GAIA actions 2017
27/11/17 DELTA educational seminar in Langadas, titled “The sustainability of dairy units through sound animal farming practices”.
The seminar “The sustainability of dairy units through sound animal farming practices” took place in the municipality of Langadas in Thessaloniki and was a resounding success. The mayor of Langadas, Mr. G. Karagiannis, made the welcoming speech and highlighted the importance of such local initiatives. Participants included a large number of producers from Thessaloniki and nearby districts, as well as representatives of local veterinary and geotechnical services.
Among the speakers was University of Thessaly Professor Mr. G. Amoiridis, who talked about how proper environmental management can ensure animal welfare. He emphasized how the improvement of animal fertility, which is intrinsically linked to animal welfare, is the cornerstone of sustainable animal farming and the improved competitiveness of Greek milk.
Other distinguished speakers, such as Mr. G. Zervas, Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Nutritional Physiology & Feeding of the Agricultural University of Athens, Mr. B. Christodoulou, Director of the Institute of Animal Science in Giannitsa, and Mr. I. Hatzigeorgiou, Assistant Professor of the Agricultural University of Athens, spoke to producers on the importance of balanced nutrition for the productivity and fertility of dairy cows. Also discussed were the cultivations of roughage for animal feed, such as leguminous plants and sorghum, which can improve the competitiveness of Greek animal farming in general, and lower production costs in particular. The seminar was covered by a variety of local print and electronic media.
June 2017–New DELTA animal farmers complete their training at the American Farm School of Thessaloniki.
The training of 14 new animal farmers–all under DELTA scholarship–took place at the American Farm School of Thessaloniki and was successfully completed on June 7th, 2017.
The graduates participated in educational seminars with a duration of four months, and studied various techniques on animal farming unit management. The scholarships were part of the GAIA Action Plan implemented by DELTA, whose mission is the support and sustainable development of the primary sector, particularly animal farming.
The graduation ceremony took place at the auditorium of the Dimitris and Alkis Perrotis Library, and the graduates received their participation certificates from the Center for Life-Long Learning Level 2 of the American Farm School. They also attended speeches by DELTA and American Farm School executives.
22/6/2017–Seminar in Xanthi titled “Welfare, Productivity, Quality: Important factors for dairy farm sustainability.
The mayor of Avdira, G. Tsitiridis introduced this very successful event which attracted attendees from the region of Thrace, including producers as well as representatives of local veterinary and geotechnical services.
The seminar’s goal was to highlight the importance of dairy animal welfare in animal productivity and fertility. Professors G. Zervas and I. Hatzigeorgiou of the Agricultural University of Athens emphasised the important role of nutrition in ensuring the financial sustainability of dairy units and the welfare of livestock capital. They also recommended the use of alternative crops, such as leguminous plants and sorghum for the production of animal feed.
University of Thessaly Professor G. Amoiridis referred to the detection and treatment of the main causes of low fertility in dairy cows. He also emphasised the need to implement fertility-enhancement programs in order to ensure the sustainability of animal farming and to improve the competitiveness of Greek milk.
Also presented during the seminar were DELTA’s supportive actions for collaborating animal farmers, as well as the importance of ensuring cashflow for producers through the Programme of Contract Framing.
Following the conclusion of the seminar, participants visited farms in the district of Xanthi, as part of DELTA’s technical support to animal farmers, in cooperation with the Agricultural University of Athens. Over the past couple of years, the successful implementation of this programme has supported animal farming productivity by improving farm management and ensuring a balanced nutrition, while bringing academic knowledge and applied animal farming practices closer together.
November-December 2017–Experimental cultivation of a multigrain mix of leguminous plants and cereals.
As part of a new pilot project aiming to study and develop new crops for animal feed, we sowed a multigrain mix of leguminous plants and cereals at the Institute of Animal Science in Giannitsa on 15/11/2017 and the Agricultural University of Athens’s farm in Aliartos, Viotia on 19/12/2017–all in cooperation with the above-mentioned entities.
This multigrain mix (oats, wheat, beans, clover, etc.) is used for dairy cow feed and has the advantage of combining the characteristics of various plant species. As such, it produces high-quality animal feed (protein-rich and nutritionally balanced) which flourishes in different climatic and soil conditions. Winter cultivations, such as the above-mentioned multigrain mix, utilise farmland that remains unused over the winter months and are very environment-friendly, as they are undemanding when it comes to irrigation and topdressing.
During the month of March, evaluations took place at the Institute of Animal Science in Giannitsa and the Agricultural University of Athens’s farm, which confirmed the excellent progress of the cultivations.