Improving farmers discussion groups - An example of a grassland farmers group in Western Finland

Anu Ellä is an advisor at ProAgria. Since 2004, she leads discussion groups on grassland management in Western Finland.
In this video she explains how she continuously renewed the concept of the discussion group over the years. In the beginning, the participants just studied and talked together. Then, they also started to share their knowledge and results. They analysed their farm data, and made study trips abroad. And finally, they introduced the concept of a “monitor farmer” within the group.
Anu and her colleagues also improved their facilitation skills. They often use two facilitators for the discussion group meetings. One facilitator organises the meeting, while the other leads the discussion. The benefit: The facilitators learn from each other by reflecting on the meeting: what worked well and what could be improved. They bring different perspective, facilitation styles and knowledge to the group. They have also set-up a network together with all the facilitators in Finland, and in the Nordic countries.
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