NSW Dairy Fund applications to fire up innovation

Industry advocacy group Dairy Connect has called on farmers, academics, industry stakeholders and research institutions to take advantage of innovation project funding available in this year’s NSW Government Dairy Industry Fund.

CEO Shaughn Morgan said today that a new round of funding will open on 18 July with up to $700,000 available to support projects and initiatives that will contribute to dairy industry growth, profitability, sustainability and resilience.

“Innovation is critical to future success across a broad spectrum of dairy industry activity up and down the value chain,” he said.

“We support the fund and urge critical stakeholders and agencies to prepare submissions for R&D funding.”

Funding applications are open to individuals, universities, research organisations, consultants, not-for-profit organisations, state and local government, farmers and community groups – joint applications showing collaboration are encouraged.

NSW Department of Primary Industries Deputy Director General, Michael Bullen, said the $1 million fund has a track record in supporting successful projects.

“This round offers $700,000 for project proposals which are aligned with the strategies developed in the NSW Dairy Industry Strategic Action Plan,” Bullen said.

“The industry aims to grow markets for NSW milk, build industry confidence, support strategic farm business transition and improve farm productivity.

“This is a significant opportunity to boost the value of NSW’s dairy industry, which produces more than one billion litres of milk and contributes $584 million to the state’s economy each year.”

Applicants should first submit a brief preliminary project proposal, which will be assessed by the Dairy Industry Fund Steering Committee, representing the three Dairy Australia Regional Development Programs, Dairy NSW, Murray Dairy and Subtropical Dairy, and the two farmer advocacy bodies, Dairy Connect and NSW Farmers Dairy Committee.

Successful applicants will be invited to prepare a full project proposal and have the opportunity to present a summary to the Dairy Industry Fund Advisory Committee for feedback prior to their final submission.

Preference will be given to projects which demonstrate significant scale to the benefits they would bring to the NSW dairy industry.

Mr Bullen said Project 20:20 Pathways to Change, was a good example of a successful project showcasing the feed-base, people, business, natural resource management and herd performance of best practice farms across the state.

“Detailed guidelines outline the application process and the types of projects which are eligible for funding,” he said.

Applications are open from 18 July until 18 August 2017.