Defining how to train rural extension agents is a constant concern for those who undertake this educational work. This is an assignment with multiple proposals from the elaboration of which the rural extension agents are usually absent, despite the experiential knowledge that authorizes them to express on the subject. In this perspective, aiming at position a type of extension founded on dialogical action between rural extension agents and peasants, the study responds to the following question: according to what is thought, said, and experienced by the rural extension agents, what are their training needs today to improve their professional practice in peasant contexts? From the speech with 59 rural extension agents who provide services to rural communities in Caldas, Colombia, using discourse analysis, the following training categories were identified: a) training for effective communication, b) training for practice in context and c) training for interdisciplinary and comprehensive practice. It is concluded that listening to the voice of rural extensionists, giving them a leading role in the localized definition of their main training needs, is a way for the subsequent design of training proposals that are ever closer to the demands of the reality faced.
rural extension; agricultural technical assistance; rural extension training; rural development