Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner
Southern Downs Sheep Feedlot Creates New Market And Job Opportunities
Victor P Taffa
A Western Queensland cattle and sheep producer will build a new sheep feedlot in the Southern Downs and support close to 150 regional jobs with a funding boost from the Palaszczuk Government.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Schmidt Grazing Industries was one of 14 businesses in Queensland to receive a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant of up to $250,000 to fund the expansion of their business.
“Schmidt Grazing Industries is a family owned and operated business that has identified an opportunity to capitalise on an emerging opportunity for sheep producers.” Minister Furner said.
“Funding will be used to construct a new lamb feedlot over three phases. By the third phase the feedlot will be able to hold 16,200 head.”
“This project will create jobs that directly and indirectly support the development of the sheep industry in Queensland.”
“We know the COVID-19 pandemic has made it tough for a lot of businesses and communities, so these additional jobs will be most welcome.” Minister Furner said.
Victoria Hill Lamb Feedlot will be constructed at Schmidt Grazing Enterprise’s Victoria Hill operation, supporting close to 150 full time jobs across the region once all phases are completed.
Grazier and project owner Stephen Schmidt said the feedlot would help diversify Schmidt Grazing Industries’ business portfolio.
“Feedlot will allow Schmidt Grazing Industries to value add their own livestock as well as buying in from other sheep producers.” Mr. Schmidt said.
“We have extensively researched modern and innovative feedlot designs, based on years of advisors’ experience, data analysis and the latest technology to maximise profitability.”
“Primary production value chain will be impacted at all stages: sheep producers, contract mustering, livestock agents, livestock transport companies, vets, grain, hay and silage farmers, freight companies, livestock supplement suppliers, saleyards and abattoirs, meat packagers, butchers and meat wholesalers.”
Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The $10 Million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.
A total of 14 businesses have received $3.34 Million under the second round of funding for the RED Grants program. Overall, these 14 projects are expected to create more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.
Funding for Round 3 of the RED Grants will be announced later this year.
Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.