The thoroughbred breeding and racing industries are worth more than $9 billion to the Australian economy. Australia has the second-largest thoroughbred breeding industry in the world after the United States, with 660 stud farms across the country, predominantly in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
To improve the sustainability, productivity and competitiveness of the Australian thoroughbred industry, a statutory levy was introduced in 2017. In 2022, this levy is $10 for each mare served, paid by the mare owner, and $10 for each mare covered, paid by the stallion owner. The levy is invested by AgriFutures Australia and the AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program in research, development and extension (RD&E). A Strategic RD&E Plan guides this investment.
Communication and extension of Program activities is a priority of the Strategic RD&E Plan but requires a thorough understanding of Program stakeholders. To facilitate this understanding, the Program invested in a project to consider how stakeholders like to receive information, what their information pain points are, and what information will encourage practice change.
In completing this work, the project team developed a survey and conducted semi-structured interviews with industry stakeholders. Seventy-four stakeholders engaged with the project and a series of key themes regarding were drawn from consistent messages that came through in the responses.