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The Breeders Association of Umbria and Marche at the service of a zootechny to be valorised

An ancient tradition characterises an activity that in both regions, in addition to quality production, ensures the protection of the land

01, Mar 2023

“Our goal is to offer farmers in the Marche region the same services that we provide to those in Umbria. It is a commitment that we have been pursuing since the Marches officially became part of the Umbria and Marche Breeders Association (AAUM), extending consolidated operations throughout the Marche region and ready to respond to the great challenges of modern animal husbandry, without betraying the link with the territory and the tradition that characterizes local livestock productions”.

Fabrizio Soro is the president of the Umbria and Marche Breeders Association and in this path called to combine modernity and ancient traditions he knows that the great game is being played for the protection of a different animal husbandry from the perhaps better known one of the Po Valley, but no less important and rich in values.

“The livestock farms present in Umbria and Marche – he explains – are mostly small and medium-sized realities, spread throughout the territory often in particular and marginal areas, where grazing is the main point of reference and for this very reason it represents a value to be developed and convey in its importance. This translates not only into high quality productions, unfortunately often not adequately remunerated by the market, but also into the ability to supervise and protect the territory. It is an ancient vocation which, however, has a very high cost because grazing must be managed and maintained at costs which, especially today, with the effects of climate change and the problems associated with the incursions of wild fauna, are even higher. Unfortunately, the consumer is not always correctly informed and does not know that being a farmer in such vulnerable territories as ours is complicated and requires an uncommon spirit of sacrifice and attachment to the land, with production costs often exceeding the desired profit margins ”.

Among the herds of beef, dairy, sheep and goats and pigs, AAUM in Umbria has 753 companies under Functional Control for a total consistency of 20,456 heads. In the Marche, subscriptions to this fundamental service have been being collected since the beginning of the year and in total they could involve over 21,000 animals for around 800-900 companies.

“Functional Controls represent the basic tool which, through the detection of production and reproductive data of the animals registered in the Genealogical Books, offer the necessary information for the genetic improvement of the animals - continues the president Soro - but what the Association provides to the Umbrian and Marches is not limited to this. Our technicians present in the area periodically carry out checks on the milking systems in the farms to verify their correct operation, to which is added the annual testing of the instruments used to record the productions. By delegation of the breeder of each species produced, the Association manages the national database by verifying and updating the stable register, and it is always through the presence of technicians that it provides companies with the necessary assistance on legislation on animal welfare, as well as detecting environmental gases in the farm followed by the sending of the technical report indicating the parameters to be adopted to improve the structural and hygienic-sanitary conditions. The Association then installs the Si@lleva management system and prepares and periodically updates the manual of correct hygiene and Haccp practices".

In addition to institutional support, President Soro underlines that today the farmers of Umbria and Marche feel the need for a training course. "The Association is a technical reference for its members - he points out - and the training aspect cannot be excluded from this process, because animal husbandry is at the center of a great transformation in which knowledge and in-depth study of the means the technology it makes available, in addition to the constantly evolving regulations, represent the pillar of an activity that looks to the future. We are also at work on this front and together with the courses on animal welfare for pig farms which have started in recent weeks, we are preparing a calendar of initiatives which will gradually involve all the livestock species raised and which will be organized in the area. Ours is a quality animal husbandry that takes great effort precisely because of how it is expressed. We also want the consumer to learn to appreciate more and better a production that has come down to the present day in the wake of an ancient tradition - concludes Fabrizio Soro - and can be sustainable for the environment but also for the farmer. Deserving a place on the podium of quality productions”.

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