EUFRAS Annual Assembly 2018 took place from 21st till 22nd of February in Warsaw, Poland together with the international conference „Challenges for agricultural advisory after 2020”. The assebly was hosted by EUFRAS member organization Agricultural Advisory Center in Brwinow.

EUFRAS Annual Assembly was opened by EUFRAS Chairman of the Board Tom Kelly who highlighted the opportunity of EUFRAS members to network and learn from each other, estimating that at the moment EUFRAS represents around 40,000 agricultural and rural development advisors from 26 European countries. There is no one and only best advisory system, but many good examples and better ways how to deliver it. Better awareness of the successes stories from other countries in developing various ICT tools for farmers can help each to find the most appropriate one for themselves as well as provides the opportunity for bilateral cooperation and transfer of experience. Jacek Węsierski Director of the Agricultural Center of the Agricultural Advisory Center in Brwinów warmly welcomed the participants and wished to be ready for the new challenges as well as opportunities which advisory services are facing after the 2020.

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As it has been each year, the Assembly provided the opportunity for new EUFRAS members and candidates to present themselves and express their expectations. The Federal Centre of Agricultural Consulting Services and Retraining Staff of Agricultural Complex from Russia was at the time the newest member of EUFRAS, you can learn more about their activities by seeing the presentation. This year two organizations as potential membership candidates gave an insight in their organizational structure and tasks as well as presented the expectations from the cooperation with EUFRAS network. CONSULAI is the largest consulting company in the agri-food, agricultural and forestry sectors in Portugal, basing its actions on long-term relationships with customers by responding to their needs and enhancing their competitiveness in the market, quality of products and economic results through its recognized values: innovation, credibility and accuracy. GAIA EPICHEIREIN was established in February 2014 as a result of a broad coalition between three major stakeholders involved in agriculture in Greece, in an attempt to respond to the clear need for a strong representative organization with entrepreneurial orientation in the agricultural sector in Greece. Learn more in the presentation of CONSULAI and GAIA ΕPICHEIREIN

In the Statutory meeting Edgars Linde, EUFRAS Vice-Chairman of the Board introduced the audience with EUFRAS current profile which is composed by 38 organizations from 26 countries. Also an overview about EUFRAS administrative activities for the year 2017, the Annual report as well as the Audit report were presented and discussed. Find out more! The work term of EUFRAS Board had passed and elections were organized. The Board of EUFRAS was re-elected - Tom Kelly (Ireland) was elected the Chairman of the Board, Edgars Linde (Latvia) was appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Board and Pablo Asensio (Bavaria), Micahel Kuegler (Germany), Anton Jagodic (Slovenia), Jussi Juhola (Finland), Jacek Wesierski (Poland) - were elected members of the Board for the next two years.

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From the left: EUFRAS Secretary Līga Cimermane, two of the just re-elected EUFRAS Board members Jussi Juhola, Edgars Linde, DG Agriculture and Rural Development representative Inge Van Oost and Board members Tom Kelly, Jacek Wesierski, Michael Kuegler, Pablo Asensio and Anton Jagodic.

EUFRAS Board member Michael Kuegler acquainted the audience with the bigger EIP picture as well as presented the overview of EUFRAS involvement in actual Horizon 2020 calls and projects. Find out more! One of the latest projects where EUFRAS takes pat to its member organizations as Linked-Third party is NEFERTITI which is a unique project that establishes 10 thematic networks that bring together regional clusters (hubs) of demo-activities and the involved actors. Project focuses on creating added value from the interactive exchange of knowledge and technical content among farmers and AKIS (Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems) actors over the networks in order to boost innovation, to improve peer to peer learning and improve network connectivity between farming actors over Europe.

A workshop for young advisors was also organized within the framework of the general meeting with the aim to create a network of young advisors – YEUFRAS which would also provide a mentoring program for young professionals in order to attract / keep new people in the profession, which was highlighted as a problem in many member countries. YEUFRAS would be a network of young advisors who support each other in their personal formation and development of career. In the workshop YEUFRAS tried to seek answers on the question: What do you need as a junior advisor and project leader to grow into professional project leader and advisor? Find out more on their presentation! The discussions are scheduled to continue in the next YEUFRAS working group which will take place within the 6th EUFRAS Meeting - 66th IALB Conference from 17th till 21st of June in Mosonmagyaróvár, Hungary.

More information will follow! All presentations also from the second conference part already available:

Challenges for agricultural advisory after 2020 – Speeding up innovation – What perspectives EU Communication document brings to advisers
Role of Polish Advisory Service in AKIS
Synergies in agriculture between different EU programmes – IUNG’s case
PeRsonalised public sErvices in support of the implementation of the CAP
HORIZON 2020 Projects - Goals, Results, Reflections
Biogospodarka a zrównoważone wykorzystanie zasobów

Teagasc Digital Advisors 
Improvement of agricultural advisory service efficiency through using of various tools, methods and IT technology
Electronic services for farmers
Improving advisory services through technology
Financial support for advisory service and knowledge innovation transfer within the framework of Rural Development Program, Proposals for solutions in new financial perspective - CROATIA
Financial support for advisory service and knowledge innovation transfer within the framework of Rural Development Program, Proposals for solutions in new financial perspective - SLOVENIA
The Bavarian Farm Advisory System
The Latvian Rural Advisory System
Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi