Reef Alliance

Enhanced Extension Coordination

Enhanced extension coordination is a new program being developed as part of the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program, managed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). A key element of this new program is the development of a training program that will further improve the skills and capability of those providing extension services to farmers. This training will be open to anyone working in this field, including industry development officers, researchers, agricultural advisors, agronomists and consultants.

What is extension?

Extension is the process of enabling change in individuals, communities and industries. You might not even call yourself an extension officer, but instead an industry development officer, researcher, advisor, agronomist, consultant or perhaps something else.

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What is the Enhanced Extension Coordination project?

A change to land management practices is essential to meet water quality targets for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchment areas. This project will improve coordination, collaboration and communication across different producer and extension networks to increase adoption of agricultural land management practices leading to improved water quality.

Regional Coordinators have been appointed to collaborate with extension networks throughout the six GBR Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions to identify ways to better apply and tailor extension services to meet required needs and recommend other services that can support whole-of-farm outcomes.

  • Your Regional Extension Coordination team

    This project will interact with a wide range of Australian and Queensland government funded projects, particularly those delivering on-ground services to producers to ensure minimal duplication and maximum impact.

    Contact your local Regional Extension Coordination team member here.

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  • Regional Extension Networks

    Improved coordination, collaboration and communication will value add to existing and future extension work, removing duplication or clashes. The regional extension planning process and associated funding will help deliver relevant and prioritised projects. There will also be capacity building activities for networks to increase their knowledge and understanding around generic extension skills and also industry specific technical skills.

  • Funding

    The Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program has supported the Enhanced extension project through $3 million funding for coordination (over three years).

    In addition, an extra $2.5 million has been allocated for Flexible and Peer to Peer projects in the Reef catchment (over two years). Please contact your local Regional Extension Co-ordinator for more information.

What skills are needed?

A Reef Extension Training Needs Analysis (TNA) was undertaken in October 2018 to guide both the range and the form of the training and development activities to build the capacity of extension service providers in the Great Barrier Reef catchments, as part of the Enhanced Extension Coordination program. Over 150 people responded and the results are summarised in this executive summary. To receive the full report, contact John James (contact details below).

Stay in touch

To hear when new training courses are available, please subscribe to our Enhanced Extension eBulletin.

Training subsidies

To help you grow your extension and technical skills, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) is offering subsidies for those working in the Reef catchments to cover the registration cost of approved courses. You (or your employer) will still need to cover your salary, travel and accommodation.

Just follow these three-steps…

  1. Register your interest in receiving a subsidy for attending a suitable Reef-related training activity, using the Reef Extension T&D database.
  2. Follow the instructions in the email you then receive, registering and paying for the course upfront.
  3. Once you’ve successfully completed the training, apply for the refund using the Reef Extension T&D database.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Dr John James
Manager (Reef Extension Training Development)
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Telephone 07 4529 4125 or 0417 617 572
Email john.james@daf.qld.gov.au

Upcoming training opportunities

  • Fertcare Level C

    100% subsidy available for those working in Reef catchments

    Fertcare Level C training covers the detailed and complex knowledge of environmental issues, including the use of a fertiliser environmental risk assessment and management methodology for experienced advisors who provide fertiliser recommendations.

    Face-to-face workshops are held on demand, where 10 to 15 students have requested training in a general location. Enter your details over here to register your interest in a forthcoming course. Workshops are now being scheduled at the following location:

    • Bundaberg (25 February 2020)

    The registration cost of $1020.58 inc GST (FA/AFSA members) and $1097.58 inc GST (FA/AFSA non-members) is able to be reimbursed for those delivering extension services in the Reef catchments, with a maximum of three people from the one organisation being subsidised at each workshop location.

    As subsidies are limited, if you’re depending on one to be able to attend, apply first for the subsidy using the Reef extension T&D database and once you’ve received your approval email, register and pay for the workshop.

    For all the details and to register for this course, head over to the Back Paddock website.

     

  • Reef Extension Think Tank 2020

    100% subsidy available for those working in Reef catchments

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    You’re invited…

    Gather with the bright sparks of Queensland’s extension scene to explore how to accelerate our impact as enablers of change in agriculture.

    This year’s Think Tank will be a highly interactive event where you’ll meet motivated peers, hear their best approaches, share your bright ideas, get inspired, and walk away with do-able solutions to your toughest challenges.

    For more information about the event and to register, click HERE.

     

  • University of Melbourne online modules

    100% subsidy available for those working in Reef catchments

    It is expected that each module will take you 30 hours to complete over an 8 week period, so that’s about 3 to 4 hours of study each week. The first online course will commence on Mon 2 December 2019 and second module will commence around Mon 10 Feb 2020. We’ll commence with an introductory webinar on Wednesday 4 December at 9:30 am, where Prof Ruth Nettle will outline what’s involved and how to use their online system.

    Usually this training would cost around $2000 per person, but the Enhanced Extension Coordination project is subsidising the cost so that you only need to pay $200 ex GST upfront as the total cost for the two modules combined. I’ll even reimburse that to you once you satisfactorily complete the course, so effectively there is no financial cost for you to complete this training. How good is that?

    Here is the important fine print regarding the modules…

    The modules are derived from material currently presented in the Masters of Agricultural Science program at the University of Melbourne. The material is currently incorporated in the subjects AGRI90092 Agricultural Advisory Practice and AGRI90093 Agricultural Extension. The material was initially contained in eight modules presented in an online framework, of which two are included within this program of study, namely Modules 3 and 5. As a result of the program, participating students will:

    1. Have developed an understanding of the different theories and practices of change in agriculture, including adoption/diffusion, consultancy, and collaborative learning and enquiry.
    2. Have developed knowledge of the key strategies that support adoption and change across a target farming population and the strengths and weaknesses of each, and demonstrate an ability to plan a practice change approach with a high likelihood of success.

    The first module (Module 3): Facilitating farm practice change (1) – understanding why people change. The module will cover the following areas:

    • Understanding of different theories of change in agriculture:
      • Adoption/diffusion
      • Consultancy
      • Collaborative inquiry and learning.
    • Ability to apply an appropriate theory of change to a practical practice change challenge.
    • Ability to identify your role amongst others in supporting change.

    The second module (Module 5): Facilitating farm practice change (2) – mixing delivery approaches to enhance adoption and change across a population. The module will cover the following areas:

    • Knowledge of the key strategies that support adoption and change across a target farming population and their strengths and weaknesses.
    • Ability to plan a practice change approach with a high likelihood of success.

    Evaluation of the learning activity will be undertaken via before and after questionnaires that will be made available in the online learning environment.

    Both modules contain an assessment activity to validate the achievement of learning outcomes and competencies by the student. A certificate of participation will identify modules for which a student has achieved satisfactory completion. At this stage it is not possible for it to be a formal qualification, but you can still list the completed modules on your resume etc.

    The registration cost of $220 inc GST is able to be reimbursed for those delivering extension services in the Reef catchments, with a maximum of two people from the one organisation being subsidised.

    As subsidies are limited, apply first for the subsidy approval using the Reef extension T&D database and once you’ve received your approval email, you’ll be sent further details about registering for the course.