This paper concerns agricultural extension and technology transfer to livestock farmers in New Zealand. Data shows that those farmers who have adopted farm inputs an appropriate technology achieve higher productivity and profitability. This raises the questions of why the rest have not. This paper presents some farm and farmer information gathered in the farmer first research programme to provide insights into this question, and draws some conclusions for those charged with delivering technology transfer programmes. These conclusions emphasise the diverse constraints farmers face, which must be taken into account in further technology development.