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iSAGE events in Toulouse: Modelling Workshop; 1st Project Review; WP Leaders & Industrial Partners Meeting; Visit to Project Farms

The iSAGE consortium recently held 4 meetings in Toulouse, France:

  • Tuesday, 21st November: Modelling Workshop;  
  • Wednesday, 22nd November: EC Project Review; 
  • Thursday, 23rd November: WP Leaders & Industrial Partners Meeting;
  • Friday 24th November: Visit to Farms involved in iSAGE activities.

The Modelling Workshop allowed iSAGE partners to bring together the different aspects that are considered in the new ISAGE whole-farm model and are covered in different work packages, namely:

  • Links between the animal production model and heat/cold stress effects;
  • Pasture modelling under climate change conditions;
  • Links between the animal production model and pasture model;
  • Links between environmental, social and economic outputs.

The event was attended by 10 researchers from Spain (BC3, CSIC, INIA, AGRAMA), Greece (AUTH), UK (SRUC) and France (INRA).

During the Project Review, the EC Officer in charge of supervising the iSAGE project, Mrs. Cristina Soriani (from the Research Executive Agency) referred to the process of the review meeting noting that the main purpose was to verify the progress of project activities. The meeting started with iSAGE WP Leaders providing a detailed report on the activities and results achieved so far by each work package. Then some preliminary conclusions were exposed by Mrs. Soriani and there was a open discussion for the finalisation of the review.

The WP Leaders & Industrial Partners Meeting included the following sessions and topics:

1. Report on the progress of activities in each work package;

2. Report to industrial partners on the EC Project Review;

3. Industries’ feedback:  analysis of survey results;

4. Breakout sessions on: a. Case study farms – Relevance of case studies for the industry and potential improvements; b.  Modelling – Feedback on proposed farm model, potential additions and data available from the industry; c. Actions resulting from the Industries’ Feedback Survey;

5. Reports of breakout sessions.

During the meeting, the results of the Industries’ Feedback Survey were presented, showing a general satisfaction of iSAGE industrial partners with the project activities implemented so far and confirming the industrial relevance of achieved iSAGE results.

Finally, iSAGE partners visited two farms near Toulouse which are involved in project activities. The first farm, owned by Mr. Emile Fabries, is focused on the breeding of meat sheep. Mr. Fabries explained the breeding methods he respects in order to sell the lambs with a certification label (Label Rouge) and highlighted how sheep breeding implies minor investment costs compared to other farming and agricultural activities. He also talked about his activity in the Toulouse department to promote sheep breeding as an attractive profession among youngsters.

The second farm visited by iSAGE partners is the one owned by Mr. Gregory Galzin, who raises dairy sheep. Mr. Galzin highlighted the methods and techniques he adopted to produce a high-quality sheep milk, which can be sold at a higher price on the market. He also explained how he tries to have a short lambing period and which rules he has to respect in order to obtain a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) label for the milk of his sheep.