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Producer demonstration sites

MLA’s Producer Demonstration Sites (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 through 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.

The key outcome of a PDS is adoption of the demonstrated management practices resulting in improved business performance.


Under the recently enhanced framework, there are two funding options available to producer groups wishing to participate in the PDS program, Levy and Co Contributor. Projects timelines range from a minimum of two years, up to maximum of six years.

Producer groups wishing to engage in Levy PDS project can apply for up to $25,000 per year, for the length of the project.

For those groups wishing to engage in Co-contributor PDS project can apply for up to $50,000 per year (plus access fee), for the length of the project. Co-contributor projects require producer investment (cash) in the project, which is matched by the MLA Donor Company (MDC). Funding for these projects is split as follows:

  • 50% Levy
  • 25% Producer cash contribution
  • 25% MDC
  • 8% access fee (of total project value)

Groups will require a facilitator, experienced in group coordination and extension, monitoring and evaluation of on-farm practice change and communication and reporting, to oversee the demonstration.

How to apply

MLA calls for preliminary applications for PDS project related to improving sheep and beef cattle enterprises business profitability, productivity and sustainability on an annual basis. Applications for the next call will open in April 2021. 

The 2020/21 PDS annual project call key dates:

Supporting documentation


Preliminary applications in response to terms of reference for PDS projects close.

2020/21 Terms of reference (to be uploaded on 26 March 2021)



PDS Preliminary Application Guidelines

MER Guidelines

Levy Preliminary Application

Co-Contributor Preliminary Application

Tender Declaration

Co-Contributor –Source of Funds Declaration

Co-Contributor Cashflow FAQ

Terms of reference (to be uploaded on 26 March 2021)

Modern Slavery Due Diligence – MLA Supply Chain questionnaire

Open: 1 April 2021.

Close: 12 May 2021.

Successful and unsuccessful preliminary applicants notified


 2 July 2021

Successful preliminary applicants to submit full applications via email to, cc to

Levy Full Application Form

Co-Contributor Full Application

PDS Full Application Guidelines

Close: 31 July 2020

Successful & unsuccessful full applicants notified


17 September 2021

New producer Demonstration Site projects commence subject to MLA approval processes and consultants acceptance of standard MLA terms and conditions.


October - December 2021

Webinar: Producer Demonstration Site open call

Recorded: 5 October 2016

Are you thinking of submitting a funding application to MLA’s Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) program open call? To give yourself the best chance of getting your application approved, watch this short webinar where program coordinator Russell Pattinson and MLA project managers provide tips and suggestions for how to ensure your application as compelling as possible.

The webinar provides an overview of the application process and walks through an example of a well-structured PDS application, talks through common mistakes/what not to do, gives an overview of what activities are and aren’t eligible for funding and provide some examples of effective communication and monitoring and evaluation plans.

This webinar is a must see for potential PDS coordinators and interested producer groups.

Please note: This webinar was recorded in October 2016, therefore due dates, number of projects likely to be funded and priority areas mentioned in this video may not apply to subsequent open calls. Please refer to the Terms of Reference in the below table for the specifics of the latest open call.

Producer Demonstration Site project reporting

All PDS projects are required to report on progress at 6 monthly intervals, and to submit a final report when the project is complete. An annual teleconference will be held between MLA, MLA PDS Coordinator, Producer Group chair and PDS facilitator to review progress.

More information

Hilary Connors
Project Manager – Producer Demonstration Sites
T: 0427 467 608


Sally Leigo
Program Manager – Producer Adoption
T: 0447 634 044


Russell Pattinson
MLA National Producer Demonstration Site Coordinator
T: 0419 872 684