Tasmanian dairy farmers' attitudes towards using e-extension methods, strengthening the dairy extension system for a sustainable dairy industry in Tasmania, Australia
Afzal, A and Kilpatrick, S and Turner, LR, Tasmanian dairy farmers' attitudes towards using e-extension methods, strengthening the dairy extension system for a sustainable dairy industry in Tasmania, Australia, Sustainability, 14, (21) pp. 1-13. ISSN 2071-1050 (2022) [Refereed Article]
The Tasmanian dairy industry is one of the major contributors to the Tasmanian economy and Australia’s export portfolio. The Tasmanian Government funding plan (2018–2023) for RD&E focuses on sustainable dairy farm production with an impact pathway incorporating provisions for extension services. Considering the need for an effective extension system, the continued adaptation of extension services is required to ensure that there is a collaborative and learning mechanism between extension experts and farmers that supports relationship building and innovation. E-extension methods can increase dairy farmers’ access to timely information while addressing time and cost challenges by reducing personal visits and establishing frequent communications between farmers and extension workers. This study uses the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to understand the attitudes of dairy farmers toward using E-extension methods. It was revealed that dairy farmers who are young, educated, and managing dairy farms with large herd sizes hold positive attitudes toward E-extension. These farmers regularly seek online dairy-related guidance as well as regularly participate in different extension activities. This study concludes that establishing a hybrid framework incorporating E-extension methods with complementary face-to-face extension activities will help maintain a profitable and sustainable dairy industry in Tasmania.