No new tree has been knocked down for beef production in Queensland for the past 24 years, says the head of Australia's peak cattle feedlot organisation.
But Bryce Camm, president of the Australian Lot Feeders Association, said the "average Australian punter" would think Queensland farmers were still "flattening trees hell, west and crooked".
He grew up in central Queensland where tree clearing has been a sensitive issue for many years and used as a political football by both sides of politics.
However, the reality was, he told the annual Australian Wagyu Association conference in Adelaide, that only about 13pc of Queensland had ever been cleared.
Yet land clearing in his home state was being compared to the deforestation of Brazil's Amazon.
The necessary management of Brigalow regrowth was a very different story to clearing the Amazon, he said.
He used the long-running political row over land clearing in Queensland as an example of how easily farmers' messages can be lost in wider community debates.
Mr Camm had been asked from the floor about the best way for the beef industry to rebuff the rise in attacks on its environmental footprint and contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
"Unfortunately the wider red meat (industry), and in particular, beef, has copped an unfair amount of flak on the global stage around our production and sustainability credentials particularly around environmental issues," he said.
"In the Australian production environment we need to fight back on that very, very hard.and be very direct and clear around the good stories we have to tell."
He said the drive by the Australian red meat industry to become carbon neutral by 2030 was resonating positively with a global audience.
The move had the potential to nullify much of the debate about the beef sector's environmental impacts if the industry got better at articulating the story.
Mr Camm's family operates a large-scale beef rearing, trading and finishing business in north and central Queensland including the Wonga Plains feedlot near Dalby.
Hugh Killen, CEO of mega cattle producer, AACo, also touched on the rising tide of criticism aimed at agriculture and beef production in his keynote address to the Wagyu conference.
He said agriculture needed a "coalition of the reasonable" to protect the industry from the more extreme voices attacking the food and livestock sectors.
The group should be diverse and share an unwavering commitment to sustainable production and environmental stewardship.
Mr Killen said practical steps had to be taken as soon as possible to establish the credibility of the coalition rather than waiting until the industry was hit by a crisis.