Agris Sardegna is the regional research agency of Sardinia (Italy). The mission of Agris is to support sustainable agriculture in Sardinia by research and technology transfer in the areas of herbaceous crops, fruit and cork production, livestock and aquaculture. Agris has 800 staff, among them 100 are researchers. The Agency owns several experimental farms, four of them devoted to livestock: beef cattle (Foresta Burgos) beef cattle and sheep (Macomer), sheep (Monastir) and (Bonassai). Bonassai is the main livestock centre with all the main laboratories: genetics, nutrition, reproduction, aquaculture, livestock production systems, chemistry and microbiology of animal products. Some 1300 dairy sheep are raised at Bonassai farm, all belonging to Sarda breed. Within the TechCare framework, Agris, is collaborating to gather the stakeholders’ opinions on the main welfare issue of dairy sheep supply chain and to identify the most relevant technologies to monitor and improve welfare management. To this aim, Agris has been leading the literature research and the database set up. Agris is also collaborating on testing prototypes and adapting already existing technologies to dairy sheep systems. Bonassai is also among the pilot farms where early warning systems of welfare monitoring are being evaluated.
Short profile of the team involved in the TechCare project:
Mauro Decandia: Agronomist, researcher, team leader of the Nutrition research sector at Agris. He has participated in several training courses in the field of animal nutrition and feeding behaviour of small ruminants in various international research centres and universities (CIHEAM, Zaragoza, Spain; INAPG, Paris, France; ARO, Heit Dagan, Israel). Main research areas: nutrition and feeding behaviour of small ruminants, precision livestock system, estimation of environmental impacts of animal farming. Role in the Techcare project: contact person for AGRIS.
Valeria Giovanetti: Agronomist, PhD in Dairy Sheep and Goat Breeding Science and Technology. Researcher inthe Nutrition research sector at Agris. He has collaborated with research institutions, IGER (UK), for the acquisition of knowledge on devices applied to the study of the feeding behaviour of small ruminants. She collaborates with universities, research centres and local IT companies for the implementation of digital devices applied to small and large ruminants for the study of grazing feeding behaviour. Role in the Techcare project: deputy contact person for Agris and national facilitator.
Marco Acciaro: Agronomist, PhD in Science of Agricultural and Forestry Systems and Food Production. Researcher at the Nutrition research area in Agris. He deals with dairy sheep and cattle breeding systems, grazing behaviour of ruminants and meat quality of cattle and sheep. Currently, his work is oriented towards the use of GPS devices to study the grazing behaviour of ruminants on extensive pastures and agroforestry systems. Role in the Techcare project: collaborates on WP3 – Prototyping & PLF and WP5 Pilot and large-scale farms.
Stefano Picconi: Technician specialised in zootechnical and agronomic surveys at the Nutrition research sector. Heparticipated in numerous experimental trials within the framework of various research projects. Role in the Techcare project: technical support in the activities of WP3 – Prototyping & PLF and WP5 Pilot and large-scale farms.
Carla Manca: Veterinary, PhD in Reproduction, production, animal welfare and safety of food of animal origin. Specialisation in Hygiene in the production, processing, marketing, and transport of food of animal origin and their derivatives. Researcher in the Livestock Systems research sector of Agris. Main research activities: characterisation and valorisation of meat from native breeds in Sardinia; use of the IR thermo-camera for animal welfare assessment. Role in the Techcare project: collaborating in the activities of WP1 – Stakeholder involvement and WP2 – Welfare.
Maria Dattena: Veterinary, Postgraduate Diploma and Master Philosophy at Massey University in Palmerston North (New Zealand). Researcher and team leader of the Reproduction research sector at Agris. Main research activities: Reproductive biotechnologies in particular in vitro production of embryos; freezing and vitrification of embryos and spermatozoa; production and isolation of embryonic and mesenchymal stem cells; reproductive techniques concerning artificial insemination, heat synchronisation, superovulation for embryo production and transfer. Role in the Techcare project: collaborates in the activities of WP2– Welfare.
Marilia Gallus: Veterinary. Researcher in the Reproduction research sector at Agris. Main research activities: Reproductive biotechnologies in particular in vitro production of embryos; reproductive technologies related to artificial insemination and semen manipulation and preservation; low-impact reproductive systems and techniques such as heat synchronisation methods and artificial insemination without the use of hormones. Role in the Techcare project: collaborates in the activities of WP2 – Welfare and WP7 – Communication and dissemination.
Fabrizio Chessa: Agronomist, technical specialist in the Reproduction research sector. Expert in the processes of automation and digitisation of activities in the zootechnical field with regard to electronic identification and collection of animal data in Agris experimental farms. Role in the Techcare project: technical support to the activities of WP3 – Prototyping & PLF and WP5 Pilot and large-scale farms.