Pre-farm Gate Innovation

Pre-farm Gate RD&E makes up one half of Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s Innovation Portfolio, informed by our current Strategic Direction 2015 – 2017. Our approach is to invest a meaningful amount into a small number of well targeted projects, generally as a co-investor.

Areas of support

Our funding supports development activities to improve industry productivity and profitability on farm. This is aligned with the national strategic framework for Pre-farm Gate RD&E ‘Dairy Moving Forward’ – a collaborative project that was introduced in 2010 and brought together RD&E providers, investors and key industry stakeholders.

The five priority areas for Dairy Moving Forward are:

      1. Feedbase and Animal Nutrition
      2. Animal Performance
      3. Land Water Carbon (Natural Resource Management and Climate Change)
      4. Farm Business Management
      5. People

Our investment approach

Under our Strategic Direction (2015-2017), the first investment in the Pre-farm Gate Innovation Portfolio has been implemented as a Challenge Round in the area of Animal Performance. This is a $1.5 million investment in RD&E by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation with matching funds from collaborators.

ImProving Herds

Challenge Round one opened in 2014 and called for applications to address the specific challenge of “improving farm profitability by demonstrating the value of genetics and herd improvement”. In October 2015, the successful project, ImProving Herds was launched. This is a three year, $3.3 million collaborative project that is strongly backed by 30 years of herd improvement research and some of the world’s most experienced genetic scientists.

ImProving Herds has been initiated with the support of Dairy Australia, Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS), Holstein Australia, the National Herd Improvement Association of Australia (NHIA) and the Victorian State Government’s Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), in a significant collaboration for the dairy industry.

Led by Professor Ben Hayes, DEDJTR, the world-class project aims to improve the rates of genetic gain by demonstrating the value of genetics and herd improvement.

Current Projects 

Click here for current projects


Research organisations, industry support organisations, Regional Development Programs (RDPs), dairy farmers, manufacturers and processors and education providers.