2021 Rural Professional Fund - Applications open now

The Rural Professionals Fund enables rural professionals to rapidly test exciting and innovative ideas that could lead to significant improvements in farming systems and benefit New Zealand farming communities. The fund will invest up to $75,000 per project. Successful applicants will need to co-design and rapidly test (within 9 months) these new and exciting innovation practices as a proof of concept, with a start date of 1 October 2021.

Project teams must include a rural professional, and a farmer or grower. The team also must include a person with relevant scientific or technical expertise, matauranga Maori, or kaupapa Maori research expertise (this may be the rural professional in some cases).

Our Land and Water is looking for ideas to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Speed up the process of testing new ideas, observations, and innovative practices on-farm.
  • Build deeper relationships between researchers, farmers, and rural professionals.
  • Extend what is learned to the wider rural profession and farming community.
  • Empower Maori agribusinesses with knowledge and resources.

Communicating the results of both successful and unsuccessful projects to the wider rural profession and farming community is a crucial part of the process, says Stephen Macaulay, CEO of NZIPIM. 'If projects show promising results they could apply for other research funding for further examination. Should the opposite occur, we can fail fast, learn from the experience and move on to the next exciting prospect.'

Applications are due by 13 August 2021. For more information on the fund click here