eCite Digital Repository

Agricultural extension: Building capacity and resilience in rural industries and communities


Hunt, W and Vanclay, F and Birch, C and Coutts, J and Flittner, N and Williams, B, Agricultural extension: Building capacity and resilience in rural industries and communities, Rural Society: The Journal of Research Into Rural and Regional Social Issues in Australia, 20, (2) pp. 112-127. ISSN 1037-1656 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Not available

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 eContent Management Pty Ltd.

Official URL:

DOI: doi:10.5172/rsj.20.2.112


This paper contributes to an improved understanding of contemporary agricultural extension. Specifically, it considers how extension can add to capacity and resilience of Australian rural industries and their associated communities. It provides perspectives and examples on how extension, capacity-building and resilience are conceptually linked and includes an extension program in the Tasmanian sheep industry as a supporting case study.

Commenced in 2003 the 8X5 Wool Profit Program, now SheepConnect-Tasmania, was funded by Australian Wool Innovation, and the findings of an independent external review, together with supporting documentation from agencies closely linked to the extension program are presented.

This study confirms rural extension services can function in capacity-building roles in communities that far exceed simply achieving changes in on-farm agricultural production or natural resource management practices. Extension agents are investments that add value and capacity to the communities that rely on them, providing vital accessible skills to stakeholders negotiating challenging circumstances. Retention of core agricultural extension capacity and expertise at regional levels should therefore be a strategic objective for rural community stakeholders, and industry and government policy makers.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:capacity building, resilience, agricultural extension, human capital, social capital, rural and regional communities, drought, mental health services
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agriculture, land and farm management not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hunt, W (Mr Warren Hunt)
UTAS Author:Vanclay, F (Professor Francis Vanclay)
UTAS Author:Birch, C (Associate Professor Colin Birch)
ID Code:63116
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2010-04-15
Last Modified:2013-12-02
Downloads:8 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page