The Agricultural Research and Education Centre Raumberg-Gumpenstein is a federal research entity of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW). It is the only institution in Austria that works with its research branches in the field of agriculture [livestock sciences (animal nutrition, husbandry and health), plant sciences and organic farming] in alpine regions. Notable is the integration of aspects of animal and plant production with their ecological and economical consequences.
Presently the Agricultural Research and Education Centre employs in its research branches 230 people, about 50 of them in key positions as scientists and technicians, others as workers and administration officers. In the educational branch there are about 100 teachers and staff. For trials in livestock sciences, the Centre has a livestock of around 250 cattle, 300 sheep and goats and 120 pigs. For grassland and crop experiments, the institution is responsible for about 200 ha of testing fields and proving grounds, of which 35 ha are suitable for exact trials. To get representative results for the whole alpine region, the centre has three organic and three conventional permanent local branches all over Austria.
Thus, the institutes of the Research and Education Centre have good experience and knowledge of organic and low input farming systems and product quality and a well trained, highly skilled staff to develop and carry out experiments and analyses on product quality even under harsh and logistically challenging conditions, also within international projects.
Another speciality is the high expertise in dissemination of know-how not only for scientists, but also for farmers, practitioners, decision makers and stakeholders, which is undertaken in cooperation with the second (educational) branch forming the Research and Education Centre. Every year the Research and Education Centre organises various workshops, special training courses and conferences with several hundred participants.
Scientist involved in COST Action is Margrit Velik