Training as Part of the Capacity-Building Ladder in Australian Agriculture

Dominie Wright, Ann Grand, Bill MacLeod, Lynette K Abbott


To maintain the efficiency and economy of their farming, Australian farmers and advisers perceive a need to continually update their skills and knowledge by attending informal and formal training activities such as field days, workshops and grower group meetings. Using a mixed methods approach, this research evaluates: a) what types of training events farmers and advisers prefer; b) why they prefer that type; and c) if their knowledge increased as a result of training. The data were analysed using non-parametric tests and inductive thematic coding before triangulating the results. Farmers preferred field days held on farms, because of the relevance of the location and field experiments and the opportunity for informal interactions, but thought workshops were redundant. Advisers preferred formal workshops, because they provided interaction with specialists. Participants liked to attend grower groups because they were local, interactive and informative. However, the majority of grower groups are made up of farmers and only half the advisers surveyed belonged to one. Participants’ knowledge increases after training and is related to the activity attended. Many participants indicate that they would use their new knowledge on their farm or in the workplace. This research shows that the demographic characteristics of farmers and advisers influence the type of training they will attend; this information can be used to refine existing and develop new training events.


To maintain the efficiency and economy of their farming, Australian farmers and advisers perceive a need to continually update their skills and knowledge by attending informal and formal training activities such as field days, workshops and grower group m

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