Journal article
Farmers taking responsibility for herd health development - stable schools in research and advisory activities as a tool for dairy health and welfare planning in Europe

Publication Details
Ivemeyer, S.; Bell, N.; Brinkmann, J.; Cimer, K.; Gratzer, E.; Leeb, C.; March, S.; Mejdell, C.; Roderick, S.; Smolders, G.; Walkenhorst, M.; Winckler, C.; Vaarst, M.
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Organic Agriculture
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Achieving and maintaining a high herdhealth and welfare status is an important aim in organiclivestock farming. The varying farming systemsacross and within countries call for models that arerelevant for different farming types and that can beintegrated into local practice. In stable schools,farmers take responsibility for health and welfareplanning by identifying issues, setting goals, and actingto improve the health situation based on farmspecificdata, e.g. milk production. This paper reviewsthe results from intervention studies that useda modified ‘farmer field school’ approach for animalhealth and welfare planning, providing an overviewof ongoing activities and their implementation intoadvisory situations in selected European countries.Studies on stable schools as an intervention toolshowed improvements regarding the specific projectaim on the majority of the participating farms.Farmers and facilitators were convinced of the approachand benefits for dairy herds. Farmers’ attitudeand attention towards their herds and their ownershipof the process appear to be crucial success factors forherd health and welfare situations. In some Europeancountries, this method has been implemented in advisorypractice, and in other regions, there are relevantand promising opportunities.


Last updated on 2019-25-07 at 16:22