The Monells Cattle Farm (EVAM) at IRTA is located in Monells (Girona). IRTA is a research institute owned by the Government of Catalonia.
EVAM is intended to be a tool to serve the interests of industry and the Catalan region, and be a platform for research, experimentation and transfer.
Aims of EVAM
The farm combines knowledge of climatology, agronomy, plant production, water and excrement management, animal handling, genetic and reproductive improvement, and animal well-being and health, to improve competitiveness and sustainability throughout the milk industry.
EVAM's aim is for the milk industry to benefit from the application of new tools for genetic improvements and health, new food models and the handling of animals, and to improve productive efficiency and reduce environmental impact.
It will also work with industry to develop new technologies to help create and market dairy products.
The project has involved an investment of €2.4m ($2.6m) in buildings and equipment, to which the Provincial Council of Girona, the regional ERDF, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and IRTA have contributed equally.
The farm currently has 60 cows, but it will expand to up to 120.
EVAM is based on a concept of comprehensive research, as it seeks to integrate all the elements that influence milk production, from fodder production to the management of excrement, to informing consumers and the general public.
EVAM - meeting three challenges:
1. Research directed at generating new knowledge, to help solve technological and innovation challenges in the industry.
2. Transfer of results, to contribute to improving industry competitiveness, seeking to increase production efficiency, health and well-being of the animals, as well as in the quality and differential and added value of dairy products and derivatives.
3. Informing the public about the production process of milk and its treatment up to its consumption, by implementing proactive informative and promotional actions.
Assisting dairy industry
The services of EVAM are expected to help the dairy industry in several ways.
The goal is to evaluate, test and apply new tools, strategies, techniques and products, to improve the efficiency and sustainability of farms.
EVAM will also publicize new improvements in field management, the handling of animals and their excrement, and the latest technologies applied to obtaining dairy products.
It will also be a meeting point for dialog with different stakeholders, to promote research, development and transfer projects from the farmer to the consumer.
The farm is expected to be a facility where new farmers and entrepreneurs in the dairy industry are trained in the technical aspects of agricultural production and the dairy production process.
EVAM will also interact with the public to explain elements of milk production.