Training in Agriculture

Behaviour Innovation is experienced working in agricultural settings to equip industry professionals with psychology-based skills to enhance their practices. We have worked with both public and private sector organisations to deliver training to Queensland farmers and productivity officers in both the sugarcane and horticultural industries. Our training draws upon the best available science and on-the-ground knowledge and experience gained through Project Cane Changer, one of Australia’s largest agricultural behavioural change initiatives.

Cane Changer is an evidence-based behaviour change program geared towards better understanding the attitudes and behaviours of sugar cane farmers and enhancing the uptake of sustainable farming practices. As part of Project Cane Changer, we have delivered over 263 workshops and activities within the North Queensland sugarcane industry.

 

Training Extension Officers

Extension officers are the people who provide the most information and guidance directly to growers. A key opportunity facing the extension workforce is how to best engage with farmers and increase the adoption of farming practices for better productivity and environmental outcomes. Our behavioural skills training provides a fresh approach to equipping extension professionals with the skills they need to maximise their effectiveness on the ground.

The training aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of farmer attitudes and behaviour as well as practical strategies to implement in the field to improve on-the-ground engagement with farmers and overcome resistance to practice change. Our extension training is based on the science of human behaviour (i.e., behavioural and psychological science) and is delivered by qualified field experts.

Training Sugarcane Growers

Since the inception of Cane Changer in 2016, we have had over 815 hours of contact with Queensland sugarcane growers. In this time we have come to understand the sugarcane industry and the underlying psychology of growers. As such, our training with growers has been extensively tailored to meet their needs.

The 263+ workshops and 133+ presentations that we have delivered to growers were on relevant topics such as record keeping, behavioural skills, leadership and mentoring for young and old growers, and relationship building.

 
 
 
 
 

A Snapshot of Extension Training

 
 

Project Uplift

Project Uplift is run by MSF Sugar to increase sustainable cane farming by offering advice and economic assistance to growers to ensure they can make innovative changes on their farm.

MSF Sugar approached us to design a training program to improve the outcomes of Project Uplift by enhancing the skillset of extension officers. After conducting research and speaking with growers and project staff, we came up with a series of evidence-based workshops focused on understanding grower psychology, the science of positive communication, and behavioural strategies to enhance their on-the-ground skillset.


Cane to Creek

Cane to Creek is hosted by Sugar Research Australia (SRA). Like Project Uplift, Cane to Creek aims to increase growers’ adoption of sustainable farming practices which improve the water quality flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

We have had the pleasure of running two workshops for Cane to Creek. For the first workshop we gave extension officers a better understanding of grower psychology and created a behavioural toolkit to use in the field. We focused our second workshop on extension officer leaders to streamline delivery services and continue to improve the skillsets of high-functioning extension teams.


Central Extension Training

Sugar Research Australia (SRA) and The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) were seeking to enhance the skills, capabilities, and practices of extension officers to increase the adoption of farming practices for improved productivity and environmental outcomes.

SRA and DAF engaged us to deliver two Behavioural Skills workshops to extension officers in Mackay and Proserpine. The behavioural skills training equipped extension officers with psychology-based skills and strategies to better understand farmer attitudes and behaviours and maximise on-the-ground engagement to bring about change.  

 

Hear from our Clients

 
 
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"Communication is an art and is not something that is actually taught to extension people. Like growing sugar cane, we can always improve on what we’ve done before

BI's training has taught us how to listen to growers and identify what they're saying and what they want. Then, and only then, do we have something to offer that can improve their farming practices."

NOEL WRIGHT
Senior Agronomist | MSF Sugar

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"For me, the work around behavioural science is just as important as my work on understanding varieties programs or weed management. As an extension officer, my work is 80% about relating to people.

One of the most difficult things as an extension officer is talking to growers about what they can improve without making them feel as though I'm criticising them. Working with BI to better understand how to approach this kind of situation has been really helpful."

BELINDA BILLING
Principal Researcher | SRA

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"Training is really important and should be something ongoing through your career. The BI training is excellent - it's essential…every bit of it made sense. I remember thinking at the time that I would love to do this all over again."

MICHAEL PORTA
Senior Agronomist | MSF Sugar