Gardiner Dairy Foundation aimed to support and increase the productivity and profitability of the Victorian dairy industry.
Since 2000 the foundation has invested well over $50 million in the dairy industry.
Gardiner had revitalised its strategy to launch its first flagship program, to improve the farmgate sector, through herd improvement.
THE GARDINER Dairy Foundation has launched a three-year, $3.3 million project, bringing together animal genomics experts to improve the Australian herd.
Gardiner chief executive Mary Harney said ImProving Herds was an imaginative, bold and focussed project, which aimed to lead to profitable growth in the industry.
“Over the course of the three-year project, 23 herds will be used to test how profitability is affected by focussed bull selections and genomic testing of females,” Ms Harney said.
“Six focus farms will be used to test the impact of data-driven decisions on profitability.”
The project would be led by eminent geneticist, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources Associate Professor Ben Hayes.
“The aim of this revitalised strategy is to invest significant and meaningful sums, into a small number of very well targeted projects, ideally with in-kind investment, ideally to maximise the quantum and the impact of the investment, for the dairy industry,” Ms Harney said.
It followed a 2014 challenge to the industry, to look at genetics and herd improvement.
“We believe that goal has been achieved with ImProving Herds,” she said.
The State Government announced it would put $1.3m towards the project.
Announcing the Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the government was delighted to partner with Gardiner.
The project, which was also funded through The Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s Animal Performance Challenge Round, and supported by Dairy Australia and other key dairy industry organisations, would provide new growth opportunities to Victoria’s 4200 dairy farm businesses.
It would demonstrate how innovative science including genetic and genomic evaluations, on farm testing and data driven decision-making delivers increased profits to dairy farmers.
Ms Pulford said Victoria’s dairy industry had a bright future.
“This cutting-edge project has the potential to unlock millions of dollars in farmer profits,” Ms Pulford said.
“We’re delighted to partner with the Gardiner Dairy Foundation to support our dairy industry to innovate, grow and prosper.
“We believe it will expand, improve and deliver even greater profits, to our dairy farmers.”