Frequently Asked Questions

Groups

Can I be involved in more than one group?

Each farm business can only be involved in one group at any one time.


What if I have more than one farming business – can I be involved in multiple groups?

A farm business can only be involved in one group at any one time.

If you have several farming operations, i.e. running as independent businesses, each farm business and the farm team could join a different group. If you have a range of farm land that has one over-arching manager then this would be defined as one business and therefore can only be involved in one group.


What happens if our group size is only 5 or larger than 9?  Can we still be involved?

To be involved in RMPP Action Network, the group size is 7 – 9 farm businesses. A range of research has indicated that this is the ideal group size, for group effectiveness. This does not determine the number of individuals who would be at a group meeting as farm teams are encouraged to be part of the group as appropriate. Please contact RMPP if you would like to talk about exceptions to this.


What if I don’t like the group I am placed in.  Is there a chance for me to move and take the funding with me?

The group must attempt to resolve any concerns, issues or conflicts within the group and as a last resort, complaints about the operation of a group can be made to RMPP.  These must be supplied in writing. 


If I have some friends who I know would be interested in RMPP Action Network and who are experiencing similar issues, can I pull them together to form a group?

Yes you can, however each business can only be part of one group.

For more information on how to form a group, please click here

Funding

How much funding is available per farm business?

The kick-start funding available per farm business is $4000 (excl GST) and this is pooled for the use of the group, held as a group balance by RMPP. This funding is used to cover facilitation and expertise costs for group activities. Funding is available until June 2020.


Will there be a contribution from farmers?

At the start of the second year of the group, farm businesses are required to contribute $800 (excl. GST) which will be added to the group fund to continue to pay for facilitators and expertise. A business will not be invoiced until 12 months after the approval of the first Extension Plan. This will be invoiced to farmers by RMPP.


Will farmers be expected to contribute beyond the second year?

This will be at the discretion of the Action Group.  RMPP would recommend that a certain amount of money is contributed annually so that there is an ability to continue to pay for a trained facilitator and expertise as part of an ongoing investment in improving their business.


How do I access the funding? 

The fund sits with RMPP, however when joining or forming a group (called an Action Group) the allocated fund for each farm business is added to the relevant Action Group balance.  As invoices are submitted by facilitators and experts, supporting your group, they will be paid by RMPP and deducted from the group funds. Group members will be able to see the amount of funding for their group on their group page in the system where group information will be held.


How will the funding work?

The funding for the group will be made up of each farm business’ $4,000, pooled together and used to pay both facilitators and experts who support the group.  Use of the funds is upon receipt of expenses incurred by facilitators and experts. RMPP will pay these expenses utilising the credit balance of the group until the funds are exhausted. At that stage all further costs incurred are at the expense of the group members. 

The Primary Contact for the group will be responsible for approving all invoices on behalf of the group.


What can the funding be used for?

The funding can be used for paying the costs (time and disbursements) of facilitators and experts who will be supporting the Action Group.


What happens if I move from my farm.  Can my funding come with me to another group?

The funding is attached to the farm business and the Action Group and therefore not able to be moved between businesses.  The General Manager of RMPP has the discretion to allow funding to be reallocated if for example a farm is sold and a new one bought.

If you are a farm manager who has changed jobs, you will need to join the group associated with that farm business.


Why does the funding stop in July 2020?

RMPP is a seven year programme finishing in September 2020. At this stage we are limiting the funding to June 2020 in order to be able to wrap up the programme in September that year. However, this does not mean that we anticipate that RMPP Action Network will cease as well.  The aim is for RMPP Action Network to live on beyond the life of RMPP and become an industry proven, best practice, approach to extension through continuous improvement and increasing profitability of farm businesses involved.


Facilitation

Do I have to pay for the facilitation training?

Not for the training, but you will need to cover your costs in terms of travel and accommodation depending on where the training is held.


I am already an experienced facilitator.  Why do I have to do the RMPP Facilitation and Extension Training?

We believe this is an opportunity for professional development for all. Feedback on the courses to date from experienced facilitators has been very positive.


Will I be expected to pull together groups?

Not necessarily. Sometimes a group may approach you to facilitate; otherwise you may help connect a group, and will then facilitate that group.


How will the payment work for being a facilitator of an Action Group?

RMPP will pay the invoice for facilitation costs associated with group activities, as indicated on a group extension plan. The invoice is approved by the Primary Contact Farmer in each group to confirm that the activity happened. The cost of the invoice will be deducted from the group balance of funds.


If someone drops out of the group, whose responsibility is it to find more farmers to join?

It is the responsibility of the group, with help from the facilitator and/or connector involved with the group.


Who finds the subject matter experts to help the group?

It is the responsibility of the group, with help from the facilitator and/or connector involved with the group.


If part of the plan is to do field trips or trips to other farms, will this be covered by the funding?

The group will need to decide how much of the group funding should be allocated to this and this should be outlined in the group extension plan.  The funding doesn’t cover the travel and disbursement costs related to farmer group members getting to and from field trip activities.


Is there an opportunity to facilitate more than one group?

Yes.


If I am facilitating more than one group could I bring the groups together for certain activities if they were in a similar region?

Yes, although this needs to be part of the group extension plan for both groups.


Can I be both the facilitator and one of the subject matter experts in the same group?

No.  If you can add value as a subject matter expert, someone else must stand in the role of facilitator for that activity.


Will I get funded to help the Action Group pull together the group extension plan?

The farm businesses will decide what they want to add into the group extension plan.  If they want to add in cost for assisting with the creation of the plan, then this can be negotiated by the facilitator and participants.


What if our group thinks that the cost of our facilitator is too high?

Action Groups are farmer-centered offering choice around facilitation, expertise and how they spend their allocated fund.  The group extension plan will include indicative costs that the group are comfortable with and these should be agreed to amongst the group members.  If you feel that a facilitator’s (or Subject Matter Expert’s) rate is not appropriate, it is recommended that you negotiate this with them prior to engaging them.  If you want a general steer on what indicative pricing would be expected, please contact RMPP.


Subject matter experts

Would I be required to attend the Facilitation and Extension training?

No but you are welcome to consider if facilitation is an appropriate fit for you.  Refer to the Facilitation Training program here.


How will the payment work for being an expert within an Action Group?

RMPP will pay the invoice for costs associated with group activities, as indicated on a group extension plan. The invoice is approved by the Primary Contact Farmer in each group to confirm that the activity happened. The cost of the invoice will be deducted from the group balance of funds.

Other Questions

Why does the funding stop in July 2020?

RMPP is a seven year programme finishing in September 2020. At this stage we are limiting the funding to June 2020 in order to be able to wrap up the programme in September that year. However, it is our ambition and expectation that RMPP Action Network will live on as a way of offering farmers a valuable environment to share ideas and learning, and to further deliver confidence to implement changes relevant to them on their farm. this does not mean that we anticipate that RMPP Action Network will cease as well.  The aim is for RMPP Action Network to become an industry proven, best practice, approach to extension through continuous improvement and increasing profitability of farm businesses involved.


We have never created an extension plan.  Will we have help to put that together?

The Action Group will have the choice of either pulling one together with guidelines supplied by RMPP to help them or utilising their facilitator who can help create it.  RMPP recommend using their facilitator, who will be trained and supported by RMPP in guiding the development of relevant and effective Extension Plans.


What happens if the farm objective we first wrote down at the beginning changes over time?

We anticipate that goals and objectives of an Action Group will move over time as farm businesses gain experience and want to move on to other challenges.  The facilitator will help review the group’s plan over time to ensure the first objectives have been achieved and that it is also relevant.  If it is not, new objectives can be created.


I am already involved in a farm discussion group.  Am I eligible for RMPP Action Network too?

Yes you are eligible. RMPP Action Network is not designed to replace farm discussion groups. If you wish to apply for RMPP Action Network funding your group will need to show that the group is not continuing business as usual, but is instead using the funds available to kickstart a different approach, focus and/or objective.


I have been involved as a pilot farmer.  Can I be a part of RMPP Action Network as well?

Yes. Please contact your meat processor representative who has supported you through the pilot programme for more details on this.


I have a large farm team.  Can they all be a part of coming along to the meetings?

Yes. We are keen to ensure that the farm team are involved in these groups, not just one individual from the farm team.  However, each Action Group will determine the ground rules around how the group is run, including maximum expected participation, etc.  This will be conducted during the initial group formation meeting(s).


I don’t use a computer.  Can I still be a part of RMPP Action Network?  How do I register?

All registrations will go through the online system within the Knowledge Hub which is a digital platform.  If you do not have a computer, contact us to register over the phone.  


Who do we speak with if we are not happy with something happening within my group?

In the first instance please speak with the facilitator and/or your Primary Contact Farmer.   If you feel you cannot speak to either of these people please contact RMPP.


What happens if I don’t like the facilitator of the group?

Group members will have the option to veto a facilitator if you are unhappy with one that has been suggested.  Action Groups may pick and choose their own facilitators. Facilitators must have gone through the RMPP facilitator training programme before they are able to work with an Action Group.  Each farm business will be asked to complete an evaluation after one a period of time which is also an opportunity to give feedback about the facilitator.


Is RMPP Action Network competing with other extension activities?

No. We need a good range of extension activities for farmers. RMPP Action Network is designed to help small groups deal with specific issues relevant to their farm businesses. This does not take away from the need to have other events such as field days, workshops or seminars.


Who will have access to my information?

All information will be entered through the Action Network Management System, on the Knowledge Hub.  Your personal registration details will be secured and not available to anyone else to view.  The group extension plan will be available to all members of the group, including the Facilitator and Connector (if one assigned to your group).  Your individual Action Plan will be only visible to you and the group Facilitator and Connector.  RMPP will have administrative access across all information, however any information and data collected will not be used in any way beyond relating to RMPP Action Network. 


 

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