ERIC Number: EJ1099733
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
The Role of Agricultural Education and Extension in Influencing Best Practice for Managing Mastitis in Dairy Cattle
Dillon, E. J.; Hennessy, T.; Cullinan, J.
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, v22 n3 p255-270 2016
Purpose: To examine the role of agricultural education and extension in influencing the adoption of best practice with regard to herd-level mastitis management. Design/Methodology/Approach: Somatic cell count (SCC) is an indicator of herd health with regard to mastitis and is negatively related to productivity and profitability. Panel data regression methods are utilised here to quantify the role of agricultural education and extension in reducing cell count and in influencing farmer best practice with regard to herd health. The impact of education and extension on farmer uptake of milk recording is of particular interest. Data utilised is farm-level Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data for Ireland over a five-year period (2008-2012). Findings: Farmer uptake of formal agricultural training and liaison with agricultural extension services are shown to significantly improve mastitis herd health. Collectively, education, extension and milk recording results in an overall SCC reduction of 25% for the average herd. Farmers who undertook agricultural training were ten times more likely to monitor milk quality through milk recording compared to those who had not. Additionally, those farmers in contact with an extension service and also participated in a dairy discussion group were seven times more likely to practice milk recording. Practical Implications: The importance of farmer behaviour in the optimum management of herd health has been validated, as has the role of agricultural education and extension in influencing the uptake of best practice by farmers. Originality/Value: To date little research has been conducted using nationally representative herd-level data on the role of agricultural education and extension in improving animal health best practice.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Agricultural Education, Rural Extension, Best Practices, Communicable Diseases, Animals, Animal Husbandry, Cytology, Agricultural Occupations, Health, Veterinary Medicine, Discussion Groups, Multiple Regression Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland