Despite the wealth of information freely available via a range of media, farmers lack both confidence and many of the capabilities to develop their own written strategic business plans. The fact that most farmers do not have a formal strategic plan for their business is testimony to this. Information per se is unlikely to be constraining individuals in completing this task since it is widely available and has been promulgated by the extension agencies in the past. This suggests that the 'one-way' approach to technology transfer is inappropriate for developing business management capabilities amongst the farming community. Our aim was to test the effectiveness of a participatory workshop on farm business management to help individuals build and apply new knowledge and skills in strategic management, specifically planning and control. The workshop was designed to allow participants to develop their knowledge and skills by writing their own farm strategy. Adult learning principles were utilised in the workshop design. Participants were able to integrate and apply their existing knowledge and experience within a conceptual framework. The workshop exceeded the expectations of all of the participants. They gained greater confidence to plan for the future and in their own ability to learn.


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