After five years and two iterations, VegNet returned in October 2021.
This time, Ausveg is partnering with nine key regional industry groups to lead the five year, multi-million-dollar project.
Building on the work that has already been completed, Ausveg - as the national peak industry body for vegetable growers - is positioned to deliver world-leading extension services that are led by growers, for growers.
Ausveg national coordinator - VegNet Sam Turner reports.
The nationally-coordinated, regionally-delivered project VegNet 3.0 is a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Fund.
The project builds on previous work to improve Australian vegetable growers' knowledge and skills to implement best practice management on-farm through a variety of delivery mechanisms.
It acts as a knowledge broker to link growers with the best science and tools to meet their individual business development goals, as well as linking the rest of industry with growers to help focus R&D efforts.
Developing networks of industry stakeholders is a key focus of the project and exemplifies a shift in extension strategy away from traditional top-down, push extension, towards a more inclusive and collaborative research, development and extension (R, D&E) ecosystem.
This systems approach to extension will be led on the ground by highly skilled and trained extension experts whose focus will be on delivering results for growers.
These Regional Development Officers (RDOs) will also form a key link in providing information and feedback into the levy investment system to ensure that R&D priorities are delivering on key grower issues.
A key strength of the project is the partnerships with regional organisations to deliver outcomes and programs relevant for their regions.
All major growing regions in the country have been targeted with 10 regionally-based extension experts to ensure that all growers - no matter what their business is - benefit from the best resources and support to improve their operation.
Organisations involved include:
- Ausveg SA
- The Northern Territory Farmers Association (NT Farmers)
- Bowen Gumlu Growers Association
- Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers
- Lockyer Valley Growers Inc.
- Greater Sydney Local Land Services
- Food and Fibre Gippsland
- RM Consulting Group (RMCG)
In additional to the regional bodies, Ausveg has partnered with RMCG to deliver independent monitoring and evaluation of the project.
This will ensure that all activities have a measurable impact for growers and will drive continual improvement from the program.
The project has hit the ground running.
- This article was provided by Ausveg.