Paris, 21 August 2006

EFITA newsletter / 271 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

EFITA 2007 - European Federation of IT in Agriculture 2007 Conference - Environmental and rural sustainability through ICT
2-5th July 2007 - Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, UK
Sustainability is a word that is used in many contexts, and increasingly so when rural and agricultural issues are under discussion. It is a concept that suggests that the continuity of economic, social, and institutional aspects of our society, as well as the non-human environment, is far from assured, and that careful thought and management is needed to sustain them.

The EFITA/WCCA 2007 conference will examine the role and use of information and communication technologies in three key areas of rural and agricultural sustainability:

* ICT supporting on-farm business *
What does rural industry want/need from an ICT system to help it maintain itself, meet targets, meet legislative requirements and secure competitive edge?
Theme co-ordinator: Prof Gerhard Schiefer, University of Bonn

Papers under this topic heading include, but are not limited to:
- Farm management systems
- Decision support tools
- Aquatic Resource Management
- Dairy and Animal Production Systems
- e-AgBusiness and Production Chain Management
- Field Data Acquisition and Recording
- Food Safety Control/Tracking-Tracing
- GIS and Precision Agriculture
- Grid Applications
- Information Systems and Databases
- Instrumentation and Control
- Portal / Internet Services
- Wireless and Sensor Networks
- e-collaboration/e-communities

* ICT supporting rural sustainability *
Can ICT support rural sustainability? What is the evidence that it can help? What have we learned from recent implementations and what new technologies are on the way that may take us further?
Theme co-ordinator: Dr Sarah Skerratt, Scottish Agricultural College

Papers under this topic heading include, but are not limited to:
- Broadband applications for rural communities
- SMEs and digital communication
- The emergence of the rural e-citizen
- Education/Training and Distance Learning/Professional Accreditation
- Rural youth and ICTs
- Internet supported communities
- Rural living labs
- ICTs role in capacity-building and social capital development in rural communities?
- Cultural evaluation of ICTs in rural development
- Transferability of ³solutions² across territories and countries

* ICT supporting environmental sustainability *
Can ICT support the achievement and maintenance of environmental sustainability in the rural and agricultural sectors? How can ICT be used to support the development of environmental policies and how can it help farmers and agronomists and other end users to deliver them?
Theme co-ordinator: Andy Offer, ADAS

Papers under this topic heading include, but are not limited to:
- Predicting the effect of policy changes
- Answering policy maker¹s questions
- Spatial analysis, GIS and datasets
- Design and evaluation of mitigation measures
- Modelling ecological consequences of land management practice
- Mitigating and adapting to multiple stressors
- Environmental monitoring systems
- Using ICT to deliver the policy objectives
- Increasing uptake/understanding of legislation
- Tracking uptake of schemes and policies
- e-Government
- Environmental knowledge transfer using ICT
- DSS for farmers and consultants

You are invited to submit an extended abstract for one of these themes by 1st November 2006. Instructions for authors, and other information about the conference…
Contact: Caroline PARKER
Email: c.g.parker(a)

I just completed my first PODCAST on the recent ADAS survey into ICT use on farms in the UK. Not sure if it will deliver any more business but it was an interesting exercise. You can hear it on farming on line at but you'll need to register as it's a member only service at present. You can then find it as a current news item - there will shortly be an advertisement on the home page to direct you to it. For those of you who know him, the interviewer was George Macpherson.
Contact: Andy OFFER
Email: andy.offer(a)

Applications now accepted: the International DLG Prize for the Advancement of Young Talent in Agriculture and the Food Industry
For the 20th time, the DLG (the German Agricultural Society) will be awarding the International DLG Prize for the Advancement of Young Talent in Agriculture and the Food Industry. The prize, which is a scholarship, aims to give young specialists the opportunity to gain qualifications beyond their immediate area of expertise. This in turn empowers them to generate new impetus for development in both the agricultural and food industry sectors. The award is international. More at:
Contact: Malene CONLONG
Email: m.conlong(a)

Machinery demonstrations with live commentary at PotatoEurope 2006
6 - 7 September 2006 - manor estate Rittergut Bockerode near HANOVER (DE)
Important planting, lifting and loading facts will be presented on 6 and 7 September 2006 at the manor estate Rittergut Bockerode near Hanover at the PotatoEurope event.
Visitors to PotatoEurope can look forward to a one-of-a-kind event that examines every facet of the potato. At this top European event, potato experts can obtain professional tips from the fields of breeding, production and processing technology as well as fertilisation, plant protection and potato management. Another key attraction at this year’s PotatoEurope will be the machinery demonstrations scheduled to take place on both days of the event and whose focus will be on topical issues in the areas of planting, lifting and loading. The demonstrations will be accompanied by a running commentary.
Contact: Malene CONLONG
Email: m.conlong(a)

Pig Farmer of the Year Award" launched at EuroTier 2006
14-17 November 2006 - Hanover, Germany
A new awards scheme recognising successful European pig farmers will be launched. The first such awards in Europe, the international scheme is expected to contribute to the improved sharing of pig farming methods across a range of countries.
Contact: Malene PICKLES
E-mail: m.pickles(a)

Tribal competition
Munster were playing Leinster - rugby, of course! - and when the half-time whistle blew Munster were ahead of Leinster by 50 points to zero, with Paul O'Connell scoring all eight tries. After a brief discussion, the team decided that instead of playing the second half, they would head for the pub and leave Paul behind to play the second half on his own.

"No worries," Paul told them, "I'll join you later and tell you what happened". After the game Paul headed for the pub where he announced that the final score was 95-3.

"What!!!!", demanded a furious Anthony Foley, "How on earth did you let them get three points? "
Paul replied apologetically: "I was sent to the Sin Bin with 20 minutes to go."

Precision for me (GW): Sin Bin is an area in which a player who commits a foul is suspended from play for a period of time.

Contact: Mick HARKIN
Email: harkin(a)

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