ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Cattle Tattle

“Extension education” in agriculture is useful in teaching farmers to learn by doing, as one veterinarian discovered in rural Bengal.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science and animal husbandry, fuelled by a passion for rural life, I opted for “extension education” as a major discipline for my master’s degree course. To be sure, though, there were other reasons to do so—such as a lack of interest in the job of a veterinary surgeon. However, when I ended the course at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh, I felt an urge to serve people who live in the countryside and for whom animal husbandry is a way of life.

I started disseminating the science of veterinary and animal husbandry, adopting the philosophy and principles of “extension education” to change the behaviour (“knowledge,” “attitude” and “skill”) of livestock keepers. “Helping people help themselves shape their behaviour in a desirable direction” is the basic tenet of extension education. From “university extension” in the 19th century as an educational movement, extension education has evolved to “agricultural extension” in the 20th century as a means to increase agricultural production.

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