New communities and a fresh look for extensionAUS™ in 2019


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Group staff photo with Sam Munro, Dennis Payne, Georgie Townsend and John Smith

A fresh look and launch of six new communities of practice in the past six months has created renewed enthusiasm for extensionAUS™ in 2019, highlighting the value of the online extension tool for Australian rural industries.

The online extension platform extensionAUS™ continues to gain momentum with six new communities of practice joining the information hub following the successful Bootcamp in September 2018. The new additions bring the total communities of practice membership to 10, with the platform exceeding its growth targets for 2018-19.

The 2018 Bootcamp emphasised the value of the platform as an extension tool for rural industries, with existing members sharing their experiences about how the platform is boosting collaboration and practice adoption across a range of industries including chicken meat, irrigation, dairy and precision agriculture.

With 50 attendees at the workshop representing nine communities of practice areas, the Bootcamp was an opportunity to learn about the platform features and for newcomers, understand how to make the most of the platform in 2019.

Nico Lyons, team leader from the newly established Automatic Milking Systems community of practice, said the Bootcamp was a valuable networking and learning opportunity.

“The anecdotes and tips from presenters were invaluable and have given us the skills to enhance our extension capacity. We’re excited about what the platform can offer the dairy industry and expanding the reach of our extension resources,” said Mr Lyons.

A highlight of the Bootcamp was the reveal of a fresh look and feel for the extensionAUS™ program. Building on the existing brand, a new style has been created to ensure consistent promotion of the program. The style has also been adapted to the website alongside a host of new features, including an event calendar and newsletter integration, to improve the user experience.

extensionAUS™ Relationship Manager, Gavin Beever said the Bootcamp and recent developments have created renewed enthusiasm for the program.

“In 2018 we had a renewed commitment from our partner organisations, AgriFutures Australia, NSW Department of Primary Industries and Agriculture Victoria, to grow the platform in 2019 and beyond. We’ve exceeded our targets and the fresh look has been welcomed by stakeholders and will contribute to greater engagement with the platform,” said Mr Beever.

Other program developments flagged for 2019 include boosting engagement with new communities of practice, professional development opportunities, engagement with potential new partners and ongoing promotion of program achievements.

Since its inception as part of the Australian Government Rural R&D for Profit Program Extension and Adoption for Australian Farmers and Fishers project, extensionAUS™ has gone from strength to strength. It is a go-to resource for industry expertise, as users know they can get timely and relevant advice at the click of a button, packaged up in an accessible format.

With a community of practice membership base consisting of subject matter experts, users can ‘ask an expert’ and receive tailored, one-on-one responses to industry questions. The value of having experts behind the scenes means peer reviewed content is readily available, and industry champions are on hand to interact the target audiences.

Mr Beever said industries are taking note of the platform and the benefits extension offers when it comes to increasing the productivity of Australian agriculture.

“extensionAUS™ has the capability to build cross sector collaboration and ensure agricultural R&D reaches the stakeholders who have the ability to transform the sector,” said Mr Beever.

“We know that until a farmer does something different on farm, the return on investment is zero. extensionAUS™ is a trusted tool Australian agricultural industries are using to share research and development (R&D) knowledge and make better farming decisions.”

Learn more about the extensionAUS™ platform and how your industry can get involved:

extensionAUS™ Communities of Practice

Swipe to view more

AgriFutures Australia 
  • Extension Practice
  • Chicken Meat RD&E (*new)
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI)
  • Automatic Milking Systems (*new)
  • Precision Agriculture (*new)
  • Professional Beekeepers (*new)
Agriculture Victoria 
  • Irrigating Agriculture
  • Victorian Food Innovation Network
  • Victorian Rural Women’s Network
  • Australian Apple and Pear Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPDM) (*new)
  • Young Farmer Business Network (*new)

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