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Beef and Sheep Networks Newsflash
4 May 2022
In this edition

What's On

What's New



Beef and Sheep News

Ag Recovery

Quick Links

Heading: What's On

PLEASE NOTE: The events listed below may be subject to last minute cancellation in the event of an emergency or advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.

Event Details


When: 4 May to 1 June

Where: Various locations

Time: 6 – 8 pm 


Workshops: Farm finance - getting prepared

Register now for a Young Farmers Network farm finance workshop. Coming to five locations across the state these workshops will teach you how to cut through the ‘bank speak’ and be well prepared when applying for financing.

  • Bairnsdale – Wednesday 4 May
  • Maryborough – Wednesday 11 May
  • Wangaratta – Wednesday 18 May
  • Ouyen – Wednesday 25 May
  • Horsham – Wednesday 1 June.

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to register for any of these free workshops. For more information contact Sarah Wallis, Young Farmer Projects Coordinator on 0419 571 208 or email.

Event Details


When: 6 May

Where: Online

Time: 12.30 – 1.30 pm


Webinar series: Unpacking AgTech

Agriculture Victoria is delivering a six-part webinar series that will take a beginners look at all the things you should know before investing in AgTech.

Topic: How can AgTech help me to make decisions?

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to register for these free webinars or for more information contact Mark Sloan, Industry Technology Coordinator on 0436 833 668 or email.

Event Details


When: 10 and 17 May

Where: Online 

Time: 7 – 8 pm


Webinar series: Successful succession planning

Agriculture Victoria is presenting a series of three one-hour webinars to step you through the process of putting together a successful succession plan. 

Session 2: How does everyone get what they want?

Session 3: Matching business capacity with family requirements

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to register for these free webinars or for more information contact Paul Simpson, Agriculture Recovery Extension Officer on 0455 750 605 or email

Event Details


Where and when: 

Mansfield – 13 and 20 May

Tallangatta – 27 May and 3 June.


North East young farmer bootcamps

The free two-day business bootcamps will help farmers identify and manage business risk and develop a business plan to grow their business and confidence in a future in agriculture.

These fun and interactive business bootcamps use a series of farm case studies as real-life examples, providing participants with the skills to help them manage their farm business now, as well as planning for their business into the future.

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to register or for more information contact Paul Simpson, Agriculture Recovery Extension Officer on 0455 750 605 or email.

Event Details


When: 16 and 30 May

Where: Sterling Place, Dunkeld

Time: 4 - 7 pm


Workshop series: AgTech ready farms

The workshop sessions will include existing and emerging on-farm technologies, the latest industry research plus technical experts in the field.

Session 2: Problem solving solutions

Session 3: Your AgTech ready farm plan

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to register for this free workshop series or for more information contact Chris Blore, Livestock Industry Development Officer on 0428 155 781 or email

Event Details


When: 25 May

Where: Online

Time: 9 – 10.30 am 


Webinar: Online NLIS database training

Agriculture Victoria is delivering online training to assist Victorian livestock producers to use the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database to meet their livestock traceability requirements. You will learn about livestock traceability, take a tour of the NLIS database, watch a live demonstration of how to transfer livestock and practise completing a transfer.

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to register for this free webinar or for more information. 

Event Details


When: 15 – 16 June

Where: Bendigo


2022 BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef annual conference

The BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conference will be held this June in Bendigo.

Tickets go on sale soon. More information on the conference program and how to purchase tickets will be provided soon.

Event Details


Where and When:

Ballarat 9 – 13 May (Novice training)

Inglewood 6 – 10 June (Improver training)

Manangatang 27 June – 1 July (Novice training)

Omeo 18 – 22 July (Novice training)


Shearer and wool handler training courses

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) is supporting training for shearers and wool handlers to attract and retain new entrants into the wool harvesting industry, build the capacity and longevity of existing staff, and increase returns to woolgrowers through improved clip preparation practices. All training aligns with nationally recognised qualifications and are designed to meet industry standards and needs.

To register for a course or for more information visit the Shearing Contractors Association of Australia (SCAA) Shearer Woolhandler Training Inc. website or phone 1300 787 984 or email. Contact the SCAA for a full list of upcoming course locations, dates and costs.

Access online training videos and resources for shearers, wool handlers, trainers, and woolgrowers on the AWI website.

Event Details


Where and When: 

Leongatha: 3 May 9 am – 1 pm 

Bairnsdale: 3 May 6 – 9 pm

Corryong: 10 May 9 am – 1 pm

Benalla: 10 May 6 – 9 pm


Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) upcoming events

Stock sense: Cattle roadshow 

Covering a range of cattle health, welfare and biosecurity tips.

Visit the VFF website to register for any of these free events or for more information

Event Details


When: 7 May


AM Warrenbayne Hall, 1305 Benalla-Warrenbayne Road, Warrenbayne.

PM Glenisla, 89 Harrison Road, Warrenbayne.

Time: 10 am - 4 pm 


MLA: Field day carbon neutral cattle production North East Victoria

Visit the MLA website to register for any of these free events or for more information.

Event Details


When: 11 and 25 May

Where: Online

Time: 8 - 9 pm


MLA: Productivity and profitability series 

Session 1: Resolving conflict 

Session 2: How can producers be carbon neutral

Visit the MLA website to register for any of these free events or for more information.

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Heading: What's New

Victoria is championing AgTech industry development with the announcement of three companies who will deliver pre-accelerator programs for startups.

Supported by the $2.2 million partnership with LaunchVic under the Victorian AgTech Entrepreneurs’ Initiative, Farmers2Founders, Rocket Seeder and SproutX will each receive $600,000 to run programs to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills to turn an idea into a business reality.

Agriculture Victoria’s Acting Executive Director of Agriculture Policy, Dr Julie Simons, said the culture of collaboration and the investment in new and innovative ideas is what makes Victoria as successful as it is.

“I was thrilled to see Farmers2Founders, Rocket Seeder and SproutX had been selected to guide up and coming AgTech entrepreneurs and I look forward to seeing them prepare the next generation of innovators,” said Dr Simons.

The successful organisations are:

  • Farmers2Founders, a specialist agrifood tech service provider, will run their Hatch Ideas Pre-Accelerator and a self-paced Online Journey Starter Program that can reach founders in any pocket of regional Victoria.
  • Rocket Seeder will assemble teams of entrepreneurs and researchers to solve some of regional Victoria’s biggest challenges with their new AgTech Seeds Pre-Accelerator Program, bridging the gap between the agricultural industry and research.
  • SproutX will join forces with the University of Melbourne to take aspiring founders through The Business of Agriculture, a new program designed to support non-traditional participants in Victoria’s startup ecosystem, like farmers, STEM professionals and tech curious entrepreneurs.

Pre-accelerator programs support early-stage high potential entrepreneurs to launch and grow startups, that in turn increases the number of quality startups in our ecosystem.

Agriculture Victoria’s partnership with LaunchVic supports the Victorian Government’s ten-year Agriculture Strategy and the commitment to modernise agriculture and invest in innovation.
Visit the LaunchVic website for further information

AgTech April logo

Throughout April Agriculture Victoria have been running the #AgTechApril campaign promoting Agriculture Victoria’s AgTech tools, resources and events.

Here are some of the highlights:

• A one stop shop for Ag Tech information on the Agriculture Victoria website

• AgTech webinar recordings and short videos available on the AgVic YouTube.

• Agriculture Victoria’s podcast channels - Listen to our three top-rated podcasts.

AgVic eLearns helping to get started with AgTech, such as using electronic identification (EID) for livestock and much more. Great if you like to learn in your own time and at your own pace!

• Decision making calculators, feed budgets and tools to help manage on-farm water and feed resources are available on our Agriculture Victoria website and Agriculture Victoria’s Feeding Livestock website.

AgTech Bytes - short information sheets about key AgTech topics on the Agriculture Victoria website.


Four new AgTech Bytes (short information sheets) have been released and a glossary of AgTech terminology.

  1. IoT and Digital Agriculture – Digital agriculture, AgTech and the Internet of Things (IoT) are fast becoming more common in the agriculture sector, but what are they? Using examples relevant to farm businesses, this AgTech Byte explains what each term means.
  2. Planning AgTech Investment – Investing in AgTech can be expensive. Before making a purchase, you should investigate what problems you are trying to solve and plan what you need. Planning for AgTech helps ensure the products you buy fit the needs of your business and provide a return on your investment. 
  3. Sensing and Automating AgTech – There are lots of different technologies that can be used to capture data and automate repetitive tasks. Common examples on farms include weather stations and electronic identification (EID) devices, and they all rely on three pieces of equipment; the sensor, a network and a computer with software to read the data.
  4. EID - how the NLIS system can have significant benefits to your farming enterprise and can enable significant time savings.


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Heading: BestWoo/BestLamb

BestWool/BestLamb is a partnership between Agriculture Victoria and Australian Wool Innovation Limited, which provides a network facilitating information exchange that enables producers to implement improvements in key aspects of their business.

Lyndon Kubeil, Senior Sheep Specialist 0418 532 085 or email

Alison Desmond, Project Leader Sheep Industry Development 0409 424 274 or email

BWBL Lamb logo, AWI logo
image of sheep taken from a drone

The Boort BestWool/BestLamb group have recently finished a three-year on-farm trial investigating the usefulness of drones to monitor lambing ewes and other farming operations.

The on-farm demonstration was set up in early 2019, with funding from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Agriculture Victoria.
The group chose to investigate the practicality and usefulness of a drone to monitor sheep welfare at lambing, and at other critical times in the year, to see if the technology reduced time and labour costs normally associated with these tasks.

To view their findings, read the full group profile on the                   Agriculture Victoria website.


WormBoss online learning is free. It suits anyone wanting a practical knowledge of sheep worm control in Australia. You can learn at your own pace; start and stop anytime, cover as much or as little as you want and learn about the important topics that comprise an effective integrated worm control program. Some topics include grazing management, worm testing, drenching, breeding for resistance and drench resistance management.

Access the online learning on the WormBoss website.


Funded by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), a PhD project is investigating current sheep tail docking practice, variation, and change, and is being supported by another project on mulesing.

View information about the project and participate in the online survey or for further information contact University of Melbourne PhD Candidate Madeleine Woodruff on 0406 195 717 or email.

Producers that participate in both the online survey and phone interview will receive a $30 gift voucher.

Image with text and QR code

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Heading: BetterBeef
BetterBeef logo

BetterBeef is an Agriculture Victoria coordinated producer and service provider network with a focus on increasing the profitability and sustainability of beef enterprises. It aims to grow and support a strong producer network featuring genuine partnerships with the private sector in co-design and delivery.


Amanda Davis, Acting BetterBeef Project Leader
0407 947 580 or email


Fiona Baker, Livestock Extension Officer 

Does the mature cow weight impact on the size or age the heifers should be at joining?

Mature cow weight impacts the size of heifers at joining, but with careful management should not impact on the joining age. Past research has shown that well managed heifers which calve at two years of age (i.e., joined at 15 months) have a higher lifetime productivity than heifers calving at older ages.

Read the full article on the Agriculture Victoria website.

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Heading: Beef and Sheep News

Dr Jeff Cave, Senior Veterinary Officer

You may or may not have heard of the Bucks for Brains initiative, which provides generous incentive payments for livestock owners who submit eligible sheep and cattle brains for testing. This important testing program helps Australia maintain market access for its livestock industries.

Bucks for Brains is an initiative of the National Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Surveillance Project (NTSESP) which is tasked with confirming Australia’s proof of freedom from rare fatal brain and other central nervous system diseases called TSEs.

The damaging effects that TSEs can have on a country's livestock industry and economy were made apparent during the outbreak of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as ‘mad cow disease’, in the United Kingdom, and following its detection in Canada and the United States.

BSE is a disease that emerged in the 1980s through the feeding of meat meal contaminated with an infectious agent known as a prion.

The disease causes an untreatable, progressive, degenerative condition of the brain leading to a range of neurological signs – therefore gaining the name, mad cow disease.

With cases in the UK and several European countries, plus the prior export of meat meal from Europe to other countries, it is not clear how far the disease may have spread.

In Australia, we are in the fortunate position of being considered one of the least likely countries in the world to have BSE.

In order to claim that our livestock are free of BSE, we are required to have a surveillance system to demonstrate that declaration.

The surveillance program is based on the post-mortem examination of sheep over 18 months of age and cattle over 30 months that show neurological signs, to demonstrate and confirm they do not have BSE and to show explanation of their symptoms.

An incentive of $100 for sheep and $300 for cattle is available to livestock owners who submit eligible brains for testing. All laboratory investigations and costs are covered as part of the scheme.

For further information please contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria veterinary or animal health officer on 136 186.

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A free and accessible website has been launched to assist land managers, pest controllers and community groups to manage rabbits, gorse and serrated tussock on their properties.

The Virtual Extension Officer website (VEO) was developed by the Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) in collaboration with the Victorian Rabbit Action Network and Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party, to help people take control of pests.

Funding for the website was provided by the Australian Government Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper in collaboration with Agriculture Victoria.

Access the Virtual Extension Officer website.

image of website - decorative

Meat & Livestock Australia.

Funding applications are now open for cattle, sheep and goat producers throughout Australia who are interested in running local projects to demonstrate on-farm benefits of research and development findings.

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is calling for applications for its 2022-23 Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS) program, with applications closing on 13 May 2022. This includes Levy and Co-Contributor funding options for projects ranging from two to six years.

For full details of the Producer Demonstration sites (PDS) program and to watch the recording on a recent webinar about MLA’s PDS program and how to set yourself up for success in the upcoming PDS call, visit the Producer Demonstration Site section of MLA’s website.

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Heading: Ag Recovery Support

Grants of up to $25,000 are available to help reimburse primary producers for clean-up and recovery activities as a direct result of the severe weather event on 9-11 June 2021.

The Exceptional Circumstances Recovery Grants can be used to cover activities including removing fallen trees, removing silt and debris, specialist support for landslip and erosion remediation. The support can also contribute to the cost of repairs or replacement of damaged farm infrastructure such as fencing and equipment.

Applications for grant assistance close on 31 May 2022.

To apply for a grant or to see if you are eligible, visit the Rural Finance website.

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An updated recovery guide is now available to help farmers rebuild and provide a one-stop reference to the support available. The guide includes steps to take immediately after the fire and for short-term recovery and longer-term rebuilding. It covers re-fencing, dealing with erosion and flooding, pasture recovery, pest and weed control and preparing for the next season.

The printed booklet is available from Agriculture Victoria, by contacting our agriculture recovery managers (details noted below) or phone 136 186 or digital version online.

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The Victorian and Commonwealth Government are supporting landholders impacted by fires and floods across Victoria.

For more information on bushfire recovery programs or recovery from floods/storm events, visit the Agriculture Victoria website or phone 136 186.

Regional Agriculture Victoria Recovery Managers;

  • North East – Kylie Macreadie 0428 975 728 or email
  • Gippsland – Darren Hickey 0457 609 140 or email

Visit the Bushfire Recovery Victoria website or 1800 560 760.

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Rural Financial Counselling Service

The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) have an experienced team ready to assist primary producers and small rural business in recovery planning.

Financial counsellors can help develop financial forecasts and business plans required for lenders or investors, plus connect with support agencies and services.

RFCS provides free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship. They can also assist with filling in forms and grant applications.

For more information or to book an appointment call RFCS Gippsland on 1300 045 747 or RFCS North East on 1300 834 775.

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The Regional Weather and Climate Guides project is part of the Commonwealth Government Drought Assistance Package.

The project aims to improve the resilience of farming businesses by providing localised facts about the likelihood, severity, and duration of key weather variables in regions across the country.

The weather and climate information will be delivered through a set of guides corresponding to Australia's Natural Resource Management regions.

The project is a collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO, and FarmLink Research.

The guides have been developed in collaboration with representatives from each NRM region to ensure the information is tailored to the needs of local farmers and agribusinesses.

For more information visit the Bureau of Meteorology.

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Agriculture Victoria’s Ag Recovery Team can provide support to producers following the June storms and floods across Victoria.

There is Agriculture Recovery support available in each of the regions affected including Central and southwest Gippsland, Central Highlands, Macedon Ranges and Yarra Valley and surrounds, to provide support with issues in livestock, dairy, cropping, irrigation and horticulture.

Agriculture Victoria can offer technical advice on:

  • pasture recovery and grazing management
  • soil erosion management
  • animal health, nutrition and feed budgeting
  • whole farm planning
  • water quality, budgeting
  • farm water reticulation and dam management
  • farm business planning.

Producers and growers are encouraged to contact the Agriculture Victoria Ag Recovery Team on 0427 694 185 or email. For further storm/flood recovery information visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

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Heading: Quick Links
Feeding Livestock Website

For tools, calculators, resources and livestock feed planning guides, visit the website.

Logo: feeding livestock website
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) wool market review
Image: AWI logo

For weekly commentary on the wool market from AWI trade specialists, visit the website.

Market reports and prices
image: MLA logo

Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA's) market information service provides producers with accurate, timely and independent market information, allowing them to make profitable business decisions.

For the latest cattle market reports, visit the MLA website.

AgVic Talk Podcast: listen now to the top rated episodes

This podcast series delivers knowledge and information in a format that suits the way farmers and agricultural professionals work and live today.

Ten years of soil moisture data has greatly assisted decision making

Getting a foot in the door using drones on-farm with Clay Growers

The future of agriculture is Smart with Anna-Leisa and Sarah Dennis

Visit Agriculture Victoria website to listen to the latest episode.

AWI podcast - The Yarn No. 212

Rethinking investment on farm

Finding production efficiency through internal rather than external investment is well worth exploring when interest rates are expected to rise. John Francis from Agrista consulting discusses the options from the Leading Sheep Meat Up Forum in Longreach QLD. We also hear about the shearer shortage and the potential Blackall wool scour from mayor and woolgrower Andrew Martin.

Tune in to gain insights into what AWI and Woolmark are doing across research and development and marketing.

Listen to The Yarn podcast.

Follow AWI on social media for the latest on sheep and wool.

@Facebook, @Twitter and @Instagram

Image: The Yarn - AWI podcast
The Fast Break Seasonal Climate Update

For the latest edition of The Fast Break - an update of seasonal climate drivers and outlooks.

The Fast Break details oceanic and atmospheric climate driver activity over the last month and summarises three month model predictions for the Pacific and Indian Oceans, rainfall and temperature for Victoria.

Image: The Fast Break
Livestock and animals
Agriculture Victoria logo

Visit Agriculture Victoria’s website for the latest information and resources relating to livestock and animals.

Workshops and events

Agriculture Victoria is delivering workshops, farm walks and online information sessions. Visit the Agriculture Victoria website for a list of upcoming events.

Rural Financial Counselling Service

The RFCS provides free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship. Counsellors can also assist applicants to apply for the Farm Household Allowance (FHA).

For more information visit the RFCS website or contact your local recovery support officer by searching the RFCS online directory

National Centre for Farmer Health

The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) provides health and safety education and advice to farmers and their families via the Online Ag Health program. 

For more information visit the National Centre for Farmer Health or contact Cecilia Fitzgerald on (03) 5551 8533

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