Report of the IBF Training Course

Giorgio Saralli, Tiziana Galli
Animal Prophylaxis Research Institute for Lazio and Toscana, Latina – Italy

A comprehensive Training Course for buffalo breeders, technicians, dairy operators and meat producers was held near Latina, Italy on 16-27 June, 2014. The training course is organized by the International Buffalo Federation (IBF) with the contribution of researchers of the IZSLT (Animal Prophylaxis Research Institute for Lazio and Toscana, Italy) and CRA/PCM (Council of Research in Agriculture, Animal Production Research Centre, Italy).

The aim of the course was to upgrade workers employed in buffalo farm management and industry. In fact, during the course were treated key aspects of modern buffalo industry management such as nutrition requirements, reproduction technologies, sanitary controls, and milking and meat processing techniques, all aspects about each level of animal production including calves, heifers, dry buffaloes, milking buffaloes, young bulls, and breeding bulls.

The location of the course was at the provincial section of the IZSLT on Latina, a city at 100 km from Rome; training was held at laboratories and nearby locations including buffalo farms, cheese plants, and meat plants.

An intensive and detailed program has been proposed with the participation of several speakers, all Italian experts from different organizations such as Universities, Associations, Research Institutes, and private companies.

Monday, June 16, the first day was dedicated to the reception, accommodation, and presentation of the 28 participants coming from 11 countries, with the organizers.

It was not easy!!!

We were called in the early hours of the morning to pick up all the participants at their arrive… sometimes with difficulty, but with funny situations. Afterwards, all participants were tacked to hotel.

Tuesday, June 17, the course was started with authorities welcome and presentation of the program by Prof. Antonio Borghese (General Secretary of IBF and chief organizer for the IBF Training Course), Dr. Antonio Fagiolo (Director of Latina Department, Animal Prophylaxis Research Institute for Lazio and Toscana), Dr. Renzo Scalco, Borough Council Clerk for Agriculture of Latina Province, Italy, Dr. Francesco D’Ausilio (President of Italian Buffalo Breeders Association, ANASB), and Dr. Vittoria Lucia Barile (CRA/PCM).

The first lecture was given by Prof. Antonio Borghese on “The buffalo species in the world economy”. A very intensive discussion followed, with many questions on the management and on buffalo products. Afterwards, Dr. Antonella Chiariotti (CRA) and the Prof. Federico Infascelli (University of Naples Federico II, Italy) spoke on “Rumen microbiology” and “Nutrition and feeding in buffalo species”. They introduced the importance of rumen physiology and feeding models according to different phases: calf, heifer, bull, dry buffalo cow, milking buffalo and fattening young bull. For each phases the requirements of energy, protein, vitamins, minerals had been verified and more convenient diets had been elaborated according to crops and forages available in different countries.

Wednesday, June 18, was dedicated on sanitary controls and reproduction pathologies. Dr. Giorgio Saralli and Dr. Antonio Fagiolo (IZSLT) treated on “Health controls: infective pathologies and environmental diseases”, particularly on prophylaxis plants for Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, Leukosis, Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) necessary to ensure health status, free by these pathologies. The second lecture was given by Prof. William Vale (Federal University West Parà, Brazil) introducing his personal experiences on “Reproduction pathologies in male and female buffaloes”.

Thursday, June 19, was dedicated on reproduction technologies. Dr. Vittoria Lucia Barile (CRA/PCM) spoke on “Reproduction technologies: oestrus detection, oestrus synchronization, artificial insemination and sperm sexing”; Dr. Giuseppina Maria Terzano spoke on “Application of ultrasonography” introducing also Multiple Ovulation Embryo Transfer (MOET) and In Vitro Embryo Production (IVEP) techniques; Dr. Anna Chiacchierini (owner of the Chiacchierini Bull Center, Perugia, Italy) spoke on “Semen production in a Buffalo Bull Centre” and introduced bulls of Mediterranean Italian Buffalo Breed selected in according to genetic index too; Prof. Cesare Galli spoke on “Embryo Production in the Avantea Centre (Cremona, Italy); Dr. Olimpia Barbato (University of Perugia, Italy) presented laboratory methods of pregnancy diagnosis. Many questions were advanced and a long discussion was held on reproduction technologies.
Afterwards, Dr. Antonio Perrone (Ministry of Environment,) showed a lecture on an innovative use of buffalo as a producer of energy.

Friday, June 20, was dedicated to practical activities. In the early morning the 28 participants and the 9 teachers were carried by bus to Mr. Nello Giorgi Buffalo Farm situated in Aprilia, Italy. After welcome by all the family of Mr. Nello Giorgi and with beautiful breakfast in the garden of the farm, we showed the traditional system of Italian buffalo breeding, in particularly the farming systems (cages, cow shed, feeding line and systems, manure treatments), welfare cure will be analyzed as evident correlation exist among animal welfare and sanity and/or quality production. During the morning a section was dedicated to practice activity about the ultrasonography use to evaluate the female and male reproductive performances by William Vale and Vittoria L. Barile. Then Nello Giorgi family prepared a rich lunch with Italian typical food as pasta, mozzarella and other cheeses, prosciutto (ham), meat, vegetables and dessert together with Italian good wine too. The day continued with two lectures by Dr. Antonio Fagiolo (IZSLT) about hygiene of the environment and his personal experiences, and by Dr. Tiziana Galli (IZSLT) about identification of critical point in the productive chain: calf, udder control, milking room, processing and milk hygiene requirements. Afterwards, there was a practice section in milking room by Tiziana Galli on “Correct practices of milking and milk production measurements”, and by Dr. Carlo Boselli (IZSLT) that showed the lactocorder use to measure the milk flow.
The family Giorgi, the location (beautiful farm), the breakfast, lunch (table organization and food) and the pleasant atmosphere gave a wonderful day for every one of us.

Saturday, June 21, was dedicated to sightseeing in Rome, visiting Circus Maximus, S. Maria in Cosmedin church, Janus Arch, Vesta and Fortuna Virile temples, Marcellus theatre, Capitolium, the tomb of unknown soldier, Traianus column, the forum of Traianus, Caesar, Augustus and Nerva Roman Emperor, Colosseum, Costantinus Arch. After lunch the S. Peter Basilica was completely visited until the cupola, from which a wonderful panorama on Rome was enjoyed.

Sunday, June 22, was dedicated to tour of Sabaudia beach, located in the Circeo National Park, a typical example of Italian coastline vegetal formation: Macchia Mediterranea. The people could enjoy on the beach and swim in the sea.
During the day we had a brunch with  Italian typical salami and  buffalo cheese presented by Giorgio Saralli at Fagiolo’s house.
In the afternoon there was a visit of the Reclaimed land and Historical Museum “Piana delle Orme”.

Monday, June 23, was dedicated on milk quality and processing.
Dr. Gilberto Giangolini and Dr. Simonetta Amatiste (IZSLT) spoke on the management, feeding, sanitary state and milking technologies like their influence on the quantity and quality of milk production. They also showed the European regulation about hygiene and safe food.
Prof. Borghese stimulated the discussion, underlining the 4 different levels of food quality: chemical composition, sanitary quality, taste (very important for the consumer), quality mark as guarantee of milk origin and of guideline in processing in D.O.P. products (Denomination Origin Protected).
Dr. Boselli completed his practical demonstration showing graphical representations in milk ejection (milk flow) and its influence on milk quality and on economic aspects for milk market. The automatic milking system, applied in buffalo, provoked great surprise and many questions.

Tuesday, June 24, started with lively presentation about breeding and genetic selection by Dr. Emanuela Parlato (ANASB).
Prof. Borghese introduced the subject on milk production technologies before afternoon practical session, held in Caseificio Perseo situated in Pontinia, Italy. During this session Dr. Carmela Tripaldi (CRA/PCM) and Dr. Tiziana Zottola (IZSLT) treated with practical demonstration the milk line processing after de-fattening and pasteurization for the cheese production; therefore all the steps to produce mozzarella cheese were shown: from coagulation to manual stretching to moulding phase. Also the process of other industrial products, as ricotta, butter, yogurt, ice cream and other cheeses were shown.
Afterwards a “buffet” was held with tasting and eating of the Caseificio Perseo’s products.

Wednesday, June 25, started with Dr. Giuseppina M. Terzano (CRA/PCM) speaking on “Calves and heifers management”. In intensive system the calf management has different solutions: single cage, multiple cages with milk replacers in bottles, or in pails, or distributed by computerized milking machines; while in the semi-intensive systems the calves can feed buffalo milk or milk replacers in covered cages or bovine milk directly from milking cows. Regarding to heifers management, the purpose of this stage is to reduce the no-productive period and relative cost, achieving puberty and pregnancy at early ages (16-20 months) with 380-420 kg of body weight utilizing different systems: extensive on pasture, semi-intensive, intensive.
Prof. Giuseppe De Rosa (University of Naples Federico II, Italy) spoke on “Behaviour and welfare of dairy buffalo”. Farming systems (cages, cow shed, feeding lines and systems, manure treatments), welfare cure (lagoons, shower, litters) was analysed as evident correlation exist among animal welfare, sanitary condition and production.
Dr. Sebastiana Failla (CRA/PCM) and Dr. David Meo Zilio (CRA/PCM) treated “Meat production technologies and processing”. They spoke on the system in meat line from weaned calves to intermediate phases, until fattening phase. They dedicated particular attention on the specific diets to realize mature young bulls at 400–440 kg at 15 months of age, with carcasses of good conformation, moderate fattening in according to market requirements, tender and juicy meat without bad smell.

This was the last day dedicated to theoretical sessions at IZSLT of Latina. For this reason all the participants liked to show their impressions regarding all aspects of the course (location, accommodation, lectures, practical activities, tours) and their thanksgiving to the “drivers” (all the organizers of the course and the workers of the IZSLT – Department of Latina) for the transfer service from Hotels to room conference.
Many participants presented lectures or pictures on the buffalo situations in their countries as Dr. Kourosh Elyasi for Iran, Prof. Baharuddin Tappa for Indonesia, Dr. Oscar Molina for Guatemala, Dr. Luis Pacheco for Venezuela activities in reproduction, Dr. Thomas Olson for USA, Prof. Jabbar Alsaedy for Iraq. Dr. Claudia Roldan, President of the IBF, showed a video on the next World Buffalo Congress in Colombia on 2016.
At the end, a reach and fun photo gallery realized during the course was presented and Prof. Borghese and Dr. Fagiolo gave a certificate of participation to everyone and more a lot of material, the book “Buffalo Production and Research” edited by Prof. Antonio Borghese and FAO Regional Office for Europe, all the lessons of the course in electronic format.

Thursday, June 26, was dedicated to a day of total visits: 27 participants, the teachers Antonio Borghese, Antonio Fagiolo, William Vale, 7 delegates from Indonesia represented by the Prof. Erizal Sodikin and by Yohannes Hasiholan Toruan, from the Government of South Sumatra Province, were taken by the owner of Garofalo Company, the Avv. Raffaele Garofalo.
The first step was in the big farm in Guarcino, Roccamonfina, Italy, where there are 1500 buffaloes subdivided in both lines, milk and meat purposes. There are several milking rooms for 60 dairy buffaloes each one, an enormous stable for calves in the cages and a big center for feeding-stuff: silages, hay and concentrates. Every operation is mechanized.
The second step was in S. Maria Capua Vetere, Italy, in a restaurant close to the wonderful Roman amphi-theatre, were also the mozzarella and ricotta from Garofalo farms were offered.
The third step was the visit to the big cheese industry Casaro del Re, where millions of mozzarella were produced with high mechanization systems and exported in 32 countries.
The fourth step was in a big typical shop of Garofalo Company, where many products from milk and meat line were offered.

Friday, June 27, the group of participants and teachers had departure to Monterotondo, Roma, to visit the Research Centre and the Tormancina Farm of Animal Production Research Centre (CRA/PCM). Dr. Bianca Moioli showed the activities of the Centre. Afterward Dr. Vittoria Lucia Barile showed the buffalo Centre with buffaloes in mechanical milking and calves. Also the feedlot with typical Bovine Italian breeds, as Chianina, Maremmana and Piemontese, were showen.
During the return to Latina, there was a visit of the Casale del Giglio Wine Factory (Le Ferriere, Latina) with typical luxurious lunch, where 5 from the best wines of the factory were offered, one for each plate.
In the afternoon there was the visit of the Casabianca Buffalo Farm and cheese Factory (Fondi, Italy). At the end of the visit Prof. Borghese did the evaluation and closing remarks on the IBF Training Course and then we had a beautiful farewell dinner presented by Dr. Francesco D’Ausilio, owner of Casabianca Buffalo Farm and cheese Factory.
Afterwards there were the last regards between all the participants of the course; all participants expressed appreciation with the promise to meet again soon. In fact, during these days a pleasant atmosphere gave the opportunity to establish friendship between all the participants.
There were vivacious discussions, opinions and funny things that happened.

Hopefully, as the goal of the course was achieved, to reorganize other training courses like this.

Goodbye to the next course!!!

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