The Institute for Science Application in Agriculture, Belgrade (IPN) is a member of the South Eastern European Advisory Services Network (SEASN) and operates as their third party in the FAIRshare project. IPN organized the very first Cross Visit (CV) within FAIRshare project and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this CV was organized as a two-day online event (23rd – 24th November) using Zoom.
Objectives of the CV
IPN’s User Case (UC) within FAIRshare project aims to improve the health and welfare of dairy cows in South East Europe by focusing on implementing a digital tool – the Mastitis Cost Calculator (developed and implemented by Teagasc and Animal Health Ireland) to better manage and raise awareness of mastitis and the costs of mastitis to the dairy herd in this region.
The CV aimed to:
- Learn as much as possible about the selected digital tool – Mastitis Cost Calculator and experiences from the process of its adoption in Ireland
- Make more a detailed introduction of their farm advisors to the tool and the FAIRshare project
- Learn about visiting teams’ experiences at the beginning of their UCs and the implementation of their digital tools
On this CV, participants included researchers, government representatives, advisors and dairy industry representatives from three European countries; Ireland (Teagasc and Animal Health Ireland), Slovenia (CAFS) and Croatia (Ministry of Agriculture). All were introduced to the IPN UC and the Mastitis Cost Calculator, and these were discussed at length to uncover the main issues regarding DATS implementation, experiences of implementing the DATS in Ireland and advice on how best to start this process in South East Europe. For IPN, this was invaluable advice and included very practical information on how best to proceed with their UC.
- Try to involve all stakeholders, so that you can gain a more comprehensive view of the User Case and DATS and collect all the necessary information
- Follow the Guidelines and methodology for implementation of Cross-Visits
- Plan enough time for discussion, after each block of presentations or workshop
- In the case of the online and hybrid CV, duration can be 2 days, but hosts should have in mind that more than 6 hours of online event can be exhausting and inefficient. Therefore, longer lunch break should be included or consider a 3 day cross-visit
- Especially if the CV is organised online, you will need additional tools to motivate participants for discussion – use energizers, ask questions, make polls
- If the CV is organised as a hybrid event, the video streaming from the field can go live, which enables participants who follow it online and to participate actively in real time, but host should have in mind that for this kind of setting, a professional audio visual company needs to be engaged. Another option is that the field visit is recorded and presented as a video material and discussed online, which doesn’t require professional set up