Task 5.2 Upskilling and Training of Farmers, Young Farmers and Advisors (M12-M36)
Task-lead: CAH in collaboration with GLZ, Teagasc, WLR, RHEA, IDELE, APCA, LWK, UGOE, TRAME, AWE, SLU, LTO, CNR, PULS, WIR, AIA & LRC
The education of the present and the next generations of grassland farmers and advisors is an essential element of this work package. Inno4Grass differentiates 3 types of training: for the current situation (operational training), near future (tactical training) and long-term (strategic training) (see graphical description on page 25 in Part B). Operational training for present farmers and advisors: Different tools produced in previous tasks and WPs will be spread and promoted towards farmers and advisory services:
- Technical leaflets on best practices.
- Video clips on innovative farmers testimony or innovative practices.
- Upgraded versions of decision support systems for a better estimation of grassland DM production and better decisions
- Identification of grassland parameters and tools most useful for farmers.
Tactical training for young farmers and advisors: The development of grassland computer software and grazing management tools as well as links to e-learning resources are required to be promoted and taught to young farmers and advisors and should be built into the education programs developed by member states. The development of young farmer action (discussion) groups and workshops on grassland focused areas is a domain which will be organised at participating member state level. It is more likely that when young farmers are exposed to a skillset/new knowledge they will engage and implement at farm level. New advisors need to be mentored by grassland specialists within the organisations so that their grassland knowledge can be developed to high levels. The objective of this task will be to ensure that grassland management is brought to the forefront of practical training of young farmers in the participating EU member states. In several European countries, grassland management is often a weak point of teaching delivered by agricultural technical schools compared with other topics. Training of future farmers and advisors could thus be significantly improved which could lead to better grassland management in the mid-term. Inno4Grass teams will break this deadlock by producing high standard education material on practical grazing management, in collaboration with technical schools: one grassland syllabus (about 200 pages) and four Power Point presentations (about 300 slides). A first complete version will be written in English, translated in national languages and possibly adapted to the specific needs of partner countries. Strategic training through adoption of existing E-learning structures: The adoption and enrichment of existing E-learning structures relevant to grasslands issues will be encouraged. While E-learning is commonly used across a number of other disciplines, it has not been commonly used in grassland science education. This task will develop and implement open links with existing MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) such as UVAE (http://www6.inra.fr/uvae). Deliverables from Inno4Grass will be adequate materials to be delivered to those MOOCs. Priority topics will include, grassland systems sustainability, animals adapted to grassland systems, enhancing grassland biodiversity of grassland, etc.