Integrating farm production and natural resource management in Tasmania, Australia

Cotching, W. E., Sherriff, L. and Kilpatrick, Sue 2009, Integrating farm production and natural resource management in Tasmania, Australia, Journal of agricultural education and extension, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 287-300, doi: 10.1080/13892240903069611.

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Title Integrating farm production and natural resource management in Tasmania, Australia
Author(s) Cotching, W. E.
Sherriff, L.
Kilpatrick, Sue
Journal name Journal of agricultural education and extension
Volume number 15
Issue number 3
Start page 287
End page 300
Publisher Stichting European Higher Agricultural Education
Place of publication Wageningen, Netherlands
Publication date 2009-09
ISSN 1389-224X
Keyword(s) group facilitation
social learning
best management practice
Summary This paper reports on the social learning from a project aimed to increase the knowledge and capacity of a group of farmers in Tasmania, Australia, to reduce the impacts of intensive agriculture on soil health and waterways, and to optimise the efficient use of on-farm inputs. The plan-do-check-review cycle adopted in this project required the farmers to assess current management practices, identify where to make changes, implement changes and monitor for improvements. The success of the project was due to careful attention to social processes as well as technical input. The combination of group activities with individual mentoring and one-to-one advice was key to the success of this project in enabling farmers to undertake on-farm action.

There is value in social learning that included developing relationships, using one-to-one contact and group workshops together with expert input when working with farmers to tackle some difficult and complex interrelated natural resource management and production issues. Sufficient time must be allowed for the process of facilitating good practice in natural resource management, particularly when addressing systemic environmental impacts. Practical operational recommendations are presented on communication, feedback, focus of activities and meeting content, as these will be useful to other project officers and facilitators working with farmer groups.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13892240903069611
Field of Research 130199 Education systems not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Wageningen University
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Vice-Chancellor and Presidents Office
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