Derek Lightfoot and Dalene Wray at the Food,Farming and Our Future Forum. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Derek Lightfoot and Dalene Wray at the Food,Farming and Our Future Forum. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka Rokafarming

Farming forum focuses on the future

DISCUSSIONS at Rockhampton's Food, Farming and our Future forum revolved around agricultural opportunities and it seemed Central Queensland was the pick of the bunch when it came to diversity in farming.

Derek Lightfoot from Yeppoon-based Tropical Pines and Dalene Wray from Obe Organic were both on the panel at yesterday's forum.

Dalene said they talked to the audience about opportunities the Food, Farming and our Future report highlighted.

"We really talked about what the report highlighted for agriculture and how we might capitalise on those opportunities," Dalene said.

"The great news is there is heaps of opportunity for agriculture in Central Queensland."

Derek said they talked about some of the struggles as well as the opportunities.

"It was a wide ranging discussion of agriculture and the state of it today," Derek said.

"We are looking forward to the opportunities in the future and considering some of the difficulties we have got to overcome."

Dalene said producers talked about the possibility of collaborations throughout the day and it was a promising forum which brought forth positive discussions.

"Producers didn't only talk about collaborations with fellow producers but also with government and industry to achieve better outcomes," she said.

Derek said despite all of the great discussions there was still cause to be careful.

"If we expand our agricultural enterprises we have to be careful, we need to make sure we have markets to sell them in," he said.

"We talked a lot about where some of those markets lie and the opportunity for export."

Dalene suggested Australia and Central Queensland could learn from New Zealand in regards to some of the agricultural practices they were using.

"Australia could learn from some of the great things New Zealand Farmers did 10 years ago and their reaping the rewards now," she said.

Derek agreed with Dalene and said he looked forward to following in New Zealand's footsteps to improve the agricultural industry in CQ.



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