Paris, 7 May 2007

EFITA newsletter / 308 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

Please help! I need contributions to this newsletter!
Contact: Guy WAKSMAN
E-mail: waksman(a)

Linux agricole et logiciels libres / Agricultural Linux and free software (in French)
This newsletter edited by ACTA Informatique is published on our web site. Last week, we edited the 90 th issue of this newsletter that is feeded by its readers.

48 th AgriMMedia seminar
15 May – PARIS
New web tools: blog, RSS, wiki, podcast, video on the Internet, web TV, web conference… (in French).

U.S. Farm Bill and the EU Common Agriculture Policy at Crossroads - A Global Dialogue on U.S., Canadian and EU Agriculture policies
14 - 15 May 2007 - Washington
Both in the US and the EU, reforms of the agriculture policies are under way. In the US a new farm bill will most likely be decided upon in 2007, in the EU a review of the existing Common agriculture policy (CAP) will start in 2008. Agriculture policies in these countries/regions have led to a deep crisis in farm prices, corporate concentration, unsustainable environmental practices, poor food quality, and rural unemployment or low waged work. On both sides of the Atlantic, progressive groups are engaging in policy work, mobilization and campaigning to shape future US and EU farm policies, in the interest of farmers, consumers and the environment – both for its own populations as well as those in the South.
This two-day meeting will offer groups active in both regions – farmer groups, environmental and consumer organizations, and development organizations a space to start a dialogue across the Atlantic. It will assess the negative impacts of existing farm policies in the respective regions, and examine specific proposed alternative solutions to address the clear failures of existing policies. Finally, the meeting will offer a space to begin a discussion of the need for a more broad based approach towards developing a sustainable future for all of us who have a stake in agriculture around the world

Objective of the meeting:
- To gain a better understanding of agriculture policies in the U.S., Canada and EU based on the sharing of experiences and the examination of impacts for farmers, food workers, consumers, environment in these countries/regions
- To examine key policy reform proposals and processes in the 2007 Farm Bill and CAP Review through the mapping of potential problems and challenges with regard to farmers income, food security, environment (biodiversity, water, etc.), consumers (quality of food/health, consumer prices etc.) in these countries/regions and worldwide. A special emphasis will be given to the emerging issue of biofuels
- To define key challenges and objectives of agriculture and food policies that should guide agriculture and food policies: From "global" competitiveness and export orientation to securing access to healthy and safe food for all, to viable farm incomes and sustainable farming and food processing
- To Build an agenda of joint work and collaboration among North American, European and Southern groups working to effect positive change on agriculture and trade policies in the U.S. and the EU
Contact : Fabrice FERRIER
Mél : ferrier(a)

Workshop on Environmental Sensor Networks (ESNs 2007) - PIMRC 2007 Conference
7 September - ATHENS
This message aims at attracting your attention to the opportunity to submit high-quality papers representing original results in all areas related to the Environmental Sensor Networks (ESNs). The ESNs Workshop day is September 7, 2007, and it will be held in Hilton hotel, Athens, Greece, in conjunction with the 18th IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC 2007). It aims to distribute the latest information covering all aspects of environmental sensing networking to researchers, designers, electrical and/or environmental engineers, ITC specialists, and other professionals in the field. We particularly encourage papers that describe experiences drawn from real sensor network deployments, or large-scale simulation experiments, taken from a variety of environmental fields including bio-geo-science, agriculture, atmosphere, ocean, etc. Work-in-progress reports on current environmental sensing networking projects are particularly welcome.

All ESN workshop submissions will be handled through the main conference website. Submitted papers should be in English, strictly not exceeding 5 double-column pages (3,000 words), including graphs and figures, in Adobe PDF format (which is the only accepted format for PIMRC 2007). At this stage of the submission procedure, the PIMRC 2007 Latex templates (class file and style file), as well as the PIMRC 2007 template MS WinWord file, are available to further help authors in paper formatting. For additional information, please refer to

> Important dates
- Submission deadline: May 30 th, 2007
- Notification of acceptance: June 30th, 2007
- Camera-ready: July 15th, 2007

> Enhanced versions of a set of selected papers will be included in a Special Issue of an International Journal to be published late in 2008. For this purpose a Special Review Committee will review all papers again to evaluate them for inclusion on the Special Issue.
Looking forward receiving your contributions,

Contact: Theodore TSILIGIRIDIS
E-mail: tsili(a)

Special Session on Agricultural Metadata & Semantics in MTSR'07 - 2nd International Conference on Metadata and Semantics Research (MTSR'07)
11-12 October 2007 - CORFU - Greece

> Special Session Chairs:
* Johannes Keizer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Italy)
* Nikos Manouselis, Informatics Laboratory, Agricultural University of Athens (Greece)

> The aim of the Special Session on Agricultural Metadata and Semantics of MTSR'07 is to bring together researchers and practitioners that are working on agricultural knowledge production, organization, and exchange from a Semantic Web perspective. It aims to serve as a discussion forum where interested experts will present the results of their work, and establish liaisons with other groups that are working on related subjects. In addition, it aims to outline the rich potential of the agricultural knowledge domain as an application field for advanced metadata- and semantic-driven systems and services.

> Topics include but are not limited to:
* Agricultural information standards and specifications
* Agricultural metadata schemas and application profiles
* Multilingual agricultural vocabularies, taxonomies, glossaries and thesauri
* Metadata generation, harvesting, exchange in agricultural information systems
* Agricultural knowledge acquisition, elicitation and extraction
* Infrastructures, systems and services for agricultural knowledge organisation
* Repositories and archives for agricultural knowledge
* Agricultural ontology approaches, models, theories, and languages
* Agricultural ontology development, integration, lifecycle, and evaluation
* Management of large ontology-driven agricultural data and knowledge bases
* Applications in domains such as education & training, commerce, public administration

The Special Session will accept extended abstracts (2-4 pages) compatible with LNCS format which will be solicited for peer review.
The conference will publish ISBN based CD-ROM proceedings as well as a post-proceedings volume that will be published by Springer under the
title Advances in Metadata and Semantics research. Authors of accepted papers will be invited to extend their contributions to full papers that will be published in the post-proceedings. Authors of papers presented in the Special Session will also be invited to submit enhanced versions of their papers for potential publication in a planned special issue of a relevant journal.

Important dates:
* Submissions: July 15, 2007
* Notification: July 31, 2007
* Camera-ready: August 31, 2007
* Conference dates: Thursday-Friday, October 11-12, 2007

Contact: Nikos MANOUSELIS
E-mail: nikosm'a)

Results of the KTBL conference 2007, 17 - 18 April in Munich
In the future, agriculture will communicate using agroXML. The around 170 attendees of the KTBL conference 2007 “agroXML – information technology for a future-oriented agriculture“ were convinced of that. Focus of this year’s event was the data exchange language agroXML. Using agroXML, different software programs can communicate with each other. At the conference in Munich, experts from science and the industry presented the current state of development of agroXML and different applications based on it. The talks showed what the agricultural software and machinery industry and politics expect of agroXML. The leading producers of farm management information systems reported about the state of implementation of agroXML in their products and gave an insight into their software programs.
See: and
Contact: Karsten KÜHLBACH
E-mail: k.kuehlbach(a)

The Irishman Who Orders Three Beers
An Irishman by the name of Paul McLean moves into a tiny hamlet in County Kerry, walks into the pub and promptly orders three beers. The bartender raises his eyebrows, but serves the man three beers, which he drinks quietly at a table, alone. An hour later, the man has finished the three beers and orders three more. This happens yet again. The next evening the man again orders and drinks three beers at a time, several times. Soon the entire town is whispering about the Man Who Orders Three Beers.
Finally, a week later, the bartender broaches the subject on behalf of the town. "I don't mean to pry, but folks around here are wondering why you always order three beers."
"'Tis odd, isn't it?" the man replies. "You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America, and the other to Australia. We promised each other that we would always order an extra t! wo beers whenever we drank as a way of keeping up the family bond."
The bartender and the whole town was pleased with this answer, and soon the Man Who Orders Three Beers became a local celebrity and source of pride to the hamlet, even to the extent that out-of-towners would come to watch him drink.
Then, one day, the man comes in and orders only two beers. The bartender pours them with a heavy heart. This continues for the rest of the evening -- he orders only two beers. Word flies around town. Prayers are offered for the soul of one of the brothers.
The next day, the bartender says to the man, "Folks around here, me first of all, want to offer condolences to you for the death of your brother. You know -- the two beers and all..."
The man ponders this for a moment, then replies, "You'll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well. It's just that I, meself, have decided to give up drinking for Lent."
Contact: Mick HARKIN
E-mail: harkin(a)

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