17th Polish – German Scientific Conference “Innovative solutions in farm animal breeding and production”

Between 26th and 27th June 2017, the 17th Polish – German Scientific Conference entitled “Innovative solutions in farm animal breeding and production” was held in the National Research Institute of Animal Production. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development assumed the honorary patronage over the event. Prof. Maciej Pompa-Roborzyński, Ph.D., the Director of the National Research Institute of Animal Production made an official welcome and opening, whereas from the German side it was Jakob Opperer, President of LfL Freising and Michael Czepalla, Ph.D. from the Hanns-Seidel Foundation (Munich). Among the organizers of the conference there were: the National Research Institute of Animal Production, Hanns-Seidel Foundation (Munich), the Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture (Freising), the Foundation of the National Research Institute of Animal Production Patronus Animalium and Galseid Association (Balice).

During the session opening, the Director of the Institute thanked all the participants for such a numerous attendance and wished fruitful sessions and future cooperation. In his speech he also reminded that joint conferences have a long tradition. The first one was held already in November 1990 (initiated by Prof. Hermann Bogner, the President of the Bavarian Institute for Animal Breeding in Grub). Prof. Maciej Pompa-Roborzyński ascertained that it was extremely important to portray and bring closer innovative methods introduced to breeding. From the German side, apart from Michael Czepalla, Ph.D. from Hanns Seidel Foundation, Jakob Opperer, President of LfL Freising welcomed those gathered in the Conference Room. In his lecture “The significance of innovation for agriculture in Europe” he stated that we can speak about innovation when research results and inventions find application in new products or processes and they become efficient only when they are used practically. Agriculture contributes to the preservation of the landscape transformed by humans and takes into account natural conditions. It should be multifunctional, competitive and develop in a sustainable way. Population increase, demographic changes, change of dietary habits and social expectations exert pressure on agriculture modernization. That is why, innovations are becoming increasingly important. During two-days’ sessions in which more than 80 people representing scientific institutions, agricultural advisory centres, self-governing institutions and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development  participated, a total of 10 papers were delivered.

Prof. Janusz Żmija, Ph.D. from the University of Agriculture in his presentation entitled “The development of animal production in Poland during the last twenty years” stated that Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union and the relationship between the factors of agricultural production have a significant influence on the situation of animal production in Poland. Apart from the intensification of agricultural production, animal welfare-friendly production should be fostered in some regions and its development stimulated. Prof. Kay Uwe-Götz, Ph.D. from LfL Freising  discussed modern methods of breeding value evaluation of farm animals used in order to improve their efficiency, health and quality of their products. He also presented the organizations, rules and funding  of the genomic selection of cattle and pigs in Bavaria. Prof. Wojciech Jagusiak, Ph.D. from the University of Agriculture presented the presentation on the system of evaluation of genetic value in the breeding programme based on genomic selection, which is a basic element of each breeding programme and decides on its effectiveness to a large extent. Speaker from Germany, Bernhard Haidn, Ph.D., the representative of LfL Freising discussed the innovations in technological processes and construction of livestock buildings, the implementation of which is usually associated with qualitative progress and which lead to the improvement of animal productivity and the decrease of personal expenses of the buildings, machines, devices and the means of production. Jacek Walczak, Ph.D. from the National Research Institute of Animal Production was the person, who delivered the last lecture on that day. He brought closer the issue of precision livestock farming, its chances and limitations. The first day of the conference was finished with the official dinner in the Radziwiłł Palace in Balice.

On the next day the conference was opened by a presentation on the specificity and legal constraints concerning food trade, housing and welfare of poultry in Germany – influence on the import and export of eggs and poultry meat. Klaus Damme, Ph. D. stated that in German society there is broad agreement on the necessity of improvement of farm animals conservation. Prof. Władysław Migdał, Ph.D. from the University of Agriculture discussed Polish traditional and niche products of animal origin paying attention to the fact that preserving traditional, regional and niche products is a guarantee of our identity, chance for further development of breeding animal native breeds and the cultivation of local plant varieties, it is a chance for healthy, high quality and delicious food, vocational activation of local small producers and the integration and unity of local societies.

Siegfried Steinberger from LfL Freising was the penultimate lecturer who presented the optimization of the pasture use of extensively used green areas on lowland and mountainous areas, paying attention to the fact that rightly run grazing systems can contribute to the improvement of effective resource management. Kamila Musiał, Ph.D. finished the cycle of the lectures. She discussed the pasture use of grass communities as a way of preserving their economic, natural and cultural functions. Moderator, Prof. Paweł Bielański, Ph.D. discussed the scientific communications. In conclusion to the two-days’ conference, its results were summarised. It was deemed to be important for German and Polish side due to both experience exchange and supporting long-lasting friendship.

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