Understanding Practice Change by Rural Landholders

RuralPracticeChange.com provides insights and lessons from research into adoption of new practices by farmers and other rural landholders. It includes freely available materials for professional development and information about events and publications involving a national team of Australian experts working in this field. The site includes:

  • Melbourne Symposium 14 Nov 2008 : Video and audio recordings and PowerPoint files from a Symposium held at the University of Melbourne are available. To access these, select the Presentations Index link at the top of each page and then select a speaker.
  • Perth Symposium 8 July 2009 : A second Symposium on rural practice change was held at the University of Western Australia. For details about this Symposium see here
  • Review Paper : We published a major review paper on adoption of conservation practices by rural landholders in 2006. This paper was the impetus to establish this multi-disciplinary, multi-state alliance.
  • Book : A book called Changing Land Management: Adoption of New Practices by Rural Landholders was published on 1 March 2011.
  • ADOPT : A spreadsheet tool for exploring and predicting the level and speed of adoption of new agricultural practices. The BETA version of adopt has been released for testing. Please check it out and provide feedback.

Contributors to the Melbourne Symposium, 14 November 2008

Rural Change Researchers and Symposium presenters

L-R: Geoff Kaine, Rick Llewellyn, Neil Barr, Allan Curtis, Frank Vanclay, Andrew Campbell, Dave Pannell, Roger Wilkinson, Graham Marshall

The core of the team formed for the preparation of this journal article:

Pannell, D.J., Marshall, G.R., Barr, N., Curtis, A., Vanclay, F. and Wilkinson, R. (2006). Understanding and promoting adoption of conservation practices by rural landholders. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 46(11): 1407-1424.

The motivation for the first Symposium was to celebrate this paper becoming the most downloaded paper for that journal.

That Symposium attracted an audience of about 400. It presented current thinking and evidence about questions such as: What drives practice change? When is adoption of a new practices likely or unlikely? What can be done to influence the extent of practice change?

Via the Presentations Index page, you can access a page for each contributor that provides material from the workshop in a range of formats:

  • an edited video of the contributor's presentation at the symposium
  • a video of the complete presentation
  • an audio copy of the full presentation (streaming or podcast)
  • a copy of the PowerPoint file.

Discussion panel

L-R: Rowan Reid, Lauren Rickards, Anna Roberts, Zse Flett, Kevin Goss

At the end of the the Melbourne symposium, we heard discussion from a panel of experts. An outline of their key points is presented here.


Promo video

Here is a brief promo video that we have placed on YouTube and Vimeo to attract people to this site.


Book on Practice Change by Rural Landholders


The team has prepared a book called Changing Land Management: Adoption of New Practices by Rural Landholders, which was published by CSIRO Publishing in March 2011. Further information is available here.


DPI Victoria, Practice Change Research home page here

Australasia-Pacific Extension Network here

Paper on sensitivity analysis here


Email: ruralpracticechange@gmail.com

URL: www.ruralpracticechange.com

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