Paris, 23 October 2007

EFITA newsletter / 334 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

User-centered Modeling Approaches for Farm Management Information
Wageningen Research Group "Management & ICT in Agri-Food Supply Chain Networks" presents a WEBSEMINAR29 October 2007, 09.30h (GMT +2)
> Program
chair: Sjaak Wolfert (LEI Wageningen UR, The Netherlands)

09.30 - 09.40
Sjaak Wolfert
09.40 - 10.10
A learning tool for sustainability at a mixed ecological farm
Sjaak Wolfert - LEI Wageningen UR, The Netherlands
10.10 - 10.40
Improving usability and user acceptance of ICT systems in farming
Liisa Pesonen - MTT Agrifood Research, Finland
10.40 - 11.00
General discussion
Closing the seminar

contact info:           e-mail: 

phone:          +31 624 135 790

skype:          sjaak.wolfert_work


> Abstracts

A learning tool for sustainability at a mixed ecological farm
Sjaak Wolfert - LEI Wageningen UR, The Netherlands
This paper presents a management control (MC-)model that supports the process of translating the complex and dynamic concept of sustainability to the operational management of a mixed ecological farm. Sustainable farm development is defined as maintaining the ability to continue in an ever-changing economic, ecological and social environment. Mixed ecological farm management focuses on effective nutrient cycles and preventive management. The primary production process is modeled in a product flow model. A negotiation process of the farmer with his environment sets a hierarchy of sustainability goals. These goals are further deployed, resulting in a farm-specific electronic handbook containing procedures and instructions in order to achieve and assure sustainability-related goals.

Click here for the full paper.

Improving usability and user acceptance of ICT systems in farming
Liisa Pesonen - MTT Agrifood Research, Finland
This paper describes how a functional modelling approach, the Core-Task Analysis (CTA), was used to define user demands in the development of a concept for information system for Precision Agriculture (PA), in our case, in production of malt barley. The need for such systems arises from the complexity of the process and the high information-intensity of its control. Adoption of information technology in farming practice has, however, been problematic. Deepening the analysis of the users’ practices and needs and transformation of that information to user requirements for the new technology is generally expected to facilitate the user acceptance of new technologies by making these more appropriate for use. In the paper we describe the theoretical bases of our approach, and introduce the CTA-based User Demands Modeling scheme (CTA/UDM) developed in the study. Data used in modelling is described and results demonstrated. The CTA/UDM integrates science-based and practice-based rationales in the user demands analysis. Further, the approach facilitates an implementation strategy of technologies that focuses on the development of practice as a whole. This context defines what could be labelled as systems usability. As such the method can be implemented in other system development cases as well.

Click here for full paper.

> Instructions to join the webseminar
This will be the first occasion that we try out this format and the software facilities. We have tested it and hope everything will work fine, but cannot give 100% warranty. If this first try-out is successful, we would like to plan more webseminars. Feedback from the presenters and participants is welcomed.

> General instructions
You have been invited to join a Web Conference using Acrobat Connect Professional. If you've never used Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional, get a quick overview:

During opening of the webseminar hyperlink, you will probably be asked to install some necessary system components or your browser will warn you for security reasons. This environment can be trusted, so please, click ‘Yes’ when required.

You will enter the room as a participant. This means at first instance that you can see and hear the presenters, but you are not able to interact, only by using the chatbox. However, when you have a question, please flag the right option by pressing ‘my status’, which is located in the top of the ‘attendee list. The host (chairman) can then assign rights to you to use the camera and voice area. Of course, you should have at least a microphone or webcam then. If so, you have to activate either of them by pressing the button in the lower left corner of the ‘camera and voice’ area.

> Join the seminar     
There are two ways to join the webseminar:

1.      using your own account at SURF (you join the seminar with a personal name)

2.      use the guest account (you join the seminar anonymously)

Below, the details of the two possibilities are explained. The maximum number of participants is limited to 1500.

1. using your own SURF account

If you have no existing SURF-account sign up at: and follow the instructions.

To join the meeting:

and use your own username and password.

2. using the guest account

To join the meeting:

username: guestManICT

password: guestManICT

CAUTION: username and password are case-sensitive!

The Importance of Good Grammar
Al is getting along in years and finds that he is unable to perform sexually. He finally goes to his doctor, who tries a few things but nothing seems to work.
So the doctor refers him to an American Indian medicine man.
The medicine man says, "I can cure this." That said, he throws a white powder in a flame, and there is a flash with billowing blue smoke.
Then he says, "This is powerful medicine. You can only use it once a year. All you have to do is say '123' and it shall rise for as long as you wish!"
Al asks, "What happens when it's over, and I don't want to continue?"
The medicine man replies: "All you or your partner has to say is 1234, and it will go down. But be warned -- it will not work again for another year!"
Al rushes home, eager to try out his new powers and prowess. That night he is ready to surprise Donna. He showers, shaves, and puts on his most exotic shaving lotion. He gets into bed, and lying next to her says, "123."
He suddenly becomes more aroused than anytime in his life ... just as the medicine man had promised.
Donna, who had been facing away, turns over and asks, "What did you say 123 for?"
And that, my friends, is why you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.

About the EFITA mailing list
You can use the efita moderated list (>3500 subscribers) to announce any event / product / web site / joke (!) related to IT in agriculture, environment, food industry and rural areas.
If you do not wish to receive our messages, please see: to remove your E-mail address from our mail list.