Project 3030


Project 3030 brought together a diverse mix of disciplines, practices, organisations, and geographic locations as well as formal and informal processes. Social research was undertaken in this project to understand how the diverse mix of participants worked collaboratively to capture the benefits of the research.

Project Summary

Project 3030 commenced in 2005 in Victoria to develop knowledge that could be used by Australian dairy farms to improve profitability (Chapman et al., 2008). Modelling of different farming systems suggested a 30% increase in the consumption of home grown forage on dairy farms could result in a 30% increase in return on capital assets over a period of a financial year. The project activities included:

  • Bio-physical research (trial farmlets at a demonstration farm in south-west Victoria consisting of two herds of 36 milking cows run respectively under two different feed-base production systems (Perennial ryegrass pasture with bought in supplements – the ‘Ryegrass Max’ system) and Perennial ryegrass supplemented by other home grown pastures and forage crops (otherwise known as ‘Complementary Forage’).
  • Agronomic research involving comparison of forages in trials at the demonstration farm.
  • Five Partner Farms in Victoria (South-Western, North-Eastern and Gippsland) and South Australia (Fleurieu Peninsula). Partner Farms are commercial farms operating as research partners where knowledge is generated about the management challenges of farm system designs (Crawford et al. 2008; O’Kane & Nettle 2009).

Project Duration


Research Group Leader/Key contact

Dr Michael O’Kane

Other Personnel

Dr Barbara King

Dr Callum Eastwood

Anne Crawford

Dr Ruth Nettle

Contact details

Dr Barbara King

Partnership details

Gardiner Foundation, Dairy Australia


O’Kane, M., King, B., Eastwood, C., Crawford, A., and R. Nettle (2010) Milestone 7: Adaptation of technologies to achieve high productivity from dairy farming systems: research findings for innovation management. Rural Innovation Research Group. The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria.

O’Kane, M and B. King (2010) Milestone 6: Report on completed professional development package for advisors – Project 3030 advisory Tools Package Rural Innovation Research Group. The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria.

O’Kane, M and B. King (2009) Milestone 5 Project 3030: Strategic implications of network analysis for farming systems projects and extension services. Rural Innovation Research Group. The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria.

O’Kane, M and B. King (2009) Milestone 4 Project 3030: Social network analysis literature review, methodology and Case study 1. Rural Innovation Research Group. The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria.


King, B.J., Paine, M.S., Beilin, R., & M.P. O’Kane (2009). Encounters with knowledge entrepreneurs and ‘sticky’ knowledge transfer: Case Study Project 3030. Extension Farming Systems Journal.  5(1) 11-21

King,  B. and Nettle, R. (2014). Third party roles of brokers in temporary knowledge networks.  11th European IFSA Symposium, Berlin, 1-4 April 2014.

King, B.J. and Nettle, R.A. (2011) Using Partner Farms to support RD&E initiative: The   3030 Project experience. The University of Melbourne.(This publically is available from DEPI and Dairy Australia as a Factsheet).

Nettle, R., O’Kane, M.P., King, B.J., Chapman, D. & D. Henry (2010). Farmers design farm systems – not researchers: Conceptual ideas for linking farms, advisers, research projects and regions to improve technology choice in Australian dairy production. 9th European IFSA Symposium, 4-7 July, Austria.

O’Kane, M.P., Paine, M.S. and B.J. King (2008). Context, Participation and Discourse: The Role of the Communities of Practice Concept in Understanding Farmer Decision Making. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 14 (3).

O’Kane, M.P., Paine, M.S. and King, B.J. (2008). ‘Organising Research: Using Action Research Methodologies to ReOrganise Research Structures’. EGOS Organising Committee (Eds), Upsetting Organisations, 24th European Group for Organisational Studies Colloquium.

O’Kane, M.P., Paine, M.S. and King, B.J., (2008). Thoughts on Reflexive Learning Strategies: Structural decision making in forage management innovation. Dedieu, B and Zasser Bedoya, S (Eds), Empowerment of the Rural Actors: A Renewal of Farming Systems Perspectives, 8th European IFSA Symposium, INRA Metafort

O'Kane, M., King, B. J., & O'Brien, G. (2009). Farmer risk perceptions and practice: Utilising notions of risk for extension in Project 3030. Extension Farming Systems Journal, 5(2): 59-69.

Project 3030