Inclusivity of on-farm demonstration: gender, age, and geographic location

Lee Ann Sutherland*, Rob J.F. Burton, Anda Adamsone-Fiskovica, Claire Hardy, Boelie Elzen, Lies Debruyne, Sharon Flanigan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: To assess the inclusivity of on-farm demonstration across Europe, in relation to age, gender, and geographical location of participants. Methodology: The paper is based on a survey of 1162 on-farm demonstrators (farmers and organisations) and three supra-regional workshops. Findings: Overall, on farm-demonstrations were found to be engaging young(er) farmers who are at a career stage of being able to implement long-term innovations. However, across Europe demonstrations were primarily attended by men. On-farm demonstrations were most common in Northern Europe, where advisory services brought together multiple AKIS actors. There were fewer on-farm demonstrations in Southern Europe, where demonstrations were more likely to be led by research institutes or individual farmers. Eastern Europe is notable for greater diversity in terms of gender and age of demonstration participants. Within countries, on-farm demonstrations occurred more frequently in regions of high agricultural profitability; more remotely located farmers had fewer opportunities to participate. Practical implications: Demonstrations led by public and privately funded advisory services appear to attract primarily male farmers, thus reinforcing gendered patterns of participation in European agriculture. The location of advisory services and research institutes in high profitability locales disproportionately privileges farmers located there. More targeted efforts are required to ensure the participation of farmers who are female, older and located in less productive regions. Theoretical implications: The paper draws attention to the lack of inclusivity of on-farm demonstration, developing a conceptual framework based on Lukes’ three faces of power. Originality: The paper utilises the first European-wide inventory of on-farm demonstration to assess inclusivity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agricultural Education and Extension
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Nov 2020


  • Age
  • AKIS
  • equality
  • gender
  • hard to reach farmers
  • power

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