RDEV30380 Knowledge Tfr for Farm Innovat

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module is a Level 3 elective module targeted mainly at 3rd and 4th year Agricultural Science Students (Agricultural and Crop Production / Animal Science/ Food and Agribusiness Management/Agri-environmental Science/Dairy Business/Horticulture). It is also be open to other programmes.

This module focuses on the processes associated with knowledge sharing and decisions for change by farmers. It explores the link between agricultural research, farm advisory services and agricultural education as part of the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS). It examines agricultural extension and education approaches for working with farmers/farm households to support learning, the adoption of innovation and behaviour change. This is critically important for farm productivity, profitability and sustainability.

This module examines the role of agricultural extension and education in engaging farmers and farm households in best practices for production, profitability and farm sustainability. It equips the student with a sound theoretical understanding of different approaches and strategies for knowledge transfer and an understanding of adult learning, farm decision making and behaviour change.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

1. Explain the rationale for agricultural advisory services within the wider agricultural knowledge and innovation system
2. Distinguish different types of innovation relevant to agriculture and explain the role of knowledge and learning in agricultural and rural innovation
3. Identify economic, social, cultural, and psychological factors that affect the uptake of innovation by farm households
4. Understand adult learning processes and the agricultural knowledge and information systems associated with farm decision making in Ireland
5. Be familiar with a suite of advisory education approaches and methods

Indicative Module Content:

Understanding the AKIS (Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System)
Models and approaches to farm family decision making
Rural Sociology - understanding farm families
Succession on farms - links to innovation
Innovation and diffusion of innovation
Adult learning and design of learning programmes
Overview of advisory methodologies

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This modules utilises aspects of problem based learning and group project work. It gives students the opportunity for peer to peer learning as well as peer review. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Group project with individual and group marks Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Project: Choice of essay or podcast reflecting learning from the module Week 12 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Reading List for Knowledge Transfer and Farm Innovation (2020/21)

Knierim, A., Boenning, K., Caggiano, M., Cristóvão, A., Dirimanova, V., Koehnen, T., Labarthe, P. and Prager, K., 2015. The AKIS concept and its relevance in selected EU member states. Outlook on AGRICULTURE, 44(1), pp.29-36.

Moroney, A., O'Reilly, S. and O'Shaughnessy, M., 2016. Taking the leap and sustaining the journey: Diversification on the Irish family farm. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 6(4), pp.103-123.

Shortall, S., 2018. Changing gender roles in Irish farm households: continuity and change. Irish Geography, 50(2), pp.175-191.

Deming, J., Macken-Walsh, Á., O'Brien, B. and Kinsella, J., 2019. Entering the occupational category of ‘Farmer’: new pathways through professional agricultural education in Ireland. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 25(1), pp.63-78.
Russell, T., Breen, J., Gorman, M. and Heanue, K., 2020. Advisors perceptions of their role in supporting farm succession and inheritance. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, pp.1-12.

Padel, S., 2001. Conversion to organic farming: a typical example of the diffusion of an innovation?. Sociologia ruralis, 41(1), pp.40-61.

Barrett, T.J., 2016. Principles and theories of adult learning. Alliance Learning Center.
O’Donoghue, C. and Heanue, K., 2018. The impact of formal agricultural education on farm level innovation and management practices. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 43(4), pp.844-863.

Gorman, M., 2019. Becoming an agricultural advisor–the rationale, the plan and the implementation of a model of reflective practice in extension higher education. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 25(2), pp.179-191.
Klerkx, L., 2020. Advisory services and transformation, plurality and disruption of agriculture and food systems: towards a new research agenda for agricultural education and extension studies.
Name Role
Professor James Kinsella Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Tomás Russell Lecturer / Co-Lecturer