Doug Drysdale

School of Agriculture and Environment
College of Sciences

Profile

Thesis Title
Farmers' efficacy, learning and practice change in an agricultural extension context.

Research Description
This research aims to explore the relationship between farmers' self-efficacy and their learning in the context of perennial summer forages. This research provides the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of conditions that better support farmers' learning, leading to their decision making when considering adoption of innovative agricultural technologies. Measuring farmers' self-efficacy within the domain of farmer learning about perennial summer forages can provide a useful insight for future agricultural extension. Primary Research Question: What is the relationship between farmers' self-efficacy, their learning and decision making regarding their management of perennial summer forages? Research Objectives: 1. To develop a tool to measure Farmers' Self-Efficacy (FSEMT) within the domain of perennial summer forages. 2. To use the FSEMT to measure change over time in farmers' self-efficacy within the domain of managing perennial summer forages. 3. To use the FSEMT, farmer interviews and focus group discussion data to measure changes in farmers' understanding within the domain of managing perennial summer forages. 4. To develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between farmers' self-efficacy and thinking within the domain of perennial summer forages.

Research Importance
Psychological drivers and behavioral characteristics of farmers may be key variables influencing farmers’ adoption of innovative technologies. Exploring the relationship between farmers’ participation in an innovative agricultural extension project and their self-efficacy will provide the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of conditions which support better adoption of up-to-date technologies.

Research Benefit
Agricultural extension programme developers and those who have the task of introducing pastoral farmers to future innovative technologies.

Personal Description
I completed my teacher training through Massey University and have taught in many rural locations within the North Island of New Zealand. While involved in children's education I became interested in finding out more about how farmers learn about new technologies that are introduced into the agricultural sector. An opportunity presented itself to follow this in more detail through a Massey University Scholarship. Massey University is renowned worldwide for it agricultural research opportunities and once I complete my thesis I plan to become more involved in the development of agricultural extension programmes.

Supervisors
Professor Peter Kemp
Dr David Gray
Associate Professor Brennon Wood
Associate Professor Alison Sewell
Dr Maggie Hartnett

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