Collaborative Industry Organisations – Victoria – Support to VIDP
Victorian vegetable growers consider the position of Industry Development Officers (IDO) as an integral part of industry development and have fully appreciated the support of the Department of Primary Industry Victoria (DPI Vic) in allocating funding through the Horticultural Industry Network (HIN) program to provide the Vegetable Growers Association of Victoria (VGA Vic) with the ability to engage an IDO on a part time basis since October 2009. The allocation of funding from the Vegetable industry to support the delivery of outputs of the Vegetable Industry Development Program (VIDP) allowed VGA Vic to upgrade its IDO service from one part-time IDO to two part-time IDOs covering an area that stretches from Mildura to Myrtleford in the north and Colac to Lindenow in the south as well as provide a wider range of services to all Victorian vegetable growers. The funding provided VGA Vic with the capacity to serve as a delivery agent for products and services produced by VIDP through extension and interaction with growers for adoption and implementation, increased awareness of the research outcomes and development of opportunities in collaboration with InnoVeg and the other VIDP sub-programs. The main role of the IDO has been to provide industry communication between grass roots vegetable growers, grower groups, produce commodity delegates, research and development organisation (R&D) and service providers. This has been achieved through one-on-one visits, the In-The-Field newsletter, the VGA Vic quarterly magazine, workshops and forums. The IDOs have been responsible for obtaining funding for several external projects as well as identifying research needs for the Victorian industry. The IDOs have also been of great assistance to researchers, resellers and stakeholders by organising farm visits, identifying potential trial sites and promoting field days and workshops then disseminating the information to other growers through In-the-Field and Vegetables Victoria magazine articles. VGA Vic has worked towards better communication across the State of Victoria through modern technology with improvements to its website which is now proving to be the forefront of the vegetable industry and would rank as one of the most up to day sites in the industry providing growers with regular industry information. The site has over 2,500 �hits� each month.