Core objectives of the WA delivery of this project

  • To establish and receive input from the Regional Extension Reference Group to deliver a 5-year extension plan for Western Australia 1st July 2020-30th June 2025.
  • An improved capability of levy payers to adopt best management practices and new innovations arising from improved extension research outputs that address a geographically and culturally diverse vegetable industry
  • An improved levy payer awareness and attribution of the vegetable levy investments
  • To deliver a strategic and focused plan that links extension with broad coalitions to deploy skills and capacity utilising the RDOs as the broker of technical knowledge from these partnerships
  • To establish structures that ensure the right people are engaged in the process of delivering extension services within Western Australia
  • To contribute to Outcome 5 of the Vegetable Strategic Investment Plan 2017-2021

The VegNET WA program will continue to link with current R&D projects to assist with grower engagement. This shared learning with a collaborative approach to the adoption of R&D will continue relationships built over the last 3years of VegNET phase 1.  Under VegNET Phase 2 the role of the Industry Development Officer (IDO) will shift from being a conduit of technical insight to that of a Regional Development Officer (RDO)with a focus on enabling/brokering knowledge from various sources.

The key activities within this project will be:

  • Creation of a Regional Extension Reference Group, comprising vegWA CEO, Project Manager and 2 RDOs, Hort Innovation Extension & Adoption Regional Co-ordinator, 3 growers who represent a cross section of industry within the region and an industry consultant
  • Creation of annual regional extension workplans to implement the five year extension plan
  • Submission of a Regional Extension Plan by the Regional Extension Reference Group for approval to Hort Innovation for collation into a single national document
  • Regular updates to growers, stakeholders and industry through industry communications (national and regional) to increase awareness of levy funded R&D projects and outputs
  • Extension and R&D outputs, as detailed in the RFP, and other information, will be delivered to WA vegetable growers
  • Complete a National Communications survey, quarterly for Ausveg
  • Assist R&D projects to gain regional input and local industry involvement in R&D activities in Western Australia.
  • RDO participation in a mentorship initiative and development training in the innovation systems approach organised by Hort Innovation to support project outputs.


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.