Climate variability impacts negatively on the agricultural, social, environmental and economic well-being of rural communities. For example, severe droughts are commonly highlighted as having both short- and long-term impacts. Climate-based information needs to be integrated with a 'whole-farm' approach. Climate variability and climate change will become more prominent in importance. It is proposed that sound educational materials and process for extension staff and stakeholders in the rural community will improve knowledge and skills to better manage this variable climate. The expected benefits include: improved knowledge and skills, enhanced decisions and reduced climate risk exposure. This paper will discuss successes to date in applied climate education. It will discuss training in risk management strategies relating to agricultural systems and identify a future advanced training program. Educational implications
142for farmers and trainers will discuss the merits of a three-tiered training hierarchy aimed at fundamental, intermediate and advanced levels. The climate change challenge will require immediate and ongoing attention, with respect to applied climate education, targeting agriculture and natural resource management.