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APEN 2001 International Conference

Toowoomba, 4th-5th October 2001

Report No:


Title of Topic:

Sustainability in Agriculture – Skills for Extension Officers

Name of Leader:

Dan McLuskey

Names of Participants:

Liz Otto, Maxine Schoche, Dean Holland, Sue Heisswolf, John Bagshaw, Daniel Armstrong

Main points of discussion

  • Sustainability is a very complex issue
  • Producers may be being forced to farm sustainably
  • Producers in Aust probably do not know how to farm sustainably
  • Aust is the most urbanised nation on the planet and behaves in a grossly unsustainably way
  • Urbanites are forcing values onto primary producers which they refuse to adopt themselves
  • There is no clear understanding of what sustainable agriculture, or sustainable society means, nor how to do it, so how can plans be put in place
  • Extension officers are expected to introduce and discuss sustainability in natural resource workshops, but do not know what it means, nor how to do it
  • Do extension practitioners need different skills to the technical skills which they now have?

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