GrazingFutures Livestock Business Resilience

The GrazingFutures Livestock Business Resilience (GrazingFutures LBR) program aims to build profitable, resilient and drought-ready livestock operations across Queensland.

GrazingFutures LBR supports regional livestock extension teams to provide whole-of-business services to producers. This includes assisting with  business planning, identifying key business risks, assessing management options and implementing practices to cope with drought and other business challenges. The project also helps producers access new drought support packages (grants and loans) to prepare for, and better manage low rainfall years.

This project is funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and the Queensland Government’s Drought and Climate Adaptation Program.

GrazingFutures LBR objectives

  1. Provide land, livestock, people and business management support services to Queensland’s extensive graziers to assist with:
    • assessment-analysis of livestock operations
    • business planning
    • the implementation of identified strategies to build business-drought resilience.
  1. Improve the skills, confidence and capacity of public and private sector grazing industry support staff to assist producers build sustainable, profitable and drought-ready livestock operations.
  2. Partner with government, non-government agencies and other partners to deliver comprehensive support to livestock producers and value-add to existing services.
  3. Analyse, document and innovatively showcase:
    • regional strategies to prepare for, manage and recover from drought
    • grazing business best practice as it relates to land, livestock, people and financial management (legacy products)
    • the achievements of GrazingFutures LBR in helping producers improve the productivity, profitability and resilience of their livestock operations.

GrazingFutures LBR focuses on:

  1. Integrating with the Queensland Government’s Office of Great Barrier Reef (OGBR) program and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) ReefPlan Beef Extension Support and Grazing Resilience and Sustainable Solutions (GRASS) projects in the Fitzroy basin, Burdekin and Burnett Mary catchments to promote business planning and the implementation of best practice land, livestock and financial management. Many drought resilience strategies are highly consistent with the key practices to improve reef water quality e.g. maintaining land condition and ground cover; responsive herd management and destocking decisions.
  2. Promoting business resilience planning and distribute the Farm Business Resilience Plan template throughout the GrazingFutures, GRASS, Reef Extension, Leading Sheep, Advancing Beef Leaders (ABL) and Northern Breeding Business (NB2) livestock producer networks.
  3. Delivering regionally appropriate livestock business extension activities (e.g. workshops/peer-to-peer learning/online or webinar/one-on–one/small group) that include the opportunity for producers to complete and discuss the Livestock Self-Assessment Checklist for their operation.
  4. Providing extensive livestock producers expertise in: land management, animal production, options analysis and business analysis to address identified risks and capitalise on opportunities to improve drought and business resilience.
  5. Supporting producers to implement drought and business management strategies and, if eligible, provide guidance in accessing new drought support packages (grants and loans).
  6. Completing bio-economic modelling and analysis of drought and business strategies in the Upper Burdekin, Burnett Mary and Maranoa regions.
  7. Building industry leadership to advocate best practice rangeland, livestock, animal welfare and business management across Queensland’s grazing lands through Advancing Beef Leaders (ABL).
  8. Training and professional development of industry advisors (including government, NRM, Rural Financial Counsellors and private providers) to build their skills, confidence and capacity to support livestock producers in managing drought and other business challenges. This is particularly important with DAF and partner organisations experiencing high staff turnover rates.
  9. Linking with the Leading Sheep project to assist Queensland’s sheep and wool producers to maximise productivity in good and hard times.
  10. Partnering with Healthy Land and Water drought project (south east Queensland).
  11. Linking with NB2 “Pathways to Practice” and grazier co-designed on-property activities to improve adoption of industry best practice, and financial-business record keeping and analysis.
  12. Conducting on-property demonstration (Producer Demonstration Sites) to showcase technologies and best practice grazing, livestock, business and drought management practices.

GrazingFutures LBR Partnerships

GrazingFutures LBR includes partnerships and collaboration with Natural Resource Management (NRM) Groups and Rural Financial Counsellors to better align inter-agency delivery, integrate emerging research messages and focus on improving business literacy and management.

The NRM partners (Southern Queensland Landscapes, Southern Gulf NRM and Gulf Savannah NRM) boost GrazingFutures LBR delivery services to producers in western Queensland. Key partners also include Rural Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) and Rural Solutions Queensland who employ and manage the Rural Financial Counsellors (RFC) in Queensland.

Designated RFC’s will partner closely with regional GrazingFutures LBR delivery teams to assist with whole-of-business and business planning services to extensive livestock producers. This will include linking producers to drought support, grant and loan packages, and assisting DAF with new regional bio-economic analyses of strategies for drought preparedness and management.  Additional partnerships (Table 1) with industry advocacy bodies, regional agri-businesses, Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), community mental health providers and local councils, are fostered under the GrazingFutures LBR to enhance the overall service provider response to producer and community needs.

Table 1. GrazingFutures LBR Partners and collaborators

Project partners*Project collaborators*
Gulf Savannah NRM
Department of Environment and Science
Southern Gulf NRMOffice of the Great Barrier Reef
Southern Queensland LandscapesHealthy Land and Water
Rural Solutions QldBurnett Mary Regional Group
RAPADFitzroy Basin Association
Connect AgNQ Dry Tropics
GR ConsultingQRIDA
Peter Long ConsultingRoyal Flying Doctor Service
Business EDGE (Ian McLean)Queensland Health
Advancing Beef Leaders (including 5 collaborators)NB2 (Dave Smith/Steve Banney)
Australian Wool Innovation
Meat & Livestock Australia

* Additional project partners and collaborators may be engaged to achieve project milestones.

1 January 2022 to 30 June 2024

Contact: Dave Smith, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Additional information and legacy documents

GrazingFutures LBR projects →

GrazingFutures LBR webinar recordings →

GrazingFutures LBR event summaries →

GrazingFutures LBR narratives and collaborations →

GrazingFutures LBR case studies of on-property change →

GrazingFutures LBR: Stepping your way through business planning  →