This is how we get farmers to change!

This is how we get farmers to change!

A week ago we posted a blog with a case study and a question: How do we get farmers to change? We had three scenarios for you:

1. Changing the feed neck rail
2. Taking out 2 lots of head to head cubicle spaces to create a cross over
3. Cleaning water troughs

We had some great reactions from everyone, so thanks a lot!

Here is a summary of the ideas that were posted, mixed with our own advice:

1. Show them the financial gain of changing (note: most farmers are not motivated by financial gain. So this one might not always work!)
2. Don't tell them to change and how. Let them think about what is necessary and how they can improve. Help them figure out the answers you already know. Make sure to not make them feel like they're doing something wrong. Make them feel your respect!
3. Challenge them to do their own research: change something small, like only move the neck rail in one part of the barn. Let them experience how that works first and also challenge them to document the results of their actions. This shows the credibility of the solutions.
4. Show them good examples. Photos, a neighbours farm, anything.
5. Ask clients to close their eyes and imagine they are the animal. How would they expierence the situation?
6. Organize a CowSignals workshop in their barn and let the other farmers do the talking.

Read more elaborated advices in the previous blog here. Listen for example to Owen Atkinson explaination of Ayzen's Theory of Planned behaviour for a more theoretical background!

Want to become an expert in convincing your staff or farmers? Then the Advisors/PeopleSignals video training is perfect for you! Learn more >>

Comments (4)

paul mambo

IN the kenyan situation farmers can change if only things are done than said. i found a very dirty water trough in one farm and i only asked for a brush and cleaned it , the farmer was very happy and these days the trough are clean always,if i had left the trough dirty am sure the same could have remained

Joep Driessen

paul mambo wrote:
IN the kenyan situation farmers can change if only things are done than said. i found a very dirty water trough in one farm and i only asked for a brush and cleaned it , the farmer was very happy and these days the trough are clean always,if i had left the trough dirty am sure the same could have remained

Hi Paul, great example, thanks! Showing the right way to do things always helps!

Vivien Dillon

Vets have long been expected to know what's best for their farmers. If their advice is seen to "fail", confidence and opportunities are lost. I like your idea of trying a small change-we can listen to each other and combine our experience. In livestock systems multiple changes are ongoing, and the long term implications of good ideas can be unpredictable. I like the "Monitor Farm" situation, where a change can be debated, tested in the field and analysed over time by a group of farmers and advisers together. Farmers love nosing round other farms, and it's a great way to spread good practice.

Anouk Brinkhoff

Thanks Vivien, good to hear what you think!

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