Building advisory relationships with farmers to foster innovation

Title: Building advisory relationships with farmers to foster innovation
Authors: Gorman, MonicaGrogan, PeterHeanue, Kevin
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Date: 21-Jun-2019
Online since: 2019-06-10T14:05:21Z
Abstract: Increasing attention is being given to evaluating the impact of advisory services in terms of their effectiveness in providing farmers with knowledge and networks for innovation as well as understanding the factors that influence this effectiveness (Prager et al, 2017). The demand and uptake of advisory services is one factor and Klerkx et al (2017) comment on the variation in farmers’ demand and the influences of variables such as farm size, asset status and education as well as stability or turbulence in the regulatory environment. Some research has started to look at the quality of the service provided by advisors and debates in the literature have paid some attention to the new skills and profiles to be developed by agricultural advisors (Faure et al, 2012) including the importance of credibility and relational trust in the advisor - farmer relationship (Sutherland et al, 2013). Despite general agreement on the importance of social expertise, there are still wide differences in the conceptual understanding of the advisory relationship and how trust and confidence work to provide opportunities for information acquisition and knowledge exchange. Ingram (2008) has shown that farmers can be proactive or reactive in their relationship with advisors and how this relationship may be steered by either party or be more equal. The relationship between advisors and the farmers with whom they work is often one of the most influential in the transfer of knowledge and learning (Kuehne et al., 2015) yet it remains something of an enigma, often more art than science. Despite the diversity in public and private advisory service providers, there is increasing attention being given to the professional formation and continuing professional development of extension professionals (Gorman, 2018). The ProAKIS project called for the introduction and development of certification and accreditation schemes with could establish or strengthen the profession of agricultural advisor with curricula that include methodological emphasis as well as technical know-how. CECRA (European Certificate for Consultants in Rural Areas) is an example of an accreditation scheme for advisors that is focusing on such communication and methodological competencies.
Funding Details: Teagasc
Type of material: Conference Publication
Keywords: TrustFarmer Advisor relationshipsFarm innovationKnowledge exchange
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Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Conference Details: European Seminar of Extension and Education, Acireale, Sicily, Italy, 18-21 June, 2019
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Appears in Collections:Agriculture and Food Science Research Collection

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