BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB commenced as BESTWOOL 2010 in July 1998, following a study of the major on-farm issues affecting the profitability of Victorian wool producers conducted by the Department of Primary Industries Wool Industry Taskforce.
The Taskforce study reported that:
- Woolgrowers were struggling with low wool prices following the removal of the Reserve Price Scheme
- Average wool industry productivity was increasing by only 0.1 per cent per year
- Average cotton and synthetic industry productivity was growing at 3 per cent a year
- There were poor links between research, extension and training services for woolgrowers
- There were low levels of technology uptake among woolgrowers
With project funding support from AWI and DPI, the BESTWOOL 2010 network grew to 70 groups with a total membership of 1700 participants. The Advisory Committee, aware that wool producers are also meat producers, then broadened the scope of the project, attracting additional funding from MLA and GRDC, and changing the program name to BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB.
The original ethos remains the same, but since July 2005 the administration of groups has changed.
Producers are now required to make a direct contribution to the cost of the program and pay an annual membership fee. Producer contributions are important because they ensure that participants will actively seek value from the services that are received.
BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB continues to support producers, communities and industry through group and network activities, partnerships to deliver information and training and skill development for project staff. Or, to be more precise, good people, better networks, best practice