28 April, 2023
Money to give away
THE DemoDAIRY Foundation has an unusual problem – its goal is to give away money but there aren’t enough people putting their hands up for it.
The foundation is launching a new campaign to inspire more people to apply for scholarships and grants.
Chair Andrea Vallance said the foundation could allocate up to $100,000 a year for worthwhile projects but struggled to find enough suitable applicants.
The DemoDAIRY Foundation (DDF) was established in 2018 after a resolution to wind up the former DemoDAIRY Cooperative near Terang, with funds from the sale of the property invested into a fund.
To streamline the process, DDF is inviting applicants to apply for scholarships or submit grant applications twice yearly, with a mid-year cut-off date of May 30 and late October.
DDF has previously supported scholarships and grants for a range of dairy or agribusiness related proposals as diverse as innovation grants including a water rat, research projects, business management skill development and field trials.
Funds have also been used towards capacity development grants, supporting WestVic Dairy events, the Food and Fibre Great South Coast Careers Advisory Panel (CAP), the Neil Porter Legacy,
Leadership Great South Coast and participation in dairy conferences, study tours and a range of tertiary or further study options. “We need people to apply across the board,” Mrs Vallance said.
“We won’t hand out funds willy-nilly, but we are interested in any worthwhile application that is going to benefit dairy farmers, the dairy industry and dairy communities.”
DDF is about half-way through its expected 10-year duration but it hasn’t allocated half of its funds. Mrs Vallance said the funds had been well invested and were generating sound income which provides even more opportunities for potential applicants.
“We’ve got till the funds run out but it looks like we’re going to continue for longer than anticipated because people aren’t taking up these grant and scholarship prospects,” she said.
“You wouldn’t think it would be hard to give money away, but people don’t think their ideas are worth considering or they don’t think they should seek support to undertake further study.
“Having a streamlined application process may be an impetus to help people take the next step in their agribusinesses.
“The DDF Board wants to continue supporting our regional dairy industry and encourages more individuals, groups or industry stakeholders to apply for funding that could deliver direct benefits to other dairy farmers and our wider dairy community.
More information can be found at https://www.demodairy.com.au/scholarships-and-grants/ or from DDF secretary Ian Teese on 0427 358987 or email@example.com.