Main content

Investigating the Role of Agricultural Extension in Influencing Ontario Dairy Producer Behaviour for Johne's Disease Control

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Kelton, David
dc.contributor.advisor Jones-Bitton, Andria Roche, Steven 2014-05-13T18:47:31Z 2014-05-13T18:47:31Z 2014-05 2014-05-09 2014-05-13
dc.description.abstract Study objectives were to: (a) describe Ontario (ON) dairy producer and veterinarian perceptions of the barriers and motivators to adopting on-farm management practices for Johne’s disease (JD) control, (b) implement and evaluate an agricultural extension program, called ON Focus Farms (FF), to improve the adoption of JD control practices, (c) compare changes in knowledge, attitude, perception, and behaviour towards JD control among FF participants and a group of non-participating producers, (d) investigate dairy producer learning preferences and perceptions of various sources of information, and (e) economically assess the costs and benefits of implementing FF over a 10-year period. To meet these objectives, pre- and post-FF intervention questionnaires, JD risk assessments, and post-FF intervention focus groups were administered. Both producers and veterinarians identified physical resource barriers (i.e. time, money, infrastructure) and intrinsic barriers (i.e. perceived priority of JD, motivation, perceived practicality of JD control recommendations) to adoption. They also suggested extrinsic (i.e. incentives, premiums, penalties, and regulations, extension and communication) and intrinsic (i.e. pride and responsibility) methods for motivating producers. While producer preferences for sources of information were varied, the majority (68%) ranked veterinarians as their top information source. Furthermore, 61% had a preference for learning kinesthetically (i.e. experience, context and practice). Overall, 176 dairy producers participated in FF. Focus group discussions revealed that a facilitator-moderated and producer-centred environment were the key characteristics in making FF effective. Over two-thirds of respondents self-reported improvements in awareness, confidence, knowledge, and attitude towards JD control. Furthermore, 81% of FF respondents reported implementing at least one on-farm management change for JD control, resulting in a significant reduction in the their JD risk assessment scores; knowledge changes were significantly higher, and risk scores significantly lower, than control respondents. Participating in FF, having a moderate herd management score, a positive perception about the practicality of on- farm recommendations, and having a singular learning preference were associated with increased odds of making an on-farm change. Lastly, the economic evaluation of FF implementation in ON over a 10-year period yielded positive net benefits, suggesting that its implementation would be valuable for reducing the burden of disease on ON dairy farms. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Guelph en_US
dc.subject Johne's disease en_US
dc.subject evaluation en_US
dc.subject epidemiology en_US
dc.subject social en_US
dc.subject extension en_US
dc.subject education en_US
dc.subject dairy producer en_US
dc.subject dairy cattle en_US
dc.subject knowledge transfer en_US
dc.subject agriculture en_US
dc.subject agricultural extension en_US
dc.title Investigating the Role of Agricultural Extension in Influencing Ontario Dairy Producer Behaviour for Johne's Disease Control en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Population Medicine en_US Doctor of Philosophy en_US Department of Population Medicine en_US
dc.rights.license All items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated. University of Guelph en_US

Files in this item

Files Size Format View Description
Roche_Steven_201405_PhD.pdf 17.91Mb PDF View/Open Thesis

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback:  (email address)