Sheep and Beef Farmer Segmentation Research

To ensure that the projects reflect the current issues faced by farmers and farm advisors, RMPP commissioned an extensive research programme in 2014 involving more than 1000 farmers and industry professionals from across the country. The research focused on three areas:

  • Understanding characteristics of high performing farmers 
  • Understanding the motivations and barriers to change (on farm)
  • Understanding best approaches to drive extension (knowledge and technology uptake)

This research showed that there is no 'one size fits all' solution for improving on-farm productivity and profitability. However, it also showed that there's the potential for incremental gains through tweaking farm systems.

This research offers an objective platform to guide the projects within RMPP and ensure the programme is farmer driven.

High Performing Farmers Research

In 2014, we set out to understand what makes some farming businesses consistently perform well on a year-on-year basis. This study was part of a larger research program to help develop initial strategies for improving performance in the New Zealand sheep and beef industry. 

Extension Design Research

The extension design project is testing a range of extension approaches on-farm.  The purpose of this is to determine which approaches are effective in supporting practice change in a real-world environment.  Armed with this knowledge, an extension system has been developed which will increase the amount and the rate of practice change.  This will support farmers to confidently refine their farm systems on an ongoing basis leading to increased performance and profit.


RMPP research has been used in a range of conferences, symposia and fieldays. These include:

Informing extension project design: the right tool for the job (NZ Grasslands Association, 2016)
Drivers of top performing farmers (NZ Grasslands Association, 2016)

External Research

While we have done our own research, we have also drawn on external reports to help shape our projects. Some of these are listed below:

Red Meat Sector Strategy (Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Meat Industry Association of NZ, 2011)
People Powered Report (Ministry for Primary Industries, 2014)
Identification and Classification of Farm Tools and Apps (Centre of Excellence in Farm Business Management, 2012)