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Producer demonstration sites

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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 program is intended to support producer groups who have identified a new practice identified to improve business performance. MLA offers funding to support the demonstration and extension of knowledge and skills related to the new practice to the core producer group and more widely amongst the groups networks, resulting in widespread adoption of practices shown to improve business performance. A key part of the program is measuring producers knowledge and skills at the outset of the project, and again at the completion to understand how successful the project has been, and how keenly they are adopting the practice.

Nationally, MLA has over 60 PDS projects in progress across a broad range of topics.

2022-23 PDS Project Call

2022-23 Producer Demonstration Site Project Call - Applications Closed

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is committed to partnering with producer groups to improve business profitability and productivity. Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS) aim to increase the rate of adoption of key management practices and technologies that improve business profitability, productivity and sustainability through livestock producers pursuing new skills, management practices in their own commercial livestock production systems.

The PDS program underpins MLA’s research, development and adoption (RD&A) programs by supporting groups of producers to demonstrate, adapt and validate the triple bottom line benefits of integrating new management practices, research and development outputs and associated skills within the context of their commercial production systems. The key outcome of a PDS is producer adoption of the demonstrated management practices resulting in improved business performance.

Funding is available for sheep, beef cattle and goat producer groups to validate and demonstrate the business value of integrating new technologies and on-farm management practices into local production systems.

MLA is seeking proposals for the:

  • Levy PDS program related to sheep, cattle and goat enterprises that align with the relevant regional PDS priorities (refer to Terms of Reference).
  • Co-contributor PDS program aligning with industry priorities and targets (refer to Red Meat 2030 and MLA Strategic plan for industry issues/priorities and targets).
    NB: the cash contribution must come from producers participating in the project, not from other organisation e.g. government or universities.


Stage

Date

Applications & Supporting documents

Preliminary applications in response to terms of reference for PDS projects submitted to MLA

 

Preliminary applications are to be submitted to MLA via email to pds@mla.com.au

 

 

Open: 1st April 2022

Close: 13th May 2022

Preliminary Application Forms:

Levy PDS Preliminary Application

Co-Contributor PDS Preliminary Application

Preliminary Application Guidelines

MER Guidelines

Tender Declaration

Co-Contributor – Source of Funds Declaration

Co-Contributor Cashflow FAQ

Successful and unsuccessful preliminary applicants notified

 6th July 2022

 

Successful preliminary applicants to submit full applications to MLA

Full applications are to be submitted to MLA via email to pds@mla.com.au

 

 3rd August 2022

Levy PDS Full Application

Co-Contributor PDS Full Application

Full Application Guidelines

Successful & unsuccessful full applicants notified

22nd September 2022

 

New producer Demonstration Site projects contracted subject to MLA approval processes and consultant’s acceptance of standard MLA terms and conditions.

By December 2022

 

FAQs

What funding is available through the PDS program?

There are two funding options available to producer groups wishing to participate in the PDS program, Levy and Co Contributor.

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.

Groups wishing to engage in a 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).

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.

What is required to be eligible for a PDS?

Levy

  • A plan to establish sites that demonstrate published or completed research outcomes/outputs
  • A project concept that is driven by producers and addresses regional PDS priorities set by the Research Advisory Committees – SALRC, NABRC & WALRC. These priorities can be found in the Terms of Reference and are updated each year.
  • Minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 6 years project period.
  • Minimum of ten core producers and three sites preferred, flexibility for extensive regions and other projects e.g. genetics
  • A suitably skilled facilitator experienced in group coordination and extension, monitoring and evaluation of on-farm practice change and communication and reporting, to oversee the demonstration.
  • Active extension and communication activities to extend key messages and learnings beyond the core group.
  • A monitoring, evaluation and reporting (MER) processes to demonstrate producer engagement, practice change and benefit to the production businesses and wider industry.

Co-contributor

  • A plan to establish sites that demonstrate published or completed research outcomes/outputs
  • A project concept that is driven by producers and addresses industry priorities identified in Red Meat 2030 and the MLA Strategic Plan.
  • 25% cash contribution from core producers involved in the project.
  • Minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 6 years project period.
  • Minimum of ten core producers and three sites preferred, flexibility for extensive regions and other projects e.g. genetics
  • A suitably skilled facilitator experienced in group coordination and extension, monitoring and evaluation of on-farm practice change and communication and reporting, to oversee the demonstration.
  • Active extension and communication activities to extend key messages and learnings beyond the core group.
  • A monitoring, evaluation and reporting (MER) processes to demonstrate producer engagement, practice change and benefit to the production businesses and wider industry.
How does my producer group apply?

MLA calls for the new PDS projects that aim to improve the profitability, productivity and sustainability of sheep and beef cattle enterprises on an annual basis, with preliminary applications opening in April.

Preliminary applications for the 2022-23 PDS annual project call open 1st of April 2022.

Click here to access key dates and information on the next project call:

What is involved throughout the lifetime of a PDS project?
  • Development and implementation of a communication plan.
  • Development and implementation of monitoring an evaluation plan.
  • Pre and post project surveys of core and observer producer participants.
  • Submission of a report on the projects progress and results at 6 monthly intervals.
  • A final report when the project is complete.
  • An annual teleconference between MLA, MLA PDS Coordinator, Producer Group Chair and the PDS facilitator to review progress.

Project Facilitator Resources

Find out more

  • PDS Case study

  • PDS Promo video
  • PDS webinar - this webinar covers an overview of the PDS program, different funding mechanisms, what is involved throughout the lifetime of the project and the resources available to establish a proposal and undertake a project.