Julie Ingram, Jane Mills and Hannah Chiswell are building on CCRI’s long history of researching how farmers learn from their own on-farm experiences and from other farmers on a new EU H2020 project Agridemo-F2F (Building an interactive Agridemo–Hub community enhancing farmer to farmer learning), which commenced in January 2017.
This project is looking specifically at the role of demonstration in farmer to farmer (F2F) learning. Jane and Julie also draw on these insights in developing advisory strategies for the outputs from the RECARE and SOILCARE projects.
The overall aim of AgriDemo-F2F is to enhance peer-to-peer learning within the commercial farming community. The project will utilize the experience of different actors and involve practitioner partners throughout the project to deepen understanding of effective on farm demonstration activities (multi-actor approach). In a first step, we will conduct a geo-referenced inventory of open commercial farms that engage in demonstration activities in Europe, detailing the sectors, themes and topics on which they provide expertise, and describe the mediation techniques they apply.
Case studies will be selected to perform an in-depth comparative analysis. Important dimensions in selection are:
1) a wide-spread geo-graphical coverage within Europe
2) representative for EU-agricultural sectors, systems and territories and
3) low tech versus high tech in mediation techniques. Case studies will be described, analysed and compared on
1) their network structure (actors, roles and governance characteristics), and
2) the mechanisms and tools used for recruitment, interaction and learning.
Furthermore, effectiveness of the different approaches within the case-studies will be assessed through an evaluation of the extent and nature of learning. Both regional and international multi-actor meetings will use the results of the cross comparative case study analysis to i) identify a set of best practical approaches for both the on farm demonstration of research results (science driven) and the spreading of best farming practices among practitioners (innovation driven) and ii) recommendations for AKIS governance and policies on how to support effective on farm demonstration activities.
The empowerment of both the commercial farming and policy community to uptake these best practices will occur through structuring the project results and farm demo showcases on the AgriDemo-Hub, an interactive, user oriented, web-map application.
The first project meeting took place in January 2017 in Ghent, which was attended by Julie Ingram and Jane Mills.
In June 2017, Julie Ingram and Hannah Chiswell attended a project meeting in Aberdeen, which included field trips to demonstration farms.
In August 2017, the data collection for the inventory commenced and an appeal was made to farmers in Wales involved in demonstration activities to identify themselves /expect to be contacted by the Agridemo team.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020