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The Accidental Counsellor: more to beef extension officers than technical advice

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Willis, M. (2017) The Accidental Counsellor: more to beef extension officers than technical advice. In: 19th Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society, 25 to 28 September 2017, Port Augusta, South Australia.

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Article Link: https://www.austrangesoc.com.au/data/ARSC2017/2017...


Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) beef extension officers are recognised for their technical knowledge and skills but less acknowledged is the integral support role they play as a confidante, especially in times of crisis. During drought not only is the technical advice provided by beef extension officers essential, but so are good listening skills, compassion, empathy and the ability to recognise signs of deteriorating mental health. DAF beef extension officers were interviewed to capture their personal experiences working with graziers during the current drought to implement management practices, many of which are prerequisite to meet the requirements of government funding. The findings demonstrate the important role beef extension officers play as a link to technical and mental health resources to alleviate the stress of living on a drought-stricken property. The information gathered has been compared with research that has been undertaken on the topic more generally. Recommendations are made to assist extension officers to effectively do their job and be an integral part of the mental health support community.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:drought, beef extension officers, strategies, coping, technical skills, support
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Special aspects of agriculture as a whole > Sustainable agriculture
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural conservation
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Live Archive:08 Nov 2017 02:57
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:51

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