Livestock producer groups interested in running local projects to validate the on-farm benefits of research and development findings have until the end of August to apply for funding.
Meat & Livestock Australia’s Producer Demonstration Sites program has been enhanced to include levy and co-contributor funding options for projects ranging from two years to a maximum of six years.
MLA is calling for preliminary applications for PDS projects from beef and sheep meat producer groups across Australia.
MLA adoption program manager David Packer said the PDS program had successfully resulted in evidenced-based practice change that had increased productivity and profitability for the adopting production systems.
‘‘Long-term, hands-on learning programs such as PDS projects are more likely to result in practice change on-farm,’’ Mr Packer said.
‘‘Enhancements to the existing PDS framework will provide the opportunity for longer-term projects and for producers across extensive regions to participate in activities that lead to maintained practice change and learning.
Producer groups wishing to engage in a Levy PDS project can apply for up to $25000 a year, for the length of the project, and producer groups wishing to engage in a Co-Contributor PDS project can apply for up to $50000 a year, for the length of the project.
‘‘Co-Contributor projects require producer investment in the project, which is matched by MLA Donor Company,’’ Mr Packer said.
‘‘The PDS program aims to increase the rate of adoption of key management practices and 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.’’
■Preliminary PDS applications should be submitted on or before Friday, August 30. The terms of reference, updated producer application guidelines and forms are available to download from: www.mla.com.au/globalassets/mla-corporate/news-and-events/documents/pds-terms-of-reference-open-call-july2019.pdf