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Vegetable Extension Program – Partnerships with Vegetable Growers & Industry

Sarah Barry, Bruce Fry, Andrew Henderson, Sally-Ann Henderson, Stephen Moore, Tegan Rennick


Under the umbrella of HortEX for "innovation and change in horticulture" (a department of Natural Resources and Environment program).

Our Vision: "…... is for profitable horticulture industries focusing on exports, continuous improvement and sustainable management of resources to produce premium-quality, clean safe and internationally competitive products."

The challenges are:

  • To determine the needs of growers, horticulturists and other industry participants for technologies and services that will improve the profitability and sustainability of their business
  • Help industry participants understand and recognise the need for change, and adopt a culture of continuous improvement
  • Satisfy the needs of the target audience by delivery of timely, relevant ready for application
  • To evaluate and communicate the impact of changes to clients and stakeholders

This project will have three phases running concurrently over the next 12 months:

  1. Project development: this will involve engagement with clients and stakeholder to determine needs, segment the market, develop a project framework, identify delivery mechanisms, develop a project a implementation plan and develop required resources.
  2. Pilot program: conduct a pilot program with suitable regional/industry groups aimed at achieving agreed outcomes
  3. Coordinated ongoing extension: achieve greater coordination of ongoing extension and education and training activities so that greater impact can be achieved and demonstrated.

Purpose of Poster

  • Promote the aims and outcomes of the vegetable extension program for the Victorian vegetable industry.
  • Encourage discussion with fellow extension practitioners on the Victorian vegetable extension program.

The Victorian vegetable extension program is an integrated approach to innovation, change, adoption of science and technology, in horticulture is needed which has the following attributes:

  • Is "needs driven" with a high level of industry and participant input and ownership
  • Coordinates and increases collaboration with other service providers
  • Achieves efficiency in providing services in extension/technology adoption
  • Has a strong feedback mechanism as a integral part
  • Targets outcomes which are important at individual business, industry and NRE levels
  • Can be monitored and evaluated
  • Creates a culture of continual improvement
  • Will generate a range of products and service to meet the needs of clients in respect to timely -ness, relevance and access (eg E-Online)
  • Will support professional development of clients and staff
  • Help focus R&D on issues of importance to individuals, industry and NRE

Thus the program concentrates on the facilitation of positive change with a focus on export, a culture of continuous improvement, profitability, protection of natural resources and community development.

Conclusions and educational importance

The key theme is "Integrated Crop Management" which provides the framework to address: productivity, environmental and social issues. The use of the Action Learning Cycle by facilitators and groups will ensure adult learning principles are adhered to and that each participant is allowed to develop at their own pace.

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