Funding applications are now open for cattle and sheep producers throughout Australia who are interested in running local projects to demonstrate on-farm benefits of research and development findings.
Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is calling for applications for its 2023-24 Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS) program, with applications opening on 3 April 2023 and closing on 16 May 2023. This includes levy and co-contributor funding options for projects ranging from two to six years.
MLA Group Manager, Adoption and Commercialisation, Sarah Strachan, said the PDS program aims to increase the rate of adoption of key management practices and commercially available technologies that improve business profitability, productivity and sustainability.
This is achieved by supporting livestock producers working in peer-to-peer groups to pursue new skills, knowledge and management practices applicable to their own commercial livestock production systems, and ultimately adoption of these practices.
“Adoption of research outcomes is critical to getting the best return on the research investments that MLA makes on behalf of levy payers,” Ms Strachan said. “This year we are looking forward to seeing applications come forward in a range of areas including cattle and sheep reproductive performance, best practice management of internal parasites, and improved grazing and land management practices to benefit productivity and sustainability.
“MLA’s investment since 2015 has delivered an estimated $12.7m in annual net benefits or $6.68/hectare.”
There are two funding options available to producer groups wishing to participate in the PDS program, being levy and co-contributor.
· Producer groups wishing to engage in a levy PDS project can apply for up to $30,000 per year for the length of the project.
· Groups wishing to engage in a co-contributor PDS project can apply for up to $60,000 per year for the length of the project.
All producer groups will need to engage a facilitator who is experienced in group coordination and extension, monitoring and evaluation of on-farm practice change and communication and reporting.
Co-contributor projects require cash investment in the project, which is matched by the MLA Donor Company (MDC).
Levy PDS program applications must be aligned to regional PDS priorities set by the Research Advisory Committees – SALRC, NABRC and WALRC. A complete list and further details of eligible categories can be found on the MLA website (Terms of Reference).
Co-contributor PDS program applications must align with industry priorities and targets as per industry and MLA strategic plans.
For full details of the Producer Demonstration sites (PDS) program and to watch webinar recordings about MLA’s PDS program and how to set yourself up for success in the upcoming PDS call, visit the Producer Demonstration Site section of MLA’s website.
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