A $7.6 million partnership between the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) and Dairy Australia over five years to 2020 will deliver targeted dairy productivity research and extension services, helping to drive Tasmanian dairy farm profitability and sustainability.
Dairy Australia Managing Director, Ian Halliday, said the funding agreement will see the TIA Dairy Centre focus on areas that will deliver the greatest overall benefits for the Tasmanian dairy industry within the national dairy strategic plan Dairy Moving Forward.
“This agreement utilises the expertise of the TIA Dairy Centre in addressing high level objectives for improved feedbase performance in Tasmania’s pasture based dairy systems,” he said.
“At the core of this new program are farmers, who will directly contribute to research direction and the building skills and knowledge across the state.”
TIA Director, Professor Holger Meinke, said the new five-year agreement with Dairy Australia signifies a long-term funding commitment for dairy-specific research, development and extension (RD&E) through the TIA Dairy Centre.
“Dairy is Tasmania’s biggest agricultural industry and is worth more than $1 billion per year post farm gate to the Tasmanian economy,” Professor Meinke said.
“The industry has grown by 34 per cent over the past decade and research and innovation are crucial if we are to see the sector to continue to grow profitably and sustainably.
“Dairy Australia and TIA, through the joint venture between the Tasmanian Government and University of Tasmania, have a long and successful history of shared investment in RD&E over several decades and remain committed to promoting economic and environmentally sustainable growth in the sector.”
TIA Dairy Centre Leader, Dr Richard Rawnsley, said the first project to begin within this funding agreement was the Participatory Action Research (PAR) project called Dairy on PAR.