The IndoBeef Field Officers are an integral part of the team in both the CropCow and PalmCow projects. They are considered as junior researchers contributing to IndoBeef research outcomes, as well as facilitators of research and scaling out activity. They will receive ongoing training to build relevant skills, and will be well placed to contribute to beef research beyond IndoBeef. Here, we provide a summary of the roles and responsibilities of the CropCow field officers as an example.
Due to the somewhat different activities planned for CropCow research sites in NTB and KalSel, certain responsibilities of the Field Officers will differ between the two provinces.
Nonetheless, all CropCow Field Officers will share a range of roles and responsibilities:
Assess and understand local livestock production systems, including production, institutional, social and market contexts as well as social and technical innovations that can be scaled out.
Continue to participate in the training activities relevant to their roles offered by the IndoBeef program.
Collect descriptive, observational and experimental data for the various CropCow research activities (animal production, market chains, socio-economics, gender, and scaling out) by conducting interviews, surveys, focus group discussions, and by participating in data collection during cattle production and sales. They will receive relevant training in survey methodology and group-focused data collection methods such as focus group discussion.
Provide support to CropCow research activities, including postgraduate research projects.
Assist in developing and maintaining strong links between the CropCow project and government and industry stakeholders, including local government, Dinas and Bupati staff, and industry representatives in their district.
Each Field Officer will be based in a single CropCow district, but will have regular opportunities to come together for meetings to learn from each other’s experiences.
Field Officers have a central role in contributing to CropCow communications activity, being able to recognise and report interesting stories to the IndoBeef communications team, and to provide a brief update on their activities via the CropCow field officers WhatsApp group.
Each Field Officer will contribute to their work plans, working with their supervisor, and will also contribute to strategic planning of CropCow activities, particularly during the early stages when activities are being established.
In addition to developing work plans, the Field Officers will also be asked to report on achievements against their work plans to the CropCow field officer coordinator, Dr Tanda Panjaitan. They will also contribute where needed to CropCow progress reports.
There is scope for Field Officers to contribute to research publications (for example conference or journal papers or extension materials) depending on their individual contributions to the research.
CropCow Field Officers based at NTB project sites will have the following additional roles:
Involvement in facilitating scaling institutions by selecting scaling nodes and hamlets, and helping to determine whether demonstration sites are required.
Contributing to research in the variety of context-dependent scaling strategies that are a major objective of the CropCow project. The Field Officers will not conduct extension activities themselves, but will be involved in supporting these activities and facilitating scaling strategies by liaising with farmer groups, government extension staff, and local administration as required.
The CropCow Field Officer based in KalSel has the following additional roles:
Supporting animal production research, which is a stronger focus of CropCow activity in KalSel than it is in NTB.
Participating in training activities as required with PalmCow Field Officers, given their similar roles and responsibilities.