This study was designed to investigate changes in farming and to look at how farmers adapt to diverse changes in and around their farms in the province of Esfahan, Iran. It is part of a larger project aimed at developing a job competency profile for agricultural extension instructors (AEIs). One hundred and two farmers who had previously followed extension courses in the province of Esfahan were interviewed. The findings demonstrate that a large number of farmers in the target group who are older, married, have low education levels, are smallholders and lack adequate job diversity on their farms. The study revealed that these farmers have experienced sluggish internal and external agricultural change, and they are generally more positive about internal changes than external ones. Respondents designated 'extension courses', 'individual farm visits by official extension agents' and 'trial and error', respectively as their three main learning strategies (LS) to help them adapt to the various changes. The results also indicate that older and more poorly educated farmers have more problems in adopting different LS.