Key features of the regional producer network for enabling social learning
Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
43(8) 1015 - 1029
Published: 19 September 2003
This paper outlines a form of research and extension that involves producers, researchers, program administrators, facilitators and others with an interest in on-farm, natural resource management and production improvement. Drawing predominantly from a review of the Sustainable Grazing Systems (SGS) regional producer network involving 88 interviews with producers, managers and scientists and in-depth studies of 4 SGS regional producer committees, findings advocate the establishment of arrangements where producers are in control of research and development to maximise learning and on-ground change. The justification for this need is based on the principle that major change will not occur unless the theories of those people whose practices are most affected by research and development outcomes are dominant in the research and development approach itself. In this way, research and development responds to the context in which change is to take place. Additionally, the SGS regional producer network provided a broad framework that enabled producers and other people to come together and actively learn from each other in a non-threatening environment. This approach provided a learning environment that was essentially directed by and for producers.
Full text doi:10.1071/EA02086
© CSIRO 2003