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Evaluation of training activities to improve farm families' skills : a report for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Daniels, J., Woods, E. J. and Jamieson, A. (1997) Evaluation of training activities to improve farm families' skills : a report for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. Project Report. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

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Article Link(s): https://agrifutures.com.au/product/evaluation-of-t...

Abstract

Objectives
• Evaluate the success of a series of farm business management workshops in Central Queensland;
• Improve the effectiveness of future workshops and training activities;
• Provide a model for improving the farm business management skills of producer management teams;
• Provide evidence of the contribution of computer based approaches can make in agricultural extension.
Background
The Queensland Department of Primary Industries has been conducting training in farm business management in Central Queensland for approximately seven years. The basic course introduces participants to computerised cash record keeping and analysis using the software package, Quicken. A follow-up course focused on Decision Support using spreadsheets. Attendances have been high despite a significant charge and a recession in farming incomes, and most attendees have been attracted by word of mouth.
Research
The research approach consisted of four steps:
• preliminary study of questionnaires completed at the conclusion of the training workshops;
• personal interviews with attendees and non-attendees at Quicken workshops;
• a second interview with the same sample to reconstruct their recent decision making process;
• a final survey by personal and telephone interview to assess longer term impact of farm business management training.
Outcomes
• producers can be assisted through training to take up the use of computers and computer based cashbook systems;
• computerised cashbook systems provide the opportunity to compare enterprises for the first time;
• no evidence was found that this type of comparison is being used in major decision making processes to date, by workshop attendees or others in the Central Queensland
farming population;
• there is evidence that the division of responsibilities in farm management teams (between maintaining a cash book and analysing and making decisions, largely on a gender basis) may contribute to the non-use of financial information in decision making;
• physical record keeping is lagging behind financial record keeping; and
• producers cannot envisage how their management could be improved. They perceive it depends on personality and on improving physical production.
Implications
The research indicates that the workshops were successful in impacting on farm business management skills. The awareness and attendance of the courses in the rural population, adoption rates of computerised packages, competency in the skills taught at the workshops, impact of the workshops on improving management skills such as record keeping and decision making, and benefits to teamwork within the management unit were all reported and provide evidence that the workshops were successful.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Projects:DAQ-123A
Keywords:Farm management -- Study and teaching -- Queensland -- Evaluation Agricultural extension work -- Queensland -- Evaluation
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural economics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Documents and other collections
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural education > Research. Experimentation
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural education > Agricultural extension work
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Farm economics. Farm management. Agricultural mathematics
Deposited On:26 Oct 2020 00:37
Last Modified:26 Oct 2020 00:37

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