SMARTER kick-Off Meeting and Breeders meeting
The “Smarter” Kick-off Meeting (KoM) took place on 7th-8th November 2018 and was hosted by INRA research centre of Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, France. It was followed by a one-day “Breeder’s meeting” on 8th-9th November in the Pyrenees’ area. The SMARTER KoM brought together nearly 70 persons representing the 27 partner organizations, and officially launched the project in the presence of representatives of the European Commission, and of the scientific direction of INRA. The meeting organized first a plenary session in order to give opportunity to everybody to take note of all aspects of the project. Then workshops were organized to give the participants time for involvement in the strategies of each work package.
Three main results were achieved at the end of kick-off meeting: 1) A concrete planning of the tasks to be conducted during the first year of the project and how to implement them; 2) A better identification of the interactions between tasks and WPs and how to implement them to foster synergies within the project; 3) A strategy was built to associate closely stakeholders of the sheep and goat sector to the development of the project, to make it known and to integrate their needs and advices.
The Breeder’s meeting was organized to give the opportunity to the attendees of the KoM to learn about the breeding organizations in ten of the SMARTER countries (with presentations of small ruminants’ organizations in these ten countries), and also to see the “real life” of breeding practices in French mountains, with a field trip to a control station for Pyrenees dairy sheep breeds, and a dairy sheep farm.