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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), 25 June 2012

EFITA newsletter / 567 - European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

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Contact: Guy WAKSMAN
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The archives of this newsletter


No efita newsletter last week… Two jokes this week!
This you have not less jokes than the subscribers of my newsletter in French.

E-mail address
Please do not forget to change my address in your address books and mailing lists.
Contact: Guy WAKSMAN
Mail: guy.waksman(a)

Contribution to the afia / efita website
Today the efita newsletters are published on the afia web site…
This web site is managed by Mehdi Siné (from Arvalis-Insititut du vegetal) under WordPress. Would you be interested in publishing news on this web site that would be published in the efita newsletter and would be published on Facebook and LinkedIn too (if possible)?
Mehdi could supply all interested colleagues with necessary login and password.
Contact: Guy WAKSMAN, Mehdi SINE
Mail: guy.waksman(a), m.sine(a)

11th International Conference on Precision Agriculture
15-18 July, 2012 - INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, USA

ICT for Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment - Where we are? Where we will go? Edited by Tomas Mildorf and Karel Charvat jr.


RAMSOIL project results
Risk Assessment Methodologies of Soil Threats in Europe "Risk Assessment Methodologies of Soil Threats in Europe"… a report which presents the results of the RAMSOIL project, is published. The general objective of the RAMSOIL project was to provide scientific guidelines on possibilities for EU wide parameter harmonization based on detailed information on current risk assessment methodologies of soil threats encountered within EU Member States. In RAMSOIL current risk assessments methodologies used in the EU are collected and evaluated. The results are summarized in this book.

Semantic Web and Ontologies in Agrifood (from the AIMS newsletter)
On June 13 and 14, during the international smartagrimatics conference a workshop on "semantic web and Ontologies in Agrifood was organized", the AIMs team (Johannes Keizer) gave a presentation with the title "Creating Knowledge Bases by annotating large amounts of unstructured data using RDF triples and the AGROVOC concept scheme - the agHARVEST project. The workshop showed that now the time for a bigger linked open data initiative in Agriculture is mature. An impressive presentation was given by Philippe Loopuyt, the Unit head of IT in the EC DG SANCO (Health and Consumers).
They are preparing to publish all their data as Linked open data in RDF among those Pesticides MRLs. Als the German agroXML initiative is now transferring the agroXML vocabulary in RDF (see picture). 5 presentations among 8 cited in one way to the other AGROVOC. AGROVOC is a point of reference in the semantic work in agriculture, but also problems as a lack of coverage were discussed.

Smart AgriMatics 2012 A great networking event!
The international joint conference Smart Agrimatics on the future use of ICT and robotics in agriculture and agri-food has been held in Paris on 13th and 14th of June, 2012. It has been organised by a committee formed by 3 EU-FP7 funded projects:

agriXchange (, which aims at coordinating and supporting the setting up of sustainable network for developing a system for common data exchange in agriculture,
ICT-Agri ERA-NET (, which aims, among other objectives, at encouraging and stimulating trans-national and interdisciplinary research and innovation activities concerning ICT and robotics in agriculture, in particular by Private Public Partnership Actions,
SmartAgriFood (, the key objective of which is to elaborate requirements that shall be fulfilled by a ‘Future Internet’ to drastically improve the production and delivery of safe and healthy food.

The conference has been supported by 3 sponsors: Tuinbouw Digitaal (The Netherlands), IRSTEA (France) and VNU exhibitions Europe (The Netherlands).

The conference was a real success with over 170 participants coming from 22 countries, mostly from Europe, but also a few other continents. The participants belong to 106 different organizations including commercial companies and research institutes.

Six keynote speakers gave very interesting talks during both the opening and the closing plenary sessions:

- Adrie Beulens (Wageningen University, The Netherlands, member of the Architecture Board of the Future Internet Public Private Partnership program),
- Steve Holcombe (Pardalis, United States, catalyzer of the Whole Chain Traceability Consortium™ a/k/a @WholeChainTrace),
- Niels Goetke (Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Denmark, overall responsible for ICT-agri),
- Timothy Hall (DG Research and Innovation),
- Nuria de Lama (Representative of Atos Research & Innovation to the EC, Spain) and
- Peter Pickel (deputy director John Deere European Technology and Innovation Center and chairman of the working group Agricultural Engineering & Technology of the European Technology Platform Manufuture).

Other presentations were held in parallel sessions, around 6 themes: Smart Farming, Smart Crop Protection, Smart Horticulture, Smart Food Awareness, Information and Data Exchange in Agri-Food, Towards an European strategy for ICT in Agri-Food. During these parallel sessions a combination of presentations, hands on working on issues and a lot of time for discussion ensured a lot of interaction. Group sizes of the parallel sessions varied from 5 participants to around 40 participants. Some sessions led to spontaneous breakout sessions where participants were able to go deeper into a subject.

The Semantic Web and Ontologies in Agri-Food workshop was held as part of Smart AgriMatics on Wednesday 13 June. An exciting collection of speakers drew a crowd of over 40 participants, and concluded with a wide ranging discussion concerning incentives for providing data, the role of regulation in making data available, the need for EC regulations to be available in structured formats, and the role technology could play in reducing waste and pesticide use and identifying the total environmental and social cost of food production.

The hillbilly vasectomy
After their 11th child, an Alabama couple decided that was enough, as they could not afford a larger bed.

So the husband went to his veterinarian and told him that he and his cousin didn't want to have any more children.

The doctor told him that there was a procedure called a vasectomy that could fix the problem but that it was expensive.

“A less costly alternative,” said the doctor, “is to go home, get a cherry bomb, (fireworks are legal in Alabama) light it, put it in a beer can (COORS), then hold the can up to your ear and count to 10.”

The Alabamian said to the doctor, “I may not be the smartest tool in the shed, but I don't see how putting a cherry bomb in a beer can next to my ear is going to help me.”

“Trust me,” said the doctor.

So the man went home, lit a cherry bomb and put it in a beer can.
He held the can up to his ear and began to count!
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5 . . .”

(you'll love this...)

At which point he paused, placed the beer can between his legs and continued counting on his other hand.

This procedure also works in Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Parts of Georgia, Missouri, West Virginia, and All of Washington DC.

The Barber and the trip to Rome
A man was getting a haircut prior to a trip to Rome. He mentioned the trip to the barber, who responded, "Why would anyone want to go there.

Its crowded and dirty and full of Italians, you're crazy to go to Rome, so, how are you getting there?"

"We're taking TWA," was the reply. "We got a great rate!"

"TWA!" exclaimed the barber. "That's a terrible airline, their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they're always late, so, where are you staying in Rome?"

"We'll be at the downtown International Marriott."

"That dump! That's the worst hotel in Rome, the rooms are small, the service is surly and they're overpriced, so, whatcha doing when you get there?"

"We're going to go to see the Vatican and we hope to see the Pope."

"That's rich," laughed the barber. "You and a million other people trying to see him, he'll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours, you're going to need it!"

A month later, the man again came in for his regular haircut, the barber asked him about his trip to Rome.

"It was wonderful," explained the man, "not only were we on time in one of TWA's brand new planes, but it was overbooked and they bumped us up to first class.

The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a beautiful 28-year-old stewardess who waited on me hand and foot.

And the hotel! Well, it was great! They'd just finished a $25 million remodeling job and now it's the finest hotel in the city.

They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us the presidential suite at no extra charge!"

"Well," muttered the barber, "I know you didn't get to see the pope."

"Actually, we were quite lucky, for as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder and explained that the pope likes to meet some of the visitors, and if I'd be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the pope would personally greet me.

Sure enough, five minutes later, the pope walked in. As I knelt down he spoke a few words to me."

"What'd he say?"

He said, "Where'd you get that terrible haircut?"

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