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A Europe-wide thematic network supporting a sustainable future for EU dairy farmers

Deliverables

20 demand-led webinars providing technical information on resource efficiency

Webinars will be organized to support knowledge exchange and training in the use of relevant decision support tools used in other regions.

Submission of complete and final volume of ‘practice abstracts’ to the EIP-Agri website

Submission of practice abstracts to be submitted, containing outcomes/recommendations from each work package. These will be in the format and style prescribed by the EIP service point, emphasising translation of research into farm application, and capturing new practice-based innovations.

37 webinars supporting technical work package (aggregated from deliverables under other WPs)

The open learning platform will host, tape and broadcast the webinars that will be held in the framework of WPs 2-7.

6 webinars on aspects of socio-economic resilience

An international network of dairy farmers, together with researchers, advisers, co-operatives, banks and training organisations will be created in conjunction with WP 2. Webinars on various aspects of socio-economic resilience will be organized for farmers and other actors involved in relevant projects/operational groups.

Material for three digital, farm case studies on biodiversity, including supporting fact sheets

The technical leaflet will be supported by video case studies of real life examples of practical, implementable measures to improve biodiversity on dairy farms managed under a range of conditions. The videos will be supported by fact sheets.

2 webinars on the main principles surrounding management for biodiversity

Operational groups will consider practical options to preserve or enhance biodiversity under a range of dairy farming systems. Existing farm strategies and their adaptation can be improved by sharing experiences at national and international level. Webinars and face to face meetings will be organised for farmers and other actors involved in the project.

6 video case studies of practice-based innovation, with supporting fact sheets

Innovations developed will be disseminated to the entire dairy farming community through practice-based video case studies. The videos will be supported by fact sheets.

9 webinars (three for each sub topic in Animal care)

Supported by WP 8, a programme for dissemination and knowledge exchange will be developed for participants in EuroDairy, the wider community of dairy farmers, and other actors with strong interest in (1) improving animal care, (2) improving housing management for dairy cattle, and (3) reducing antimicrobial use in dairy farming. Webinars on the three topics of this WP are an essential part of the programme.

20 articles to create broader media exposure

The results produced in WPs 2-7 will be reported in press and end-user friendly articles to create a broad European-wide media exposure.

A digital case study on the optimum integration of measures for overall sustainability

From the inventory of measures contributing to dairy sustainability and the integration of best practices, strategies and innovative solutions material will be used to produce a video case study on optimum integration of measures for overall sustainability in dairy farming.

Open learning platform created

An open learning platform will be established, based on principles that the ‘wisdom of crowds’ grows, engaged people participate, people connect (regardless of location/space/time), public open data are accessible, and people co-create solutions / inventions / techniques. Conversations under this system can be managed and moderated (asking & answering questions). Participants can suggest or signpost new sources of information, as well as discuss, test and further develop ready-to-use end-user materials. The collaborative open learning tool created will be multi-actor centred, highly participatory and open-sourced from an everyday life perspective. Each technical work package communicates and co-creates (in their specific segment) on whiteboards and in chat rooms. The open learning platform will incorporate, online platform/website, digital 3D dairy farm, blog, Wiki (open database), whiteboard, live cams, virtual tours, interactive map, chat room, ‘meet ups’, Q&A, social media tools. Webinars will be hosted, taped and broadcasted from this centre point of communication. The emphasis is on co-creation and collaboration, but all the outputs created in this working lab will be disseminated to dairy farmers, using the communication channels of all project partners.

1 digital case study on animal care, together with supporting fact sheets

In the framework of the programme for dissemination and knowledge exchange (see deliverable 5.1).a video case study on the reduction of the use of antimicrobials will be produced.

Suite of basic communications and promotional materials

At the start of the project, a suite of easy-to-use supporting materials will be produced for use by all participants, including: - Visual logo (cross referenced to ISIB-funding), online banners, templates, straplines and a promotional leaflet. The creation of a ‘look book’ will assist participating actors to connect with others within the consortium on specific topics.

Review, and submission of relevant authorisations for farm or KTC-based innovations identified within WP 5 (Animal care) and linked to the Thematic Network.

A synthesis will be made of the different innovative practices with respect to their specific context, challenges and opportunities, illustrated by case studies, together with recommendations for research and policy development.

3 technical leaflets on optimizing best practice measure, regionally adapted

From the inventory of measures contributing to dairy sustainability and the integration of best practices, strategies and innovative solutions material will be used to produce technical leaflets to disseminate best practice examples resulting from this WP.

Training materials on biodiversity assessment

Regions will be asked to share indicators and projects on measuring biodiversity. A synthesis will be made to help the group to improve a harmonised approach that could be used more widely. In DAIRYMAN, a methodology was developed to quantify the impact of dairy farming on biodiversity, based on indirect indicators related to semi-natural habitats. These describe the mechanism and causal relationship of agricultural practices on taxonomic responses (species biodiversity on the dairy farm). Habitat area/semi natural land cover are generally straightforward to assess, and can be an informative indicator of farmland biodiversity. This methodology will be used to estimate biodiversity status on a sample of 40 EuroDairy pilot farms, and potentially adapted to different types of dairy farming system by incorporating elements of other existing methods.

42 Operational Groups developing practice-driven innovation

The network will draw from the activity of 42 regionally-based operational groups, addressing particular issues or constraints under four priority themes identified in EuroDairy. The Thematic network will capture and share the knowledge and innovation generated across Europe.

Two technical workshops on socio-economic resilience

Two technical workshops will be run which bring together researchers, industry experts and farmers to exchange information on strategies to improve socio-economic resilience of EU dairy farms.

2 technical workshops to discuss practice-based approaches under Animal care

Cross-border technical workshops will be organised to discuss (1) the most promising tools/measures, which can be used in practice to assess animal welfare and (2) practical measures to improve animal housing.

Technical content for a technical leaflet on biodiversity, made available to WP 8

A technical leaflet will be produced presenting the main principles involved in maintaining or enhancing biodiversity. The technical content will be passed on to WP 8 for widespread dissemination.

12 cross border exchange visits involving innovating farmers, documented and reported

Across participating member states, 120 innovating pilot farmers (8-9 per member state) will be identified and recruited to the project. These farmers will be identified as potential sources of innovative ideas, and as far as possible, will be chosen as good communicators to act as champions for the project, and to inspire other farmers through their own experiences. To intensify interaction among pilot farmers and to stimulate their innovative power, cross border exchange visits of small groups of pilot farmers will be organised.

9 video case studies /video magazines

From the material generated within Work Packages 2 to 7 video case studies will be produced. Every half year a video magazine will be produced. A video magazine is an effective way to disseminate best practices and highlight new activities.

22 technical articles translated into the main languages of EuroDairy partners

The technical papers produced in the framework of WPs 2-7 will be translated into the main languages of the EuroDairy partners.

4 technical workshops on resource efficiency

The approaches used in participating countries, to describe resource efficiency (nitrogen, phosphorous, carbon and water efficiencies at whole farm level), will be reviewed in technical workshops. Recommendations will then be made for the precise methodology and templates to be used to assess the resource efficiency performance of pilot farms under WP 2 (Network of innovating pilot farmers).

A network of 120 innovating dairy farmers

A network of 120 pilot dairy farms will be recruited to the project to demonstrate the physical, financial and environmental impacts of innovation and adopting best practice.

3 technical leaflets on animal care

Technical leaflets will be produced presenting the main principles involved in (1) assessing animal welfare, (2) improving animal housing and (3) reducing the use of antimicrobials in dairy farming. The technical content will be passed on to WP 8 (Production and communication of end-user materials) for widespread dissemination.

A pan-European meeting will be organised on practical measures to improve socio economic resilience

An international meeting will be organized to exchange knowledge, and to critically discuss the business models, tools and management approaches identified for improving socio-economic performance.

10 technical leaflets made available to WP 8

Raw material for a range of end-user materials will be collected, quality checked, and passed on to WP 8 for preparation and dissemination across the EuroDairy network. This will provide collated data and other raw material for measurement of impact, guidance on practical implementation, cost:benefit analysis of techniques adopted, and real life case studies to increase credibility with a farmer audience.

Recommendations for any additional needs for research, or policy development, in relation to biodiversity

Recommendations for any additional needs for research, or policy development, in relation to biodiversity

Recommendations for any additional research, or policy development in relation to resource efficiency

Based on the outcome of the webinars, the workshops and the inventory of the most promising tools, techniques and strategies a report will be produced with recommendations for any additional research, or policy development needed in relation to resource efficiency.

Final network conference

A final conference event which brings together project partners, supporting associates in each country, policy makers, and actors in knowledge exchange to present and promote the overall findings from the project.

A project plan for the implementation of EuroDairy

A project plan that will be continuously monitored to ensure delivery of all project milestones to time and quality.

Report on practical on-farm animal welfare assessment tools and approaches

A report will be produced on the results obtained under the WP topic “Practical welfare assessment”. The report will focus on practical on-farm assessment tools and approaches.

A collated inventory of topics identified for regional and EU R&D agendas

An overall inventory of topics and suggestions for further research will be compiled, which will draw from the output of indivuidual work packages.

2 technical workshops on management for improved biodiversity

Approaches to biodiversity will vary by region, local biodiversity priorities, and policy instruments for environmental protection. The project will consult widely to identify and capture the management practices being implemented by farmers to maintain biodiversity on their farm. Practices will be collected from Pilot Farms to gain a better understanding of problems and opportunities related to maintaining biodiversity. To this end technical workshops will be organised.

Report on planning tools and approaches to manage for volatility and reduce business risk

Participating countries will be asked which best practice tools and methodologies with potential to contribute to the socio economic resilience of dairy farms are currently used, or are being planned. Also operational or stakeholder groups focusing on socio-economic aspects will be involved. Business planning approaches, tools and strategies to manage for price and cost volatility will be one of the three major topics that will be discussed. The outcome of the inventory and the discussions with the groups will be described in a report on planning tools and approaches to manage volatility and to reduce business risks.

Report on the integration of best practices, strategies and innovative solutions to dairy sustainability

In each regional context, an optimal combination of science and practice based innovations will need to be found which increases synergistic effects and reduces tradeoffs. Based on the inventories described at deliverable 7.1 region-specific packages of science and practice based innovations will be constructed characterized by the highest possible economic, environmental and social performance. A framework will be developed and reported to allow better integration of measures at farm level.

Report summarizing any further R&D or policy development needs in relation to animal care

Based on the outcome of the results of this WP a report will be produced with recommendations for additional research, or policy development needed in relation to (1) assessing animal welfare, (2) improving animal housing and (3) reducing the use of antimicrobials in dairy farming.

Report on future orientated farm business models

Participating countries will be asked which best practice tools and methodologies with potential to contribute to the socio economic resilience of dairy farms are currently used, or are being planned. Farm business structure models that facilitate increased land mobility and land consolidation will be one of the three major topics of the inventory. The outcome of the inventory will be described in a report on future-orientated farm business models.

Report on further R&D and policy development needs, in relation to socio-economic resilience

Participating countries will be asked which best practice tools and methodologies with potential to contribute to the socio economic resilience of dairy farms are currently used, or being planned. Information collected will be used to categorize the challenges facing dairy farmers, and inform the priority subjects to be addressed under this theme.

Report on best practice in dairy cattle housing

A report will be produced on the results obtained under the WP topic “Alternative housing systems”. The report will focus on best practices in housing of dairy cattle.

Inventory of measures contributing to dairy sustainability

The working programmes of regional operational groups will be collected in order to create an inventory of proposed innovations, which will be categorized according to the thematic WPs (3-6) of EuroDairy and transmitted to the WP leaders. Proposed innovations will also be identified and described in the network of innovating pilot farms (WP 2). The thematic WPs of EuroDairy produce science and practice-based innovations, which will be demonstrated on the pilot farms and Knowledge Transfer Centres. These best practices will be transmitted and communicated to the regional operational groups.

Dissemination and communications plan

The dissemination and communication plan developed at the start of the project will aim to enhance the existing network of media (newsletters/papers) from project partners, strengthen social media coverage, engage intermediary correspondents (dairy journalists, advisors and opinion leaders), and organise press tours and briefings. In particular, a strong network of dairy correspondents will be mobilised in order to generate sustained press activity, and reinforce a sense of expectation, interest and excitement about the project.

Report on practical strategies to reduce antimicrobial use in dairy farming

A report will be produced on the results obtained under the WP topic “Reduction in the use of antimicrobials”. The report will focus on practical strategies to reduce antimicrobial use in dairy farming.

Report for policy makers, including recommendations for further R&D in relation to sustainability

From the inventory of measures contributing to dairy sustainability and the integration of best practices, strategies and innovative solutions gaps for further research and development will be identified.

Report of further R&D needs and priorities based on feedback from farmers and other end-users

Based on feedback from farmers and other end-users in the network of pilot farmers and in the Operational Groups a report will be produced on further R&D needs and priorities.

Report and recommendations on practical measures to protect or enhance biodiversity

The parallel measurements for financial performance and carbon foot print taken on EuroDairy pilot farms, will provide insight into the potential impact of managing for biodiversity and farm profitability. The potential for the market value chain and other drivers as enablers of management for greater biodiversity will also be investigated, drawing from other actors involved in the supply chain e.g. milk buyers, farmer co-operatives, local and regional development agencies.

Report of best practice performance potential on resource efficiency

Information derived from the network of pilot farms will be collated to determine typical performance levels under a range of circumstances, as well as the magnitude of improvements which could potentially be realized through the adoption of best practice and/or implementation of innovative techniques. Where changes can only be tracked over a longer period, for example, the impact of changing crop rotation or forage production, ‘what if’ scenarios may be run to predict the impact on resource efficiency using suitable decision support tools.

Report on approaches to time management, labour organization and skills issues on dairy farms

Participating countries will be asked which best practice tools and methodologies with potential to contribute to the socio economic resilience of dairy farms are currently used, or are being planned. Also operational or stakeholder groups focusing on socio-economic aspects will be involved. Best practice and innovative approaches to time management, labour organization and skills issues on farms will be one of the three major topics that will be discussed. The outcome of the inventory and the discussions with the groups will be described in a report on approaches to time management, labour organization and skills issues on dairy farms.

An inventory of dairy experimental farms (KTC’s) their facilities and knowledge exchange capacity

An inventory of KTC’s operating in close association with innovative dairy farmers in the participating Member States will also be compiled. This will include mapping information on location, experimental facilities, research topics, development projects, technical material, decision support tools, educational capabilities and knowledge exchange activities with farmers. With appropriate agreements, existing resources, expertise, completed and ongoing trials will be made accessible to EuroDairy participants.

An inventory of the most promising tools, techniques and strategies for resource management

Pilot Farms and Operational Groups will identify ‘hotspots’ in the whole-farm nutrient cycle and the priority areas to be targeted for further improvement. This will reflect a range of production systems, from high-input indoor systems, to low-input pasture based production. Regional differences in approaches to forage production, including variations in crop rotation, types of forages grown, fertilizer policy and harvesting methods will provide a range of experience and measured performance levels which can be shared more widely. New technologies may also be implemented on a selection of pilot farms. Scientific information will be accessed through local Knowledge Transfer Centres, from expertise within or signposted from the Work Package delivery team, and from the open learning platform and information provided by WP 8 (Production and communication of end-user materials). This scientific information will be co-mingled with end-user input, and combined with input from other relevant contributors to arrive at practical, implementable solutions. Overall measures of resource efficiency e.g. N and P balances, and carbon foot print, will be supported by a range of Key Performance Indicators providing specific reference points for further improvement.

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