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A message about extension: stimulate not saturate


DDB Needham Brisbane282 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

In the past many important agricultural lessons have not been learnt because the message was not adapted to the way farmers receive and then adopt information. The greatest innovation or research paper in the world will come to nought if farmers do not hear about it and become excited about adopting its lessons.

This paper argues that three well-tested advertising industry techniques can have a dramatic effect on the understanding and adoption of agricultural research.

To date much emphasis in information transfer has been placed upon the information and not enough on a successful transfer process. To convince anyone to adopt a concept, they must be aware of it; it must be relevant to them; and they must be able to understand the benefit of it to them.

There are many practical examples where 'good ideas' are not part of NORMAL agricultural practice even though monetary, practical or sheer survival should dictate these good ideas are commonsense.

Operation Quality Wheat set about to pool information and make that more understandable to wheat growers. Much more can be done to stimulate the inquiring mind of farmers. They would then be provided with the understandable, relevant information.

If only the following three concepts were used by every contributor to this conference, the uptake of this information by the farming and grazing community would be greatly enhanced.


Farmers must be aware of your message. Unless they are aware of the opportunities, they will not seek assistance or be stimulated to read and follow through with new information or ideas.


We need to identify the benefits of new information from the farmer's perspective that give them a reason to adopt.


It is pointless giving farmers information that is not relevant to them. We must ensure that we choose the right message for the right farmers, and choose the right timing and delivery medium that achieves success.

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