Douglas Drysdale

Doctor of Philosophy, (Agriculture and Environment)
Study Completed: 2021
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Measuring change in farmers' self-efficacy within the context of managing perennial summer forage crops

Existing agricultural extension research suggests psychological drivers, such as farmers’ self-efficacy beliefs, may be a key variable influencing farmers’ adoption of complex new technologies. Mr Drysdale found that farmers’ self-efficacy increased during their 18-month involvement in an innovative agricultural extension programme. He identified factors that enhanced or undermined changes in the farmers’ efficacy beliefs and explored how changes in farmers’ self-efficacy might influence their future practice. The study results suggested that a farmer’s belief in their ability to initiate change in the future is reliant on past experiences. The study also suggests that vicarious experiences are important for farmers where they can observe and talk about the practices of other farmers who have successfully made changes within their farm system. These experiences allow farmers to engage in dialogue with scientists whose research interests focus on the domain of farmer learning.

Professor Peter Kemp
Dr David Gray
Associate Professor Brennon Wood
Associate Professor Alison Sewell
Associate Professor Maggie Hartnett