A new angle on extension services

May 7, 2019

Terrain NRM has appointed an agribusiness extension officer in preparation for a new “Reef Credits” scheme.

Reef Credit projects generate income for farmers when they change farming practices to reduce pollutants entering waterways and flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

Patrick McArthur is supporting primary producers to understand and take advantage of the opportunity.

“Reef Credits are a tradeable unit representing a quantifiable amount of nutrient, pesticide or sediment that has been prevented from entering the GBR catchment. It is just one tool in a bigger toolbox that can lead to better water quality outcomes, whilst still allowing the landholder to generate income,” he said.

“And just like the rest of the stuff in the toolbox, it’s up to farmers to make an assessment as to whether it would suit them and their specific personal circumstances.”

Mr McArthur says the ability to maintain a rural lifestyle and successful agricultural industry is vitally important.

“Reef Credits can provide certainty for both landholders and investors. Landholders are able to earn diversified and regular income, and investors get quantified and verified results for money.”

Agribusiness extension officer, Patrick McArthur

Patrick brings more than 20 years of banking and finance experience to the role. His business and analytical skills can assist local producers in meeting their business goals, through assistance with business planning.

“Farm business planning doesn’t have to be painful. It’s really just making a roadmap to where you want to take your farming business,” said Mr McArthur.

Depending on the individual farmer and their needs, business planning might look at things like a general review of debt, investments, insurance, farm conditions, succession and retirement plans, and upcoming needs or opportunities.

Patrick can also provide business modelling support, which is a way for farmers to explore different business choices for their farm.

“Like anyone, farmers want to make informed, prudent decisions. Business modelling uses data to test different scenarios, and is a useful tool to help work out the best tailored options before implementing any actual change to the farming business.”

Patrick can be contacted on 0412 719 392 or email patrick.mcarthur@terrain.org.au

Read more about Reef Credits and Ecosystem Service Markets here.