About Extension Services

Note for Amber:

We are doing the tender. Karen will email this to me.

Scope

What extension activities are currently offered through Hort Innovation?

Hort Innovation is currently working with its partners – such as industry groups, universities and government agencies – to deliver hundreds of projects for horticulture levy payers, of which 80-odd investments are dedicated to extension in the form of industry development and communication, and more than 80 investments also involve extension components.

What is the purpose of Hort Innovation’s new extension initiative?

The extension initiative will enhance the coordination, communication and application of research and development outcomes, and will include a team of Regional Extension Managers, who will work in the regions. These managers will play a linking role and bring broad coalitions together to share skills and capacity, to solve identified regional problems. Service providers will benefit from building their technical and extension skills and knowledge via across industry networks. Collaborative approaches to solving regional problems will enable tangible outcomes for growers to use on farm.

Will this new service replace existing extension activities?

No. Extension activities currently offered through Hort Innovation are important to the industries they service. The new Extension Framework will complement and add to existing work to ensure growers have the best possible access to outcomes from their levy investments. On top of that, to ensure value for money for levy payers and project alignment, Hort Innovation will undertake a review of current investments in extension, which is due to be completed by late 2020.

Where will Regional Extension Managers be based and what will they do?

Six horticulture regions have been identified for targeted extension, capturing 94 per cent of horticultural activity in Australia by employment and production value. Regional Extension Managers will operate in these regions.

How do I access extension services or get more information?

For more information, call Hort Innovation on (02) 8295 2300 or contact us by submitting the form below and we will have the right people in your area give you a call.

To assist delivery partners navigate the changing extension environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a guide has been developed to provide insight into how to best undertake extension activities remotely. You can download the guide from our delivery partners portal here.

Extension Team Strategy at a glance

View the Extension Team Strategy in a easy to read two-page overview now.

What’s it all about?

The second phase of the VegNET program commenced in early 2020 to keep Australian vegetable growers informed about current R&D activities, results and resources – supporting the adoption of industry best practice and bolstering vegetable productivity and profitability in key growing areas across the country.

The program funds the positions of regional development officers (RDOs) in key vegetable-growing regions who are responsible for developing and executing regional extension plans. This includes identifying each region’s key priority issues and key regional resources and links – a critical step in ensuring growers receive assistance and information that meets their needs and will help them grow better crops and operate more efficient and profitable businesses.

Depending on each regional plan, the VegNET RDOs will deliver specialised events and R&D materials that meet their growers’ needs. The events will include face-to-face opportunities, as well as remote ones during the current COVID-19 landscape.

The approach to extension for the vegetable industry used under this second iteration of VegNET has been informed by the levy-funded project Extension strategy for the Australian vegetable industry (VG18003), which was developed following grower consultation in late 2019.

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

The regionally based programs are underpinned by the project Training in the development and delivery of innovative vegetable E&A regional plans (VG19018), which provides mentoring and support for each RDO in their work.

ACT NOW

  • Contact your local RDO (above) to access the latest information and resources from their specific extension program and activities, as well as details of the events they run
  • Keep a look out: the levy-funded Vegetables Australia magazine carries special features on upcoming events related to the program, and events are also communicated in other relevant industry channels.

Related levy funds

Details: This program is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation