Facilitating farmer learning about Southern South Island winter management practices
Terry Parminter & Justin Kitto
KapAg Ltd, PO Box 354, Paraparaumu, 5254
DairyNZ, Canterbury Agricultural Science Centre, Lincoln 7608
Abstract. How dairy cows are being wintered in Southland, New Zealand, has become an issue generating community conflict. This paper describes how livestock industries in the Southern South Island responded to the issue providing technical guidelines and farmer support for the introduction of Good Management Practices for Wintering (GMPW). It includes some background information about practice change principles and the theoretical model used to link farmer learning, attitude change and human behaviour. The paper has results from focus groups held in February 2020 as an alternative to reiterating the same technical information that farmers had already been exposed to for some time. The groups provided a learning intervention using facilitated discussions with farmers based on scenarios for self-reflection and in-depth consideration. This was a very successful approach for achieving the attitude changes needed to underpin practice change. Average ratings on three attitude measures increased from neutral (2.5/5) to positive (3.8/5) (p < 0.001).
Keywords: dairying, critical source areas, practice change