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Ensuring communication and extension activities truly support business decisions and enhance practices on farm

Horticulture is growing rapidly as an industry in Australia, with a 40 per cent rise in value over the five years to 2017/18 to $13.2 billion. And that growth is expected to continue, with the sector’s farm gate production having the potential to increase to between $20 and $30 billion by 2030. To support this growth, it’s vital that the nation’s horticulture Research and Development Corporation is constantly refining business practices to service levy payers and the industries they work in. In line with that approach, Hort Innovation has launched a new Extension initiative to ensure communication and extension activities truly support business decisions and enhance practices on farm.

What extension activities are currently offered through Hort Innovation?

Hort Innovation is currently working with its partners – such as industry groups, universities and government agencies – to deliver hundreds of projects for horticulture levy payers, of which 80-odd investments are dedicated to extension in the form of industry development and communication, and more than 80 investments also involve extension components.

What is the purpose of Hort Innovation’s extension initiative?

The extension initiative enhances the coordination, communication and application of research and development outcomes, and includes a team of Regional Extension Managers, who work in the regions. These managers play a linking role and bring broad coalitions together to share skills and capacity, to solve identified regional problems. Service providers benefit from building their technical and extension skills and knowledge via across industry networks. Collaborative approaches to solving regional problems enable tangible outcomes for growers to use on farm.

Does this service replace other extension activities?

No. Extension activities offered through Hort Innovation are important to the industries they service. The Extension Framework complements and adds to other work to ensure growers have the best possible access to outcomes from their levy investments.

Where are Regional Extension Managers based and what will they do?

Regional Extension Managers operate in six horticulture regions that have been identified for targeted extension, capturing 94 per cent of horticultural activity in Australia by employment and production value. 

How do I access extension services or get more information?

For more information on the industry development projects that Hort Innovation is involved in, you can access a short article here. Alternatively, call Hort Innovation on (02) 8295 2300 or contact us by submitting the form below and we will have the right people in your area give you a call.

To assist delivery partners navigate the changing extension environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a guide has been developed to provide insight into how to best undertake extension activities remotely. You can download the guide here

Find the Regional Extension Manager in your region and their contact details here.

Extension Team Strategy at a glance

View the Extension Team Strategy in an easy to read two-page overview now.

Industry Development Portfolio Review

In 2021, the Hort Innovation Extension Team conducted a review of the Industry Development Portfolio to meet an action item of the Hort Innovation 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, which was "to review the Industry Development Portfolio to help maximise efficiency of levy investment and impacts for growers." View the full Industry Development Review report here.

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Meet the Regional Extension Team

Get to know each of the Hort Innovation Regional Extension Managers to hear about their background working in Extension as well as a sneak peek into what is in store for each of their regions in 2021.

View their profiles here