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Wesley Fennell

Project Title: An examination of categories of dairy farmers in Mayo based on their adoption of certain farming technologies

Project Description 
The adoption of particular technologies/practices can help this country’s competitive advantage in dairy farming. Agricultural advisors know that some farmers are quicker to adopt technologies/practices than others. The farmers who are quicker to adopt these technologies are known as innovators and only comprise a small proportion of a population (2.5%) according to Everett Rogers (1983). In this study, the overall aim is to validate Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations theory as it may apply to dairy farmers in Mayo. To deliver this aim, the specific objectives of the study are to determine the categories of Mayo dairy farmers based on their rate of adoption of selected technologies/practices.  The Diffusion of Innovations model will be validated by administering questionnaires to dairy farmers who are Teagasc clients. The questionnaire will collect data on their structural characteristics and behaviour surrounding their decision to adopt certain practices. Following the questionnaires, a specific group of farmers who have taken part in the questionnaire will be chosen for interviews individually. The objective of these interviews will be to establish factors affecting the rate of adoption of dairy farmers in Mayo. Once the validity of Rogers’ model is established and we have an insight of the factors affecting adoption of Mayo dairy farmers, a focus group will be conducted. The focus group will involve opinion leaders that are involved in knowledge transfer within the agricultural industry.  The purpose of this focus group will be to examine and determine how this information can be used in knowledge transfer to increase uptake of key technologies/ practices. 

Teagasc supervisor: Mr. Mark Moore

UCD supervisor: Prof. Jim Kinsella

Location: Teagasc Advisory Office, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo

Download: Wesley Fennell Presentation (Powerpoint)