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Facoltā di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Universitā degli Studi di Milano
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Mountain animal farming
Code: G2409B
Teacher:  Michele Corti
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 3
Practices in classroom: 1
Basic aims:  By interacting with the knowledge acquired in the economic and agronomic field the course aims at providing a framework of knowledge of the role and of the features of animal farming systems in the light of rural development and of a wise stewardship of the mountain territory
Acquired skills:  Specific expertise on animal farming techniques especially as far as pastoralism and rangelands systems are concerned. Ability to recognise the traits of animal farming and pastoralism resources and their relationxips with local food systems, natural and tourist resources in the context of protection and valorization projects
Course contents:  Present scenary and historical evolution of mountain livestock systems and their relationships to specific socio-environmental constraints. The role of mountain livestock systems in the context of the agrofood system. Characterization of current mountain animal farming systems and assessment of their sustainability. Techniques of pastoralism and their evolution in relation to the requirements of wildlife protection, tourism, gastronomy, culture. Authoctonous and small breeds and their conservation
Program:  1. Mountain and pastoral livestock systems: specificity, classification, Structural aspects of farms in the mountains, species of animals bred in the mountains, The role of grazing livestock systems and in agriculture and rural development in the mountains.
2. The traditional use of plant resources: Alpine migration, transhumance, other forms of utilization of mountain pasture resources. Technical and organizational aspects of the current management of alpine farms (transport, roads, milking, cheese-making, grazing management). Interaction between livestock and wildlife in agro-forestry-pastoral environments
3. Grazing techniques and their application in various environments; Parameters for evaluating the effectiveness of pasture for food and resource conservation, overgrazing, undergrazing and vegetation evolution, Aspects of the interaction between animals and plants.
4. Influence of climatic conditions on animal production. Indigenous breeds of cattle, horses, sheep and goats in the Alps. The protection of limited populations: motives, methods, opportunities. Livestock production in a specific territorial context. Multifunctional aspects of livestock and pastoral activities in the mountains; animals and care and maintenance of the land, animals and tourism, animals and culture. Grazing in terms of maintenance, environmental improvement, prevention of natural disasters.
Prerequisites:  Basic knowledge in General biology, Animal physiology, Economics
and Agronomy is requested. In order to understand the interaction
between domestic animals and mountain environment basic phisics
knowledge is necessary.
Preparatory instructions:  Animal systems I - Agronomy
Learning materials:  Lessons notes are available and renewed each year. Conference
Proceedings, technical publications and web sites will be reported
during the lessons
Other info:  The assessment consist of a unique test. It aims to verify the
acquisition of knowledge based on the contents made available
from lessons, supports obtained from the web pages, the official
course notes and technical visits. The test involves 1) verification
of online compulsory activities 2) verification of other online
activities 3) discussion of one or more themes proposed by the
teacher and selected from the course's contents.
Program of Mountain animal farming (pdf version)
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