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Applications open soon for Producer Demonstration Sites program

06 March 2020

Livestock producer groups interested in running local projects to validate the on-farm benefits of research and development findings are reminded that funding applications open on 1 April.

Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS) program for 2020-21 is open to beef and sheepmeat producer groups throughout Australia.

The PDS program includes Levy and Co-Contributor funding options for projects ranging from two years to a maximum of six years.

Preliminary applications for both funding options will be open for six weeks, from 1 April to 12 May 2020.  

MLA Program Manager – Adoption, David 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.

“Adoption of research outcomes is absolutely critical to driving practice change on-farm and building resilience and prosperity in the Australian red meat industry,” Mr Packer said.

“The PDS program enables producers to see first-hand the commercial relevance of research outcomes through long-term, hands-on experiential and peer-to-peer learning.

“The program continues to successfully result in evidenced-based practice change that has increased productivity and profitability for the adopting production systems.”

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.

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 flexibility offered for extensive regions
  • Alignment with the 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 by 50% levy, 25% producer cash contribution, and 25% MDC
  • 8% access fee (of total project value)
  • A minimum of three sites and ten core producers, though flexibility offered for extensive regions
  • Alignment with industry targets and priorities as per the Meat Industry Strategic Plan, Beef Industry Strategic Plan, Sheep Industry Strategic Plan and MLA Strategic Plan.

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.

The 2020-21 Terms of Reference and levy PDS priorities will be available on the MLA website on 27 March 2020.

For full details, application guidelines and forms, visit www.mla.com.au/PDS