An AgForce producer with their cattle.
An AgForce producer with their cattle.

AgForce, CQ Uni strengthen partnership

A new era in producer education and industry engagement has begun with a new level of partnership between AgForce and Central Queensland University.

The partnership was formed to develop a road map to revitalise agricultural research and training infrastructure at Belmont Research Station in Central Queensland.

AgForce AgForce General President Georgie Somerset and CQ University Vice Chancellor and President Nick Klomp said the partnership, established in 2014, will be taken to the next level by creating an expanded agricultural research and training ecosystem that connects producers, researchers and trainers.

AgForce General President Georgie Somerset.
AgForce General President Georgie Somerset.

Currently, through the Maynard Cattle Company, the partnership connects high-school educators through the Rockhampton Grammar School and others.

“AgForce, CQ University and our partners have already established a strong legacy of research and development at Belmont Research Station,” Ms Somerset said.

“But we now want to see this expand through new alliances that allow us to design a research ecosystem centred at Belmont and connected to research and industry facilities across the region.

“Over the next three months AgForce and CQ University will be engaging with industry stakeholders to design the expanded research and training partnership, with a view to presenting an infrastructure revitalisation plan to government and industry for their support.

“We’re looking for organisations that want to be at the coal face applying their expertise to help solve the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture,” Ms Somerset said.

CQ University Vice Chancellor Nick Klomp said Belmont Station had been the premier research station for the northern Australian beef industry for more than 60 years but with agriculture in 2021 operating in a dramatically different landscape, the time was right to develop a plan to revitalise the infrastructure at Belmont and connect it to the broader needs of industry.

“The planning process will include improved connections to researchers and facilities from related domains, including resource economics, land and water management, and extension,” Professor Klomp said.

Central Queensland University Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp. Picture Rodney Stevens
Central Queensland University Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp. Picture Rodney Stevens

“Belmont’s future should closely complement the research facilities nearby at CQ Uni’s CQ Innovation Research Precinct in Rockhampton, and should facilitate interactions with the likes of Queensland’s Rural Economies Centre of Excellence.

“We will develop a detailed plan that outlines the infrastructure needed to support a range of innovative research and training activities, as well as bringing together the right people and resources to deliver on that ambition.

“We want to return Belmont Research Station to its glory days, but with the latest technologies and practices on display.”

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