Jeff Coutts is a co-author of a chapter in the recently on-line published book:  “Rural Development for Sustainable Social-ecological Systems: Putting Communities First”.

Abstract: This chapter presents a brief but critical account of trends in agricultural extension practices in Australia. Agricultural extension practices have changed significantly over the past five decades. Structural changes in agriculture, new types of agricultural technologies, tight public budgets, efforts to decentralise government and emerging information and communication technologies (ICT) have led to pluralistic advisory services. Earlier research has described the history of agricultural extension until 2010 in Australia. Using a ‘practice perspective’, this paper focuses on the practices of practitioners in agricultural extension. The chapter starts with a discussion of what extension refers to in Australia. This is followed by a brief outline of the history of agricultural extension in Australia providing insight into the diversity of current extension practices. Then the key methodological approaches that inform current extension practices are described, namely approaches that focus on (1) adoption and diffusion; (2) interactions and learning; and (3) agricultural innovation systems and systems innovation. The paper concludes with a discussion of new developments in extension practices as well as opportunities to strengthen and re-invigorate the study of extension.

Link to the journal article:

International workshop for education and advisory actors of rural areas, the agricultural and environmental sector, including the home and food economy

The networks International Academy for Rural Advisory Services (IALB), European Forum for Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services (EUFRAS) and South Eastern Europe Advisory Service Network (SEASN) as well as the Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) are organising an international workshop for education and advisory actors of rural areas, the agricultural and environmental sector, including the home and food economy, in Dresden from 10 to 14 September 2023. The theme is: The role of education and extension in the transformation process of agriculture – in the context of climate change, ensuring nutrition and societal demands.

Registration is from July 2023:

FDF 2021-2022 Annual Report published

The Future Drought Fund (FDF) has published its second annual report. It shows how progress is being made across all the FDF programs and outlines learnings that will contribute to the direction of its funding cycle. It’s good to see recognition of the foundations being set by the programs and the establishment of networking and collaborations which are necessary for their growth and success. Through our work with a number of the FDF programs, we’ve seen that these first couple of years have really been establishment phases, with groundwork being undertaken to facilitate growing momentum over the coming years. Most of these programs are playing the long game, and we’re looking forward to seeing their hard work pay off.

Call for abstracts for the 26th European Seminar on Extension Education (ESEE)

ESEE is a biennial conference about agricultural advice and education and aims to support discussions between science and practice. The 2023 conference is being held in Toulouse, France July 10-13, and is now calling for abstracts. The theme of the 2023 conference is “Sustainability transitions of agriculture and the transformation of education and advisory services: convergence or divergence?” The deadline for submission is 17 February 2023.

To find out more visit the conference website.

Toulouse, France (image from: