The Macalister Research Farm, known as the Macalister Demonstration Farm since 2008, is a farmer-owned co-operative that was established on April 13th 1960. The brief was to acquire a commercial dairy farm on which systems of farming that had the potential for improving the productivity, profitability and sustainability of farms in the Macalister Irrigation District (MID) could be tested and demonstrated. It was formed as a collaboration between dairy farmers of the MID and the Department of Agriculture at Maffra. This group of forward thinking individuals recognised the need to use science and the power of demonstration to stimulate farmers to take up new and innovative practices to boost productivity and profitability. The Mission –
“To enable shareholders to improve the profitability of their farms and their lifestyles, through the demonstration of superior and sustainable management systems, and the provision of education programmes necessary for their adoption.”
The MDF is recognized throughout the dairy industry as a credible and reliable organization that has a strong history of delivering projects that are relevant to local farmers, at the same time as meeting the expectations of project partners and stakeholders.
In 2010 the Macalister Demonstration Farm was awarded the inaugurul Fonterra Dairy Leadership Award for industry leadership over fifty years at the Regional Achievement and Community Awards.
In 2011 the Macalister Demonstration Farm was a finalist in both the Banksia Environmental Awards and the NAB Agribusiness Awards.