Work package 5

Work package 5. Dissemination

Objectives

To make research results and accumulated knowledge of all partners in the project understandable, applicable and accessible to the owners, i.e. the SME-AGs, their members, the wider group of farmers, extension personnel, the scientific community and policymakers.

WP Leader: Videncentret for Landbrug (VFL), Thomas Andersen

Description of work

Optimum and rapid transfer of knowledge and technology and utilisation of project deliverables requires an effective dissemination strategy. Mechanisms must be developed to apply this dissemination strategy primarily to the SME-AGs, their members, dairy farmer end-users and secondly, to a wide range of stakeholder groups, e.g. extension personnel, advisory consultants, farming organizations, the wider group of dairy farmers, milking equipment manufacturers, international scientific community, relevant Government Departments, policymakers and legislators within the different countries.

Tasks

Task 5.1 Design, development and management of the project dissemination website

Leader: VFL, T. Andersen

Involved partners: VFL, LTO, SDA, CNIEL, CDL, IGA

A dedicated website will be established. The website will initially present the state of the art, the objectives of the program and specific aims of the consortium partners. The website will represent a fluid mechanism which will produce an evolving output /product. The website will be updated frequently as new information comes to hand. The primary goals of the website will be to bring together the information and package it for the target audience as described above. Each of the consortium participants will have responsibility for preparing items for upload. All material will be subjected to a review process involving a ‘Publication protocol’ and a ‘Working party meeting’ as described in Section 3.2 before the WEB responsible will update the material. The website will provide links to existing websites providing information in areas such as milking, grazing and livestock management, thus creating an important portal for information in the area of AM and grazing strategies. This information will then be complemented with calendar information of project events (e.g. conference presentations, stakeholder meetings) and outreach activities organized by individual partners associated with the project (e.g. field trials visits, open days). Documents on the website will be available in all languages of the consortium countries and subsequently in a wider range of European languages at the request and cost responsibility of the specific countries. After the project ends, the website will be maintained by SME-AGs.

Task 5.2 ‘Monitor Farms’ and SME end user farms

Leader: VFL, T. Andersen

Involved partners: VFL, LTO, SDA, CNIEL, CDL, IGA, SME FARM IE, SME FARM DK

Between four and six ‘Monitor Farms’ will be selected in each consortium country and used in several WPs. The selection of these farms will be guided by local consultants /advisers, who will in turn, be closely associated with the SME-AGs. All inputs and outputs will be recorded on these farms. Recording will be conducted by advisors (e.g. fertilizer, pesticides, rotation), RTD technicians (e.g. quality samples, grassland allocation, grazing time) and by access to online registration systems (e.g. national milk yield recording services). Ongoing monitoring of sustainability parameters and economic assessments will be carried out. Guided ‘Open Days’ will be organized on ‘Monitor Farms’ when appropriate (at least one occasion per farm during the project). Agricultural students and lecturers will be encouraged to attend. Two ‘SME end-user Farms’ in Denmark and Ireland will represent some of the specific national characteristics and challenges of dairy farms using grazing and AM in the different consortium countries. On these farms, technologies such as optimized combined grazing and AM, sustainability assessment and decision support tools will be put in place to test their effectiveness. Results from these farms will be presented on the website. Guided ‘Open Days’ will also be organized on these farms.

Task 5.3 : Knowledge transfer between consortium partners

Leader: IGA, Committee member

Involved partners: IGA, VFL, LTO, SDA, CNIEL, CDL, SME FARM IE, SME FARM DK

The SME-AG partners of the consortium will meet twice yearly (as part of an overall consortium meeting) to discuss project progress and focus on research and dissemination with regard to providing ‘best service’ in terms of knowledge and practical tools, to SME-AG members and the wider group of dairy farm end users, to promote optimal combined grazing and AM systems. There will be prompt transfer of knowledge to the SME-AGs, which will be accomplished through regular meetings, conferences, the farming press, television programmes aimed at farming communities, web pages and other agricultural media. Transfer of knowledge to the wider audience of SME-AG members, policymakers, EU dairy farmers and the public will be conducted in accordance with the model described in Figure 3.2.2. Exchange of national experiences and knowledge will be a primary goal and the website content will be discussed at all meetings.

Task 5.4: Communication of results to scientific and technical audiences

Leader:TEAGASC, Bernadette O’Brien

Involved partners: TEAGASC, WLR, AU, IDELE, SLU, ULg

Contributions, both oral and poster will be presented at scientific meetings of the European Association of Animal Production (EAAP, www.eaap.org), International Dairy Federation (IDF, www.fil-idf.org), European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming and European Grassland Federation (www.europeangrassland.org). Representatives of SME-AGs will attend these meetings as well. In addition, results of the project will be presented at national forums (e.g. Congress 3R [Rencontre Recherche Ruminants], French Association of Forage Production and the Danish Cattle Congress).

Task 5.5: National SME-AG dissemination

Leader: AU, Frank Oudshoorn

Involved partners: IGA, AU, VFL, LTO, SDA, CNIEL, CDL

The SME-AGs of the participating countries have their own channels or networks of dissemination and training in the form of professional magazines, manuals, leaflets or recurrent E-mail services or net-information sites and courses, through which they will distribute project outputs generated by the RTD partners. In thematic issues, both the challenges (e.g. summer drought, large herds, limited grassland area and very high milk production) and positive aspects will be discussed.