Facilitation Training

Why RMPP invested in training for rural professionals

The challenge
Over the past 30 years the sheep and beef sector has made big leaps in productivity.  Some of these gains can be attributed to participation in discussion groups, farmer field days, information on industry websites and the range of other ways farmers get their ideas and advice.

However, as farmers face more complex issues and we explore more about how farmers learn, we're here to help those providing support services improve their skills in facilitating conversations with farmers and between farmers. These conversations and support that are critical to help farmers:

  • Feel confident in a decision they are about to make on-farm
  • Own their own solutions to problems, and 
  • Grow their knowledge on a subject and apply the new learning to their own situation. 

Lead Facilitator workshop
RMPP developed a two-day workshop aimed at improving the knowledge and skills for rural professionals looking at leadership roles within their communities.

Through the workshop, participants gained an understanding of what facilitation is all about and learnt the skills required to effectively facilitate groups and learning. These skills enabled them to work with farmers to help them build the confidence they need to increase practice change on-farm.

Workshop content
The art and science of facilitation

  • How to adopt a facilitation mindset
  • The tools and techniques required for working with groups
  • How to design questions that engage, provoke and liberate
  • How to apply facilitation in other settings e.g. meetings

The ways we learn

  • How to understand and acquire skills and develop knowledge
  • How the brain learns
  • How neuroscience and behavioral psychology can help us
  • Strategies to facilitate real learning

Learning design

  • Key elements of an effective learning programme
  • How to design for maximum learning
  • How to use Information and experts
  • How to design and outline an event you are going to run

Action Network Fundamentals and Extension Design workshop
RMPP developed a two day workshop for rural professionals or farmers looking to run an Action Group/s under RMPP Action Network. Training included designing and managing an extension programme to increase farmer participation in their own learning and how to apply this to their own business

“I’ve been a facilitator at field days and seminars for a number of years as part of my farm consultancy role.  I wasn’t sure what value I would get out of facilitator training. However, these new courses really challenged me to reflect on my facilitation style. 

I now have a number of new tools to use when facilitating farmer discussions and groups that will add value to both their business and mine. It was a great chance to get some formal facilitation training after many years of learning on
the run.”   

Stephen Thomson
Consultant, AgFirst