Farmers and learning: a critical interpretive analysis of the value perception of education and complementary factors to success

Zelma Bone

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Abstract

The family farm comprises a business in which lifestyle and personal considerations interact strongly with management decisions. The 'lifestyle' influence indicates that farmers are not motivated by monetary success alone, and with the failure of narrow economic models of farm decision making, it is important to be able to assess farming performance in other broad areas. This study has identified a group of high performers and a group of low performers based upon an extended model of measuring business performance. The business performance indicator was then used to identify other key components that indicate success, for example attitudes and values, self-efficacy, progressive management strategies and education factors. This paper focuses on one of the key findings of the original study, that is, that there was no significant difference in levels of formal education between the top and bottom groups of farmers, though a training index indicated that the value of education was recognised by the top 20% performing farmers as a key factor to success. The paper identifies key characteristics of successful training models from a farmers' perspective and closes with implications and recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalExtension Farming Systems Journal
Volume1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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