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Aarhus University presenting results from MIXED at organic congress

The largest organic congress in Denmark just took place and MIXED was part of a joint stand focusing on alternative types of roughages for organic pigs hosted by Aarhus University, Innovation Centre for Organic Farming, and Centre for Free-range livestock

Anne Grete Kongsted talking about MIXED. Photo: Kristine V. Riis, AU
Visitors participating in the competition. Photo: Anne Grete Kongsted, AU
A visitor smelling silage in a box. Photo: Anne Grete Kongsted, AU

On 21-22 November the Økologi Kongres (Organic Congress) took place in Vingsted, Denmark, gathering more than 650 participants from the organic farming industry, knowledge institutions, universities etc. from all over the country. It was two days with presentations, expert talks and panel discussions focusing on the motivating power for new solutions within organic food systems. An expo was an essential part of the congress, and this was an ideal platform for MIXED to present and demonstrate some of the results of the innovation study with fattening pigs foraging willow.

Willow works well for pigs

To showcase and demonstrate MIXED Anne Grete Kongsted and Line Dinesen Jensen, who are both involved in the project at Aarhus University, were there to represent the project. Together with the other projects OUTFIT, WIFI and ENTRANCE who all have a common theme about sustainable feed sources for organic pigs, MIXED formed a large stand with different activities going on throughout the two days. As a gathering point the projects brought different types of silage for the audience to see.

“Many people came by to see, smell and touch the willow and poplar-silages. It led to many interesting dialogues and for many it came as a surprise that willow and poplar works as pig feed. This was a great chance to present some of the main conclusions from our innovation study in MIXED, where we have tested how pigs responded to having access to forage willow directly as part of a new summer concept for organic fattening pigs,” Anne Grete Kongsted, senior researcher at Aarhus University, explains.

Attracting the audience with interactivity

The joint stand also hosted an interactive activity – a competition where the audience could come by and smell a box containing three different types of silage: willow, pulp from biorefining and grass-clover and then guess what kind of silage was in the different parts of the box. The box worked as a great way of attracting and engaging the audience.

“All in all, the congress and the concept worked as a great platform to present the work we are doing in MIXED because of the broad audience. We got in contact with both farmers, consultants, students and other researchers and we got to spread the knowledge about MIXED,” Anne Grete Kongsted says.

See the full programme for the conference here (in Danish)