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International Association on Work in Agriculture

Ruth Nettle

Ruth Nettle

Leader, Rural Innovation Research Group; School of Agriculture and Food, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Science, The University of Melbourne

Ruth’s research focus includes:

  • rural workforce development,
  • farming systems, people and capacity building,
  • human resource management practices on farms
  • the role of farm advisers and innovation intermediaries
  • agricultural extension policy and design

Ruth applies the findings from research to the development efforts of rural industries and communities and currently works with Australian and New Zealand agricultural industry groups and government.  Ruth’s research work into collaborative action in rural workforce development has attracted interest from many primary industries.  Ruth’s research aims to link agricultural workplace practices to broader issues for the rural sector in attracting, retaining and developing a workforce for the future.


780 Elizabeth Street (Building 220)

Level 3, Room 310A


Victoria 3010 Australia


Nettle, R., Kuehne, G. Lee. K. Armstrong, D. (Submitted to : Agronomy for Sustainable Development) Adaptability in Australian cotton farming:  the dynamic interrelationship between farm workforce strategies, irrigation water security and technology use.

Nettle, R. 2015.  More Than Workforce Shortages: How Farm Human Resources Management Strategies Will Shape Australia's Agricultural Future. Farm Policy Journal. 12(2) 17-27 (Winter quarter).

Kuehne, G., Nettle, R. (2015), The Intersecting Interests of Holidaying Backpackers and Farmers at Work (November 2015).

Santhanam-Martin, M., Nettle, R. 2014. “Governing Australia's dairy farm workforce: a new terrain for negotiating rural community sustainability”. International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture & Food, 21(1): 31-50.

Nettle, R. and Moffatt, J. (2014). “Two steps forward and one back: Progress towards innovation platforms for Agricultural Workforce Development in Australia”. 11th European International Farming Systems Association (European chapter) Symposium, Farming systems facing global challenges: Capacities and strategies. Berlin. 1-4 April

Nettle, R. Oliver, D. Brightling, P. Williamson, J. Buchanan, J. (2008). From “Workforce Planning” to “Collective Action”:  Developments in the Australian dairy farm sector. Employment Relations Record Vol 8, No 1, 17-34

Nettle, R., Paine, M. and Petheram, J. (2006). Improving employment relationships – Findings from learning interventions in farm employment. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 31(1): 21-36

Nettle, R., Paine, M. and Petheram, J. (2005). The Employment Relationship – a conceptual model developed from farming case studies.  New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 30 (2) 19-36