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Coordination of Participatory R&D for the Feedbase Investment Plan in Victoria

Project start date: 01 June 2013
Project end date: 31 August 2018
Publication date: 22 December 2017
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Lamb, Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
Relevant regions: Victoria
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In 2013, MLA committed to using participatory R&D as a way of testing Feedbase Investment Plan (FIP) research, with on farm trials across the southern Feedbase. The MLA objective was to involve "leading" beef/sheep meat producers to speed up adoption of new research findings.  

The Victorian participatory R&D team successfully identified, established, coordinated and monitored the implementation of seven Producer Research Site (PRS) projects. These seven Victorian producer groups involved 58 producers directly in the participatory R&D, adding value to the existing FIP research topics and contributing to new research findings. The PRS program also provided a platform for extension activities into the wider community.  

Effective facilitation was a key ingredient in the success of the program. Facilitation successfully obtained agreement between researchers and producer groups on research activities that were issues to the group and would add value to the FIP research.  Evaluation showed that producers involved in groups improved knowledge, confidence and skills in using the new research and were therefore more likely to adopt.

In addition, the Victorian participatory R&D team also established processes that enabled and ensured effective communication between producers and researchers, as well as providing strategic direction to the MLA FIP program manager, and assisted in the development of processes/products that allowed the delivery of the PRS program across the Southern Feedbase.

These activities included coordination of a National PRS Producer's Symposium to harvest the new research for key extension messages to establish the FIP messages into the wider producer/adviser community.

More information

Project manager: Michael Taylor
Primary researcher: Southern Farming Systems