Dairy Australia has created a new Dairy Farmer Discussion Group Resources Kit to help farmers and advisors establish and run successful discussion groups.
The kit is a simple guide offering insight into what makes group-based extension effective and successful in driving change on-farm.
Dairy Australia’s On-farm Adoption and Evaluation Program Manager, Neil Webster, said the kit will particularly benefit new regional groups who have accessed Dairy Australia funding support.
Dairy Australia has funding support for up to 90 discussion groups throughout Australia’s dairy regions with new and established groups eligible. Since the funding was made available last year a number of groups have benefited and 20 new groups have been formed.
“The kit holds all the information and advice you need to get your group started and might even be a good refresher for established groups,” Mr Webster said.
The new resource includes detailed fact sheets on forming and coordinating a group, tips from an experienced facilitator and information about how to access Dairy Australia discussion group funding.
DairyTas Extension Coordinator, Liz Mann, said a successful discussion group is one which farmers feel they have ownership of and can contribute knowledge while learning from others.
“In successful groups farmers are learning something but they are also contributing to the group through helping other people with problems or answering questions that they have,” she said.
To get a hold of a kit contact Dairy Australia’s Extension Coordinators or your Regional Development Program.
Reasons to get involved with a discussion group or establish your own:
• Talk through business matters common to you and other farmers
• Gain confidence in your decision making
• Network with other farmers and service providers
• Develop your skill and knowledge and learn from others
If you are interested in applying for funding for your discussion group contact your Regional Development Program or Dairy Australia Extension Coordinator. For more info visit Dairy Australia.
First published in Leading Agriculture Issue 6