BetterBeef Producer Groups

What is a BetterBeef Group?

BetterBeef logo.

BetterBeef groups are small groups averaging about 12 producers per group, meeting up to 6 times per year.

BetterBeef groups were established in 2011 to support beef producers to:

  • build skills and knowledge to operate more productive, profitable and resilient beef enterprises
  • adopt contemporary, evidence-based solutions incorporating the latest research, development and technological innovations in pasture-based extensive livestock production systems.

All groups are unique in that its members determine the aspects of beef production that they want to focus on, allowing groups to tailor the program to their production system and environment. All groups have a professional facilitator who is responsible for delivering the group’s annual program. Facilitators are selected from within Agriculture Victoria or the private sector.

BetterBeef groups suit commercially-oriented producers seeking to improve their beef enterprise by making changes to areas in their business, including:

  • grazing and pasture management practices
  • livestock nutrition, health and welfare
  • managing feed gaps
  • preparing for drought, natural disasters and biosecurity risks
  • financial and business management, strategic planning and succession
  • farm infrastructure
  • understanding target markets and meeting market and consumer expectations
  • having clear breeding goals and objectives and selecting the right genetics for the target market and production environment
  • using existing or new technology in farming.

Each month BetterBeef profiles one of the groups in the state-wide network. Group profiles are published with the Beef and Sheep Networks Newsflash a monthly email-based newsletter. Visit the BetterBeef Group Profiles page to learn more about BetterBeef producer groups.

BetterBeef group coordinators

BetterBeef groups are managed by highly qualified and experienced coordinators.

While most coordinators are from the private sector, operating small to medium sized farm advisory and consultancy businesses, there are also several Agriculture Victoria extension officers coordinating groups or available to coordinate a group.

Groups have the option to select their own coordinator, however the BetterBeef management team in Agriculture Victoria endorses and approves selections and engages the coordinator.

This is to ensure that the information delivered and farming practices promoted by the coordinator are:

  • based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence
  • best practice
  • consistent with Victorian law
  • tested in a commercial farming context.

About our meetings

When and where are meetings held?

BetterBeef group members decide when and where they meet and for how long. Most groups meet on weekdays during the day.

The session may run for up to 5 hours allowing plenty of time for:

  • discussion
  • learning
  • networking with other farmers and service providers
  • inspections of the host farm (such as pastures or livestock).

Some sessions may be held in community halls or sheds, while others are hosted by a member at their farm.

Are group meetings all technical?

No, it's not all technical. The social aspect to each group is also important. Members value the social connections as highly as they value the technical knowledge and skills they acquire.

These social connections become even more important during the more challenging times such as drought or after a natural disaster.

Membership fee

BetterBeef groups are subsided by Agriculture Victoria. The base cost, per farming business per year, is $2200 (inc. GST) divided by the number of farming businesses in the group.

For example, for a group of 12 farming businesses, the cost is $183 per business ($2200 divided by 12).

In addition, there may a reasonable amount charged by the coordinator to cover extra costs such as excess travel, or overnight trips.

Joining a group

To enquire about joining a BetterBeef group, please email beef.sheepnetworks@agriculture.vic.gov.au or contact a member of the BetterBeef management team.

Forming a group

If you would like to enquire about a setting up a new group, please contact a member of the BetterBeef management team.

BetterBeef management team

NameRoleLocation Contact details

Darren Hickey

BetterBeef Project Leader

Bairnsdale, Victoria

Mobile:  0407 947 580

darren.hickey@agriculture.vic.gov.au

574 Main St, Bairnsdale 3875

BetterBeef groups in Victoria

BetterBeef group name Group location Group coordinator Coordinator contact
Ballarat

South West Victoria

Neil James

Agriculture Victoria

Phone: 5336 6620

Mobile: 0417 353 929

Neil.James@agriculture.vic.gov.au

402-406 Mair St,
Ballarat, Victoria 3350

Boolarra/Mirboo NorthSouth Gippsland, South East VictoriaTo be advisedTo be advised
BuffaloSouth Gippsland, South East Victoria

Malcolm Cock

Farm Dynamics

Phone: (03) 9444 1112

Mobile: 0418 316 009

farmdynamics@dcsi.net.au

163 Ryans Rd
Eltham North, VIC 3095

ColacSouth West Victoria

Nathan Scott

Achieve Ag Solutions

Mobile: 0409 493 346

nathan@achieveag.com.au

PO Box 306
Inverleigh, VIC 3311

EnsayEast Gippsland

Janice Dowe

Agriculture Victoria

Phone: (03) 5147 0800

janice.dowe@agriculture.vic.gov.au

1 Stratford Road
Maffra, Vic 3860

Far EastEast Gippsland

Alison Gunn

Herd Solutions

Mobile: 0409 144 825

a.gunn.vet@gmail.com

PO Box 100
Lindenow, VIC 3875

FosterSouth Gippsland, South East Victoria

John Gallienne

John Gallienne & Co

Phone: (03) 5623 2940

Mobile: 0407 863 493

gallienne@dcsi.net.au

PO Box 408
Warragul, VIC 3820

Hawkesdale

South West Victoria

Andrew Speirs

Meridian Agriculture

Mobile: 0428 685 172

aspeirs@meridian-ag.com

32 Henty St
Casterton, VIC 3352

High CountryNorth East Victoria

John Webb Ware

Mackinnon Project, University of Melbourne.

Phone: (03) 9731 2224

Mobile: 0418 748 600

j.webbware@unimelb.edu.au

250 Princes Hwy
Werribee, VIC 3030

Kiewa ValleyNorth East Victoria

Chris Mirams

Chris Mirams and Associates

Mobile: 0409 205 235

chrisjmirams@gmail.com

PO Box 929
Albury, NSW 2640

King ValleyNorth East Victoria

Chris Mirams

Chris Mirams and Associates

Mobile: 0409 205 235

chrisjmirams@gmail.com

PO Box 929
Albury, NSW 2640

MacarthurSouth West VictoriaBen Young

Mobile: 0416 240 254

youngybj@hotmail.com

530 Macarthur-Penhurst Road
Warrabkook, VIC 3286

Mitchell RiverEast Gippsland

Alison Gunn

Herd Solutions

Mobile: 0409 144 825

a.gunn.vet@gmail.com

PO Box 100
Lindenow, VIC 3875

MudgegongaNorth East Victoria

Chris Mirams

Chris Mirams and Associates

Mobile: 0409 205 235

chrisjmirams@gmail.com

PO Box 929
Albury, NSW 2640

MortlakeSouth West VictoriaMike Carroll

Mobile: 0414 444 218

michael@widgeegonga.com

57 Wattletree Road
Armadale, VIC 3143

Omeo and DistrictHigh Country, East Gippsland

Chris Mirams

Chris Mirams and Associates

Mobile: 0409 205 235

chrisjmirams@gmail.com

PO Box 929
Albury NSW 2640

Phillip IslandSouth East Victoria

John Gallienne

John Gallienne & Co

Phone: (03) 5623 2940

Mobile: 0407 863 493

gallienne@dcsi.net.au

PO Box 408
Warragul, VIC 3820

TallangattaUpper North East Victoria

Kristy Howard

Inspiring Excellence

Mobile: 0400 282 222

kristy@inspiringexcellence.com.au

PO Box 400,
Beechworth, VIC 3747

TaturaNorth East Victoria

Jim Shovelton

Meridian Agriculture

Mobile: 0407 953 445

jshovelton@meridian-ag.com.au

PO Box 185
Euroa, VIC 3666

Upper Murray

Upper North East Victoria

Chris Mirams

Chris Mirams and Associates

Mobile: 0409 205 235

chrisjmirams@gmail.com

PO Box 929
Albury NSW 2640

Wellington

Central and East Gippsland

Alison Gunn

Herd Solutions

Mobile: 0409 144 825

a.gunn.vet@gmail.com

PO Box 100
Lindenow, VIC 3875

Western Districts

South West Victoria

Meg Bell

Coleraine Livestock Consulting

Mobile: 0433 499 630

meg@colerainelivestockconsulting.com.au

789 Coleraine-Edenhope Rd
Konongwootong, VIC 3315

West Gippsland

South East Victoria

Fiona Baker

Agriculture Victoria

Phone: (03) 5624 2234

fiona.baker@agriculture.vic.gov.au

Ellinbank Centre
Hazeldean Rd
Ellinbank, VIC 3821

Page last updated: 28 Apr 2022