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Participatory strategies for information exchange

  • Charles Francis (a1), James King (a2), Jerry DeWitt (a3), James Bushnell (a4) and Leo Lucas (a5)...


Complexity and rapid change in the agricultural industry are pushing us toward more participatory systems of information development and exchange. These changes are driven by a rapidly evolving information environment, with a multiplicity of sources and different clients, and by a technological revolution in communications equipment. At the same time, scientists and farmers are becoming increasingly aware of the complex biological interactions that occur in cropping systems and how these are connected with the overall ecosystem. We are expanding our time and space frame of reference. To address tomorrow's challenges, it will be important to blend the efforts in research and extension, to include farmers as full participants in the planning, execution, and interpretation of experiments, to explore new directions such as model farms and master farmers, and to develop creative educational approaches to encourage practical problem solving. Collaborative efforts of universities, industry, farmer groups, and environmental organizations will be needed to fully empower the individual farm manager to make rational and environmentally sound production decisions in the future.



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1.Francis, C. A., and King, J. W.. 1988. Cropping systems based on farm-derived, renewable resources. Agr. Systems (UK) 27:6775.
2.Francis, C. A., King, J. W., Nelson, D. W., and Lucas, L. E.. 1988. Research and extension agenda for sustainable agriculture. Amer. J. Alternative Agric. 3:123126.
3.Francis, C. A., Rzewnicki, P. E., Franzluebbers, A., Jones, A. J., Dickey, E. C., and King, J. W.. 1989. Closing the information cycle: Participatory methods for on-farm research. Workshop “Farmer Participation in Research for Sustainable Agriculture,” Fayetteville, Arkansas, October 8. 22 pp.
4.King, J. W., Francis, C. A., Emal, J. G.. 1989. Evolution in revolution: New paradigms for agriculture and communication. Future View, Sixth General Assembly of World Future Society, Washington, DC, 07 18. 25 pp.
5.Linstone, H. A. 1989. I. Twenty Years of TF&SC. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 36:113.
6.Rzewnicki, P. E., Thompson, R., Lesoing, G. W., Elmore, R. W., Francis, C. A., Parkhurst, A. M., and Moomaw, R. S.. 1988. On-farm experiment designs and implications for locating research sites. Amer. J. Alternative Agric. 3:168173.
7.Thompson, R. 1989. Nature's Ag School. Regenerative Agriculture Association, Emmaus, Pennsylvania.
8.Walters, D. T., Mortensen, D. A., Francis, C. A., Elmore, R. W., and King, J. W.. 1990. Specificity: The context of research for sustainability. J. Soil & Water Cons. 45:5557.


Participatory strategies for information exchange

  • Charles Francis (a1), James King (a2), Jerry DeWitt (a3), James Bushnell (a4) and Leo Lucas (a5)...


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