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.