Applications open for enhanced Producer Demonstration Sites program

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 (2019) to apply for funding.

Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS) program has been enhanced to now include levy and co-contributor funding options for projects ranging from two years to a maximum of six years.

MLA is now calling for preliminary applications for PDS projects from beef and sheepmeat producer groups throughout Australia.

MLA Program Manager – Adoption, David Packer, said changes to the PDS program’s framework were made following feedback from a variety of stakeholders, as well as learnings from MLA’s Producer Innovation Fast Track pilot.

“The PDS program has successfully resulted in evidenced-based practice change that has increased productivity and profitability for the adopting production systems,” Mr Packer said.

“Long-term, hands-on learning programs such as PDS projects are more likely to result in practice change on-farm.

“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.

“The outcome of wider, consistent adoption will ultimately be an increase to broader Australian red meat industry prosperity.”

Producer groups wishing to engage in a Levy PDS project can apply for up to $25,000 per year, for the length of the project, and producer groups wishing to engage in a Co-Contributor PDS project can apply for up to $50,000 per year, for the length of the project.

“Co-Contributor projects require producer investment in the project, which is matched by MLA Donor Company (MDC),” 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.”

A Levy funded PDS comprises:

  • Funding of up to $25,000 per year for the project term (two to six years)
  • A minimum of three sites and ten core producers, though is flexibility offered for extensive regions
  • Must address Research Advisory Council PDS priorities, as defined in the Terms of Reference.

A Co-Contributor funded PDS comprises:

  • Funding of up to $50,000 per year for the project term (two to six years)
  • Funded 25% producer cash contribution, 25% MDC and 50% levy (includes matching Australian Government research funds)
  • 8% MDC Access Fee applicable (on total project value)
  • A minimum of three sites and ten core producers, though flexibility is offered for extensive regions
  • Align with industry targets and priorities as per the Meat Industry Strategic Plan, Beef Industry Strategic Plan, Sheep Industry Strategic Plan and MLA Strategic Plan.

Preliminary PDS applications should be submitted on or before Friday, 30 August 2019.

Source: MLA

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