Project details

DAIRYMAN is an acronym of Dairy Management. DAIRYMAN aims to improve regional prosperity through better resource utilization on dairy farms and stakeholder cooperation. The objectives are specified in three Work Packages.

Work Package 1: Regions

The ecological, economic and social performances of the ten participating regions will be quantified and the contribution of rural key stakeholders to these components of sustainability determined in an agreed way.

Next, the improvement needs and opportunities will be assessed, including the benefits of stakeholder cooperation. Examples of profitable cooperation will be demonstrated.

Experiences of DAIRYMAN staff and authorities related to the process of implementing EU regulations in regions with high livestock densities will be exchanged, and guidelines to optimise this process will be developed.

Action 1: Assessment of regional sustainability

  1. An agreed list of indicators for defining the ecological, economic and social sustainability of the participating regions. A methodology for quantifying regional sustainability indicators.
  2. An assessment of the sustainability of the individual participating regions based upon 1, including the contribution of key regional stakeholders to regional sustainability and a list of improvement requirements.
Regional Reports on Sustainability
The Netherlands NL Regional report
Belgium – Flanders BE Regional report
Luxembourg LU Regional report
Germany – Baden-Württemberg DW Regional report
France – Nord-Pas de Calais FR Regional report
France – Pays de la Loire FR Regional report
France – Brittany FR Regional report
Ireland UK Regional report
UK – Northern Ireland UK Regional report


2012-11 UK Press release: Knowledge and Eduction key factors in solving environmental issues of dairy sector

2010-11 FR Communiqué de press: Le savoir et l’éducation: des éléments essentiels pour résoudre les problèmes environnementaux de la filière lait

Action 2: Improvement of regional sustainability

  1. An outline of ways to strengthen sustainability within the individual participating regions, developed in cooperation with the key stakeholders (regional workshop). Includes the expected contribution of each stakeholder and the benefits of cooperation between them.
  2. At least two examples per region of profitable cooperation between dairy farmers and other agricultural stakeholders (think beyond ‘mixed farms’ if possible!).
  3. At least two examples per region of profitable cooperation between dairy farmers and non-agricultural stakeholders.
  4. An interregional seminar aimed at developing recommendations for further fruitful communication and profitable cooperation between regional stakeholders.


01-2011 - NL - Report stakeholder workshop

10-2010 - BE - Report stakeholder workshop

Action 3: Development of guiding principles for regional implementation of EU regulations

  1. Exchange and evaluation of experience on the process of implementing environmental EU regulations
  2. Guiding principles for transformation of relevant EU environmental regulations into cost-effective and transparent regional legislation.

Work Package 2: Commercial Dairy Pilot Farms

A network of 120 commercial dairy pilot farms will be set up spanning the participating regions and serving as focal points to inspire local farmers.

The impact of new working methods on the sustainability of the pilot farms will be monitored. Information obtained will be used for a manual on how to assess farm performance and set up a farm development plan.

Action 4: A NW European network of commercial dairy pilot farms

  1. Establish a network of app. 120 pilot dairy farms in the 10 respective regions.


Luxembourg pilot farm hosts exam students

Action 5: Exchange of management tools

  1. An inventory of management tools used in the participating regions by farmers and an analysis of their ability to promote efficient resource use.
  2. A selection of the management tools that are most suitable to promote efficient resource use.
  3. Per region a validation and demonstration of at least one selected management tool (output 2) from another region. If needed the tool will be adjusted to the region specific conditions.
  4. Demonstration on the internet of the most promising management tools for efficient resource use, as practised by the pilot farmers

Action 6: Exchange programme

  1. Visits of pilot farmers and farm advisors of a region to their colleagues in another region.
  2. Interregional seminar in the second year and in the final year of DAIRYMAN to discuss progress in improving the sustainability of dairy farming.


Exchange visit Germany to Ireland

Completed trip appraisal

Action 7: Validation and evaluation

  1. Definition of a list of parameters to describe each pilot farm.
  2. Definition and implementation of a development plan for each farm to strengthen sustainability.
  3. Definition of the methodology and the indicators to quantify farm performances (environmental, economical and social).
  4. Analyse of the evolution of the sustainability indicators and of the development plans performances.

Work Package 3: Knowledge Transfer Centre's

Nine Knowledge Transfer Centre’s are present in the DAIRYMAN regions to evaluate highly innovative farming systems aimed at improving sustainability.
Facilitating a rapid transfer of state-of-the-art knowledge to farmers in their region, these centre’s will be brought into one network and virtually connected.
Training facilities will be optimised and we will cooperate on the development of training programmes for farmers and farm advisors.

Interregional exchange of staff members will maximize the utilization of the expert knowledge in NWE, while student and trainee exchanges will help increase the knowledge level of future professionals.

Action 8: A network of knowledge transfer centers

  1. Upgrade existing knowledge farms to KTC’s.
  2. Implement DAIRYMAN innovations: at least 2 per KTC and all KTC’s together have to implement all innovations.
  3. Connect KTC’s.

Action 9: Training programs

  1. In each region development of a training program for dairy farmers and their advisors to improve resource-use management at dairy farms and to show them how to effectively cooperate with other regional stakeholders.
  2. As a result of output 3.9.A. dairy farmers and advisors who are better aware of the requirements of EU and national environmental legislation and the opportunities to improve farm sustainability by applying state-of-the-art management strategies for resource use.
  3. Material for teaching programs, such as CD’s/DVD’s, computer programs to calculate farm processes and performances, field training methods, internet-blog, etc. to be used at, e.g., agricultural schools, universities etc.

Action 10: Cooperation on evaluating innovative measures

  1. At least two innovative measures for improving the sustainability of dairy farming will be adjusted to regional conditions and tested at each KTC.
  2. Manuals on the transfer of innovative measures to commercial dairy (pilot) farms.

Action 11: Exchange program staff and students

  1. Exchange of three students from agricultural colleges and schools per region during a two-months period.
  2. Exchange of nine staff members for an one-week period (one staff member per region).