Bringing a banana grower’s perspective to extension
Rob has been a part of the Australian banana industry for over 25 years and is very passionate about its future. Born and raised at the foot of Mt Bartle Frere, Queensland’s highest mountain, Rob grew bananas for 16 years on his family’s farm and continues to grow cane today.
Rob has had a diverse working career. After finishing Grade 10, he completed a Certificate 3 in mechanical engineering at the Babinda Sugar Mill, has worked on banana farms, built boats, sold farm machinery and driven cane harvesters.
In 2013 Rob chose a new career path in extension, accepting a role with the Australian Banana Growers’ Council as a Reef Extension Officer. In this role, Rob assisted Far North Queensland banana growers implement industry’s Environmental Best Management Practices and provided training in the use of the Better Bunch data recording app. Now his extension skills are being used in the National Banana Development & Extension Program helping deliver activities such as the National Banana Roadshows, workshops, field days, NextGen, BAGMan and innovation field trials. The program’s renewed focus on one-on-one extension will mean many banana growers will see a familiar face visiting their farms to discuss how the program can assist them.
In his spare time, Rob enjoys spending time with his family and friends and fishing (when time and weather permits). He also enjoys banana muffins and banana fritters with ice cream.
NQ Field Officer
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture