17 Jan 2017

Improving the reach of extension projects in the Australian vegetable industry

Kristen Stirling, Carl Larsen and Anne-Maree Boland

The Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) Project and Soil Wealth (SW) Projects are focussed on promoting best management practices for healthy crops and healthy soils in the Australian vegetable industry. These three-year projects aim to disseminate the existing information on ICP and soil health and continue to build upon this knowledge. To increase the reach of these projects a range of social media is being utilised in conjunction with on-ground activities. These forums are integrated and alert vegetable producers to activities, provide information on latest research and provide an opportunity for networking with other industry members. A number of principles have been used when developing these media platforms including: understanding the audience; providing quality over volume; focussing on engagement; integration of platforms. The types of social media used in these projects, the principles behind development, methods for evaluation of impact and future opportunities and constraints are discussed in this paper.

Read the full paper here which appeared in Rural Extension & Innovation Systems Journal, 2015 11(1) – Practice.