Introduction to Leucaena Workshop

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Introduction to Leucaena Workshop 

Conference Agenda 
Wednesday 29 April 2020

President's Address and Welcome

Hugh Rea - The Leucaena Network

Hugh along with his wife Katie and 4 boys live at Rubina near Dingo in Central Queensland where they look after the southern part of the family partnership grazing business.

The family run a commercial Droughtmaster herd over five properties and target the Jap Ox market with surplus females fattened and sold direct to works.

In 2012, they were successful with the planting of 95 ha of Wondergraze which encouraged them to purchase the equipment required to plant more in the future without having the need for contractors.  In 2014, 250 ha of leucaena was planted and in 2018 a further 320 ha.

These last 2 paddocks were planted during very dry periods, however the plants have hung in there and the paddocks are on their way to being significantly more productive than before helping to meet our goal of +300kg carcases at 2 years of age.

Apart from Hugh’s involvement with TLN he and Katie provide support to a number of other local community groups around Dingo including the Rural Fire Brigade, Dingo State School P&C and bus committee.

Dr Nigel Tomkins - MLA

Nigel Tomkins manages the MLA Grass fed beef program. This portfolio or R&D and E&A activities covers both northern, southern systems and extends to the rangelands of Western Australia. Before joining MLA in 2015 Nigel was a research scientist with CSIRO in Rockhampton and Townsville and managed projects across Queensland, The Northern Territory and Western Australia. His publications extend across both scientific and industry journals and he maintains an active engagement in R&D activities in Australia and overseas. As R&D program manager he is responsible for ensuring the delivery of MLA funded activities across universities, state agencies and commercial entities that deliver a profitable and increasingly productive beef industry. He has had a long interest in leucaena production systems and delivering R&D to industry that supports the productivity and methane mitigating potential of leucaena for northern Australia.

Silvopastoral Systems and the Potential for Leucaena

Dr Alvaro Zapata Cadavid - CIPAV Colombia

Alvaro is qualified as a Veterinarian (Universidad de Caldas) and he has a  M.Sc. Renewable Energy and the Environment (University of Reading, England). His work with CIPAV has covered various fields of sustainable farming, livestock production and environment. He has extensive theoretical and practical knowledge of productive, technical and environmental aspects of the livestock sector; the conversion of traditional grasslands to sustainable silvopastoral systems –agroforestry with various trees species including leucaena; and the utilization of local resources integrating animal feeding and renewable energy production (biomass, biogas, gasification). Alvaro has extensive national and international experience (Brazil, Nicaragua, Panamá, El Salvador, Mexico, Burundi, Guyana, Ecuador) as a technical adviser, and, in the coordination and implementation of rural development projects that integrate environmental services and conservation, biodiversity, climate change and sustainable production of food, energy and livestock.


CIPAV (Centre for Research on Sustainable Agriculture) is a Colombian NGO whose mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of the rural sector and sustainable livestock production through research, development and outreach of environmentally friendly farming alternatives. It works in partnership with numerous groups, research centers, scientific and international cooperation institutions, rural communities and businesses that promote sustainable rural development in Colombia and in several countries of Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

Dr Nahuel Pachas - DAF

Dr Nahuel Pachas, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Senior Research Scientist.

Dr Nahuel Pachas has worked in silvopastoral and agroforestry systems research in Latin America for over 15 years and over 5 years in silvopastoral systems with leucaena-grass systems in Australia. He has experience working in teak-based agroforestry systems in Southeast Asia (ACIAR project, 2017-2019). Previous research topics were focused on productivity and ecological interactions between tree-grass-pasture components of the silvopastoral systems. Current research involves projects on carbon sequestration, silvopastoral systems in private native forest and silvicultural management of commercial plantations in Queensland, Australia.

Carbon 2030

Julien Gastaldi - Natural Carbon

Julien runs a family business that provides subcontracting services to the carbon industry, governments and corporates on GHG accounting & management, and the development of carbon projects.

He also leads Natural Carbon: a social enterprise that works to develop carbon farming projects with indigenous groups, farmers and other and managers, under a mission statement “to unlock sustainable agriculture and carbon transformations through scalable land management whose benefits prioritise indigenous prosperity, empowerment, food security and resilient communities."

Julien started working on the Beef Cattle Herd Management Method in 2017; first with Paraway then CPC, AACo, and now as part of an effort to mainstream the approach known as the Herd aggregation project, in partnership with Paraway , Corporate Carbon and Southern Gulf NRM.

He is here today to share the latest on how the industry could help tackle Climate Change.

Leucaena - New Territories

Bruce Mayne - Mayne Seeds

BORN: 30th February 1936 in Iceland where his family grew Bananas for a living. Bruce soon grew into bright, tall good looking man whose dark brooding features proved irresistible to women and men alike. 

EDUCATED: At the age of eight Bruce won a scholarship to Oxford where he did a double degree in digital technology and dentistry before he majored in corporate law. He then moved to Tibet where he tried growing Mangoes at the Everest Base camp. This proved as successful as his father’s attempts to grow bananas had been. The major drawback was that it was too high for bees to fly up, making pollination very difficult. This led to a major breakthrough when he discovered that penguin’s were able to achieve the same results.    

POSITIONS HELD. Whilst travelling through Middle East he visited Palestine and Israel. He proved so popular they coerced him into becoming Prime Minister of both countries at the same time. He soon tired of that and took a position as captain of the Mozambique ice hockey team.

He now lives at “Fairview” Calliope and says his greatest challenge to date is trying to grow leucaena into gravel banks. 

Sterile Leucaena

Assoc. Prof. Christopher Lambrides - UQ

Christopher is a Molecular Plant Breeder/Physiologist who gained his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science from UQ in 1981 majoring in Plant Breeding and Genetics. He then worked as a plant breeder for Pioneer Hi-Bred Aust. breeding summer crops for Northern Australia until 1990.  From 1991-2 he worked as a Graduate Assistant in the USDA Sunflower breeding program in Fargo, North Dakota while studying for a Master’s degree in Plant Breeding and Genetics which he received from North Dakota State University. In 1992 he completed a PhD in Molecular Plant Breeding/Physiology at UQ and later worked as a Post-Doctoral Scientist for CSIRO again working on summer crops addressing major issues confronting Northern Australian farmers. In 2003 he joined UQ and has been there ever since again focussing his research on crop and pasture challenges important to Northern Australia. He has had a long association with MLA and was a member of the UQ Leucaena breeding team that developed “Redlands” a psyllid resistant cultivar. He is now leading an MLA funded research program to breed Sterile Leucaena and has a keen interest on Buffel grass breeding to address the devastating syndrome ‘buffel grass dieback’ that has gripped the Queensland pastoral sector.

Tropical Pasture Update

The Leucaena Code of Practice - Discussion Forum

Bron Christensen - The Leucaena Network

With the Dawson River running through her blood, Bron is a fourth generation Theodore, Central Queensland grazier. Bron returned to Theodore in 2001 to purchase and operate a beef breeding enterprise with her husband.  Bron has a background in agriculture, rural health, business and project management. She holds a Bachelor of Business, and is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and is currently studying for her Bachelor of Science – Regenerative Agriculture.  She was previously Regional Manager - Dawson and Callide Valleys for Cotton Australia prior to her appointment as Executive Officer for The Leucaena Network in 2017.  Bron is passionate about the potential of leucaena and the benefits to the Australian red-meat industry.

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