New research hub to boost WA’s dairy industry

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Dairy Australia, through Western Dairy, and the State Government of Western Australia have invested a total of $1.575 million for the new Western Dairy research hub in Bunbury that will focus on increasing dairy productivity and profitability.

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Western Dairy is one of eight Regional Development Programs that operates under the auspices of Dairy Australia – the national services body for dairy farmers and the industry.

Dairy Australia will invest $975,000 and the Department of Agriculture and Food will contribute $600,000 over three years, Minister for Agriculture Ken Baston said in a statement.

“This is an initiative that empowers the Western Australian dairy industry to drive on-farm research, development and extension activities targeted to its needs,” Mr Baston said.

The hub will begin operation on 1 July, 2015 with three full-time staff.

Led by dairy industry development specialist Rob La Grange, the research hub will be administered by Western Dairy’s strategic partner, South West Catchments Council.

“The model is expected to strengthen links between research providers and dairy producers, and strengthen industry’s links with the local community. Western Dairy is to be applauded for its proactive approach in driving such an important project, which will lead to significant outcomes for its producers,” said Minister Baston.

According to Western Dairy Chairman Victor Rodwell, the hub is “an innovative solution to retain WA’s dairy research capacity”.