Archive: Progress through research – Smart communication is key

Published 17 December 14

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DairyCo is running a ‘help us to help you’ study across GB to gain greater insight into ways of communicating research results to dairy farmers.  

DairyCo research and development manager, Dr Jenny Gibbons, says, “Communicating science is like a jigsaw, lots of pieces make up the full picture and one of the pieces is the complex issue of effective communication. With the increasing use of digital media, it is critical to examine whether the communication methods we use suit the intended audience. DairyCo recognises that every individual levy payer has different information needs and wants to learn how best this information is absorbed, retained and used. It is vital we present our research in a format and way which enables easy access and uptake.” 

In collaboration with its research partner at University of Nottingham, DairyCo is recruiting over 100 dairy farmers to help determine the most effective communication methods so that research messages can be appropriately targeted. Participants will be asked to attend either a regional meeting or receive a visit from one of the research team. For the purpose of this study, the latest cutting edge research on ‘early detection and treatment of lame cows’ will be the main focus. 

Jenny continues, “Taking part in the study will be very straight forward. Farmers will be asked to answer a short series of questions at the start and end of the meetings to allow us to assess the impact of the session. A month later, each participant will be contacted by phone and given an opportunity to provide further feedback. Meetings and visits will take place from January to March 2015, with every effort being made to provide sessions at times that will be convenient for farmers and in locations that are easily accessible.” 

If you or your discussion group would like to take part in this study and would like more details, please contact DairyCo extension officers: 

Judith Stafford (Midlands) email: Tel: 07891 556623 

Sarah Bolt (South West) email: Tel: 07717 501564 

Anthony Hoile (Yorkshire) email: Tel: 07500 578583 

If your region is not listed above and you or your discussion group would like to participate, please contact your local extension officer or Dr. Jenny Gibbons, on