment within the industry.
Alice Springs-born Lenita Nellie Pepperill Turner, 18 was selected to participate in the 2021 Pastoral Real Jobs Program.
Ms Turner said a vet course at school that involved horse work inspired her to seek out career opportunities within the pastoral industry, “I’ve taken a great interest in station work, and I want to gain more knowledge and work on stations to see how they operate,” she said.
“I hope the Real Jobs Program will give me the skills I need to make a career for myself within the cattle industry and I want to show other young women that the cattle industry has opportunities for everyone. I am hoping to become a good role model for my sisters so they follow my footsteps into the industry.”
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