Farmers are known for their ingenuity and the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) is asking them to bring ideas to the table.

The Red Meat Profit Partnership, which is a joint project between government, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ) and the Meat Industry Association, is offering funding to farmers in the form of action groups.

BLNZ southern South Island extension manager Olivia Ross said RMPP was established to increase profitability across the industry.

RMPP also aimed to attract more talented young people to the sector and to give real-life examples from the red meat industry.

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This had resulted in changes to the BLNZ website in the knowledge hub and learning modules, as well as the launch of True Pure Nature brand.

RMPP Stakeholder Engagement manager Melonie Sheppard said the RMPP was a bit quiet in the first few years but had established a seven-year plan.

''We don't create any project until we've done some research.''

Successful projects have included the Agri-Women's Development Trust courses, the Key Performance Index (KPI) information, computer courses (which are still available) and the development of school resources.

One of the ongoing projects was the Red Meat Profit Partnership Action Network.

Seventy-five farmers were part of the pilot programme, which is now being rolled out nationwide.

RMPP is asking groups of seven to nine farms, with about two people from each, to identify an area of common opportunity on their farms to lift profit.

Each farm gets $4000 for specialist advice and trained facilitators to help achieve this.

The group must commit to an action plan to meet goals and work to achieve them.

After the first year, each farm must also invest $800 themselves to continue funding the group, which will operate for three years.

Ideas explored so far had included business planning, animal performance, feed management and financial management, as well as others. They were hugely variable, Ms Sheppard said.

Eighty groups registered last year and RMPP had goals in place to have 175 registered by September this year.

More information is available online at www.actionnetwork.co.nz.

Southern Rural Life