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The profitable and sustainable management of livestock production from grassland systems is challenging and it can be difficult to develop a research structure that addresses farmer’s needs and has acceptable rigour and on-ground impact. This paper describes the attributes of research, development and extension (RD&E) programs that are required for a successful partnership between researchers, farmers and advisors. Insights are provided from the EverGraze program that designed, tested and implemented farming systems based on perennial pastures across southern Australia. With this project farmers and advisors were involved in setting research direction, designing experiments, providing strategic guidance over the management of the systems experiments and then the synthesis of regionally applicable key messages. This involvement ensured the relevance of the research and aided in the extension and uptake of the information. The result has been an effective partnership between researchers, farmers and advisors that had a high level of impact across the high rainfall zone (HRZ) of southern Australia, with 1950 farmers or ~8% of those in the HRZ documented as having changed practice over an area of 816,000 ha over a five year period (2009 to 2014).

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EverGraze: A Partnership between Researchers, Farmers and Advisors to Deliver Effective Grassland Management

The profitable and sustainable management of livestock production from grassland systems is challenging and it can be difficult to develop a research structure that addresses farmer’s needs and has acceptable rigour and on-ground impact. This paper describes the attributes of research, development and extension (RD&E) programs that are required for a successful partnership between researchers, farmers and advisors. Insights are provided from the EverGraze program that designed, tested and implemented farming systems based on perennial pastures across southern Australia. With this project farmers and advisors were involved in setting research direction, designing experiments, providing strategic guidance over the management of the systems experiments and then the synthesis of regionally applicable key messages. This involvement ensured the relevance of the research and aided in the extension and uptake of the information. The result has been an effective partnership between researchers, farmers and advisors that had a high level of impact across the high rainfall zone (HRZ) of southern Australia, with 1950 farmers or ~8% of those in the HRZ documented as having changed practice over an area of 816,000 ha over a five year period (2009 to 2014).