Cattle farming is the work field of both veterinarians and engineers. This has undergone an unprecedented evolution in the last 30 years. This evolution did not stop after replacing the horse by the tractor.
Electronic identification of individual cows in the eighties was the start of precision livestock farming and led to automation and even robotisation in cattle husbandry. It increased labour productivity in such a way that today one person is able to produce almost twice as much milk as 10 years ago. In addition, it made scaling-up of farms possible. Attention to functional characteristics and the introduction of genomics ensured that our cows are getting better and more efficient. The forage crops also improved qualitatively and quantitatively. New insights ensured increased feed efficiency. Preventive veterinary medicine and smart diagnostics made it possible to keep larger herds healthy and therefore workable.
A success that we can all be very proud of.
When we look to the future, we see various new challenges especially based on social concerns. Animal welfare, environmental impact, nutrition as part of identity, antibiotic reduction, phasing out market protectionism are important examples of these concerns. Both veterinarians and engineers are challenged to go along with this evolution, to deal with it or the find innovative solutions.
The Vlaamse Buiatrie Vereniging and ie-net ingenieursvereniging are convinced that veterinarians and engineers working in cattle farming have common interests and concerns. We believe that we can exchange a lot of knowledge which can lead to new insights and improvements for the cattle sector in the coming years.
That is why we are organizing this first joint initiative.
The BuiatrIE-net congress on 4 and 5 June 2020 is a collaboration between the Vlaamse Buiatrie Vereniging and ie-net ingenieursvereniging.
With our congress we want to reach the cattle veterinarian and the engineer.
We hope to see you in Ghent on 4 and 5 June.
Jeroen Vermijlen, President Vlaamse Buiatrie and Bart Sonck, President werkgroep Dierlijke Productie (ie-net, Ingenieursvereniging Expertgroep Agrarische productie en Ecosfeer)
Sam De Campeneere
Hans Van Loo