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Grain & Graze – a unique co-investment model fostering resilient regional partnerships.

Gillian Stewart

National Grain & Graze Program (MLA, GRDC, LWA, AWI Ltd.) Email


Grain & Graze is a partnership between four of Australia’s major Research and Development Corporation’s (RDC’s), Meat and Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation Ltd, Grains Research and Development Corporation and Land & Water Australia. In conjunction with nine regional project regions, these RDC’s have combined their expertise and resources to form a program that is committed to an integrated approach to addressing profit, environmental and social issues impacting on mixed farming systems.

At a regional level the projects work with farmer organisations, Catchment Management Authorities, state agencies, CSIRO and universities. Grain & Graze project stretch from the Maranoa/Balonne region of Queensland to the Northern Agricultural Region of Western Australia. Each region has a unique project structure comprising various stakeholders and management structures. However, all share a vision of improved farming systems and natural resource outcomes across their regions.

The complex nature of the program’s structure can be difficult to describe, therefore an illustrative summary of the program gives a practical insight into the structures and processes which helped this program to gather momentum, credibility and on-ground action.

Three key learnings: (1) A complex program requires structures to be implemented at both national and regional scales to streamline communication and information exchange processes, program decision making and timely regional engagement; (2) The Grain & Graze model has encouraged regional stakeholder investment, adding significant value to project capacity, whilst building cross industry networks and a shared vision for the landscape; (3) The program is constantly evolving so annual reflection is critical to link goals and outcomes to date whilst capturing new insights.

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