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Anne van den Ban
Prof. dr. ir. Anne van den ban.jpg
Anne van den Ban in the 1980s
Born 28 February 1928
Leeuwarderadeel, Netherlands
Died 7 May 2016 (2016-05-08) (aged 88)
Wageningen, Netherlands
Awards Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau, INSEE Life Time Achievement Award
Academic background
Alma mater Wageningen University
Influences Everett M. Rogers, E.W. Hofstee
Academic work
Main interests Agricultural extension
Notable works "Farmer and agricultural extension, the communication of new farming practices", "Agricultural Extension", "Health education and health promotion"
Notable ideas Adoption of innovations

Anne Willem van den Ban (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɑnə ˈʋɪləɱ vɑn dər ˈbɑn]; 28 February 1928 – 7 May 2016) was a Dutch scholar, whose work focused on agricultural extension.


Van den Ban (son of two extension agents) studied Agricultural Economics at the Landbouwhogeschool (agricultural university) in Wageningen between 1945 and 1953. The Landbouwhogeschool is currently known as Wageningen University (part of Wageningen University and Research Centre).

In an article that van den Ban wrote with Everett M. Rogers (from whom the diffusion of innovations theory originates), he describes how Professor E.W. Hofstee made a study-tour in 1950 of land-grant universities in the U.S. This study-tour was sponsored by the Marshall Plan. Hofstee had been impressed with the research on the adoption of new farm practices and when he returned to the landbouwhogeschool he stressed this topic in his lectures. Van den Ban, who was a student of Hofstee, chose the adoption of innovations as topic for his Master's thesis.

After completing military service, van den Ban started working for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, for which he did research on agricultural extension at the Department of Rural Sociology of the Landbouwhogeschool. Based on this research, van den Ban obtained his PhD in 1963 with Prof. E.W. Hofstee being his tutor. His thesis was called Boer en landbouwvoorlichting: de communicatie van nieuwe landbouwmethoden(Farmer and agricultural extension, the communication of new farming practices). His work is believed to be the first empirical study on agricultural extension in Europe.

In 1964 van den Ban started the department of Extension Education. At the time of his retirement, in 1983, the department had grown to be one of the 5 largest departments at the Landbouwhogeschool. Nowadays, this is the department of Communication Science with two sub-departments; Communication and Innovation Studies, and Communication Strategies. Although van den Ban retired from the department in 1983, he continued to work as a consultant in different countries, mainly in India and Tanzania.

Van den Ban is advisor to the Executive Council of the International Society for Extension Education (INSEE) and received a Life Time Achievement Award in September 2008 for his "outstanding contribution in the field of Extension Education, Agricultural Development and Rural Development" from this organization

Van den Ban was appointed an Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau for his outstanding scientific achievements on a national and international level on 15 September 2011. The award was presented during a meeting to mark the award of the 200th scholarship by the Anne van den Ban Scholarship Fund.

Anne van den Ban Scholarship Fund

In 1992, Anne van den Ban and G.J. Kerkhoven started a scholarship fund called Stichting Redelijk Studeren (which was translated as Sharing Responsibilities for Students). In 2005 the fund was renamed Anne van den Ban Scholarship Fund. The Anne van den Ban Scholarship Fund “...exists to enable promising students from developing countries to study at Wageningen University. The long-term goal is the training of talented experts who will go on to play leading roles in improving the agricultural production, rural development and environment in their own countries.” As of September 2011, the fund supports the 200th student at Wageningen University.

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