South-west With the launch of Victoria’s first dairy innovation challenge, farmers will have the opportunity to discuss and promote their ideas and creations. The DemoDAIRY Foundation has launched the South West Victoria Dairy Innovation Challenge (DDF). Milk harvesting, farm operations and management, fodder production and harvesting, sustainability, and the environment are all areas where new ideas are being sought. These innovations may already be in use or may be a concept that requires more research and development.
DDF secretary Ian Teese said the challenge will build on DemoDAIRY’s initial goal, which was to create and run a research and demonstration dairy farm near Terang, Victoria, in 1991. In 2018, the co-operative was disbanded and the farm was sold, resulting in the establishment of the DemoDAIRY Foundation, a registered charity dedicated to improving dairy industry profitability in south-west Victoria. Mr Teese explained, “The board intends to identify, start, and lead new technologies in western Victoria that potentially have a dairy sector application.” Individual farmers, service providers, and agribusiness enterprises involved in the industry can enter the competition. While focusing on dairy-related improvements, other grazing-related technologies should be considered if they can help dairy producers increase profits.
The challenge, according to DDF board member Maggie Leutton, will allow people to promote new ideas, create businesses, increase efficiency, and lessen the dairy industry’s environmental effect. Mrs Leutton added, “We believe there are a lot of wonderful ideas out there that aren’t widely known, and this challenge can assist to disseminate those ideas and possibly transform them into a business proposal.” Paul Dillon, the Innovation Challenge coordinator and CEO of Regional Rising, said applicants would be asked to describe a problem they have discovered and how they have solved or are attempting to address it. The ideas will be reviewed by a panel, and prizes will be granted to the solutions that have the greatest potential to increase farm profitability.
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Finalists will be encouraged to participate in a short intensive programme to help them choose the ideal accelerator programme and to help them share their discoveries or transform them into a new business or product.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)