“Winning this award and the recognition it brings will be a great boost to our research in the future…”
We are both delighted and surprised to win the Best Paper of the Year Award for the Journal of Agricultural Extension and Education, and it is a particular honour to receive this award for the second year running. The authors, who are all from the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) University of Gloucestershire, UK, very much appreciate this recognition.
This paper is the culmination of many months of research within a European funded project called SOLINSA and represents the efforts of our European colleagues in the project as well. This award is a great reward for all our hard work together.
The SOLINSA project looked at the role of networks of farmers, and other actors, experimenting with innovative sustainable practices at the margins of mainstream agriculture, and how they could be supported. The paper examines the development of seventeen of these networks (which we called Learning and Innovation Networks for Sustainable Agriculture – LINSA) across Europe and discusses the potential for such networks to seed a wider transformation towards more sustainable agriculture.
The CCRI team had responsibility in the project for coordinating case studies of the seventeen networks and analysing the data. This was challenging at times, but it led to some new empirical and theoretical thinking, which is captured in this paper. We’re grateful that Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension have given us the chance to share this with others in a special issue, including other project papers. The journal is an ideal outlet for such papers as it combines academic rigour with relevance to policy and practical application, which is important to those working in the field of agricultural extension.
Winning this award and the recognition it brings will be a great boost to our research in the future, which continues to explore learning and innovation in transition towards sustainable agriculture.