Improving Farmer Engagement in Sustainable Agriculture using Participatory Learning Techniques

Adults--including farmers--learn best when they participate in relevant experiences and utilize practical information in ways that make them feel respected and valued. Farmers also prefer learning about issues concerning agriculture and natural resource conservation from other farmers. In addition, participatory learning techniques provide farmers with opportunities to share experiences as they problem-solve complex agricultural issues with peers.

This 3-year professional development program, conducted by Pennsylvania State University's state SARE coordinator, will teach agricultural service providers (ASPs) in Pennsylvania about better strategies for engaging farmers with participatory learning techniques. Training and discussion will be offered online and in-person. Participants will then incorporate these techniques into their sustainable agriculture outreach and education programs for farmers. Farmers that participate in this programming will, in turn, have opportunities to share their own experiences with other farmers, providing them with chances to interact with peers, professional advisors, and educational materials.

Want more information? See the related SARE grant: