Volume 48 - Number 2 - 2007 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2007.02079



The purpose of this study was to analyze farmers' experiences with and perceptions of agricultural extension courses and their instructors inEsfahan, Iran. This study is part of a larger project on the development of a competency profile of extension instructors. Many attempts have been made to develop competency profiles for professionals (Shim, 2006). A perennial problem is the extent to which differentiation is needed as a consequence of the characteristics of the target group (Mulder, Wesselink, & Bruijstens, 2005). This study, conducted in 17 different townships in theprovince ofEsfahan, Iran, involved interviews with 27 farmers and a survey of 102 farmers who participated in course. Data were collected on the following factors: motives for course attendance, course appreciation, topics for future courses, and the competence of the agricultural extension instructors (AEIs). The relationships between farmers' personal and farm characteristics and the factors were also examined. Based on the results of this study, a general competency profile is possible, but that variation is needed as to the age, gender, educational level, and learning motives of farmers. Target group stratification and internal differentiation in courses should be included in the competency profile.

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