where it all began
evolution of project pioneer
The Project Pioneer concept originated from discussions between Resource Consulting Services (RCS) and WWF with a collective desire to see farm practices change in order to demonstrate the connection between the ecological sustainability and financial success of grazing businesses. It has since developed to involve over eight key organisations and 150 family businesses across more than one million hectares.
With funding from WWF and RCS, ten producers from the Fitzroy and Burdekin catchments were studied to document the attitudes, approaches and outcomes being achieved from their participation in RCS’ programs. The study found these producers had adopted more sustainable practices on-farm, increased their business’ profitability and were happier.
Key funding granted
Key discussions between WWF and the John T Reid Foundation successfully resulted in funding to perform on-ground works for reef outcomes.
Project Pioneer officially launched
Project Pioneer was officially rolled out, and over 750,000 hectares of land came under management of the program. Fifty grazing businesses from across Cape York, the Burdekin, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary catchment areas joined the project and adopted practices to reduce erosion in grazing lands and improve water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. The project was then extended to offer the Grazing for Profit™ School to a further 50 grazing businesses.
Another 550,000ha, and growing
The project turned to focus on high priority areas of sediment loss, and an additional 50 grazing businesses entered the program. This extended the land area impacted to over 1,300,000ha – and growing.
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Project Pioneer is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The project is delivered by RCS with support from WWF, Maia Technology, Farm Map 4D and CQUniversity.