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Peer to peer learning the focus as new Producer Demonstration Site applications open

07 April 2021

Funding applications are now open for cattle, sheep and goat producer groups throughout Australia who are interested in running local projects to validate the on-farm benefits of research and development findings.

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is calling for applications for its 2021-22 Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS) program, with applications closing on 12 May 2021. This includes Levy and Co-Contributor funding options for projects ranging from two to six years.

MLA Group Manager – Adoption and Commercialisation, Sarah Strachan, said the PDS program aims to increase the rate of adoption of key management practices and technologies that improve business profitability, productivity and sustainability, through supporting livestock producers to work in peer-to-peer learning groups.

“Adoption of research outcomes is absolutely critical to getting the best return on the research investments we make on behalf of levy payers. The PDS program is increasingly a central tool in our activities because it gets research outcomes into the hands of producers and their commercial enterprises,” Ms Strachan said.

“Lifting rates of adoption of key research is critical to building resilience and prosperity in the Australian red meat industry.

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

“With 65 PDS projects currently running nationally across more than 300 sites, the program continues to successfully result in evidenced-based practice change that has increased productivity and profitability for the adopting production systems.”

The 2021-22 Terms of Reference are now available on the MLA website.

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

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

Levy PDS program applications must align with the current Research Advisory Council PDS priorities, including the categories of water management, feedbase productivity, genetics, adaptation to climate variability, beef and sheep reproductive performance animal health and welfare, and demonstration of feedback systems. A complete list and further details of eligible categories can be found in the Terms of Reference.

Co-Contributor PDS program applications must align with industry priorities and targets as per industry and MLA strategic plans.

For full details of the Producer Demonstration sites (PDS) program and to watch the recording on a recent webinar about MLA’s PDS program and how to set yourself up for success in the upcoming PDS call, visit the Producer Demonstration Site section of MLA’s website.