2023-2024 / ANIM0024-1

Breeding system for agroecology


9h Th, 6h Pr, 3h FT

Number of credits

 Master in agroecology (120 ECTS)2 crédits 
 Master in agroecology (120 ECTS) (Joint-degree programme with Paris Saclay and AgroParisTech)2 crédits 
 Master in agricultural bioengineering (120 ECTS)2 crédits 


Yves Beckers, Jérôme Bindelle


Jérôme Bindelle

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Context justifing the existence of this course
Agroecology studies cropping systems a specific ecosystems in which the natural environment is transformed by agricultural practices.  It combines agronomy and ecologyto allow natural regulations to match man interventions better in ordre to conceive more sustainable agro-ecosystems.  From a broader perspective, agroecology is considered as the ecology of a feeding systems, including its economical, social and environmental dimensions, linking production to consumption. Agroecology in livestock is currently overlooked in the scientific litterature while at the same time, papers dealing with the impact of livestock on the environement are uncountable.  Nonetheless, the issue lies is the animals themselves, but rather in the way they are intergrated in agro-ecosystems and feeding systems.
On the grounds that animals can play a role in agro-ecosystems, in this course, we will think about the application of the principles of agroecology to livestock production and about the operational choices that are or can be made to ensure a transition towards agroecology in livestock production.
Contents of the course
This course will be based on case-studies.  The teachers will provide a methodological framework based on the 5 principles of agroecology applied to livestock: (1) integrated health management, (2)  reduction in emissions relying on natural cycles, (3) preservation of biodiversity through adapted practices, (4) enhance diversity to increase resilience, (5) reduction in pollution though an optimized metabolic functionning of the systems.  Then , the students will applied this framework to analyze a case-study and suggest options for an agroecological transition in the studied system.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course, students will master a framework for analyzing the agro-ecological approach applied to livestock production systems. They will be able to apply this analytical framework to a given theme or context. They will be able to propose operational changes within farms to ensure a transition to production systems that integrate the principles of agroecology in order to become real actors in the agro-ecological transition

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic knowledge in animal production, crop production, ecology, farm economy, ecosystem services.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The teaching will be based on group works during which students will be supervised by the teachers.  Students will be called to visit (a) farm(s), discuss with experts, read litterature, etc.
A report will be yielded and defended orally in front of the teachers and the whole class.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

The tecahing will combien face-to-face teaching to auto-learning sessions and tutorial classes.

Recommended or required readings

It is expected from the students that they read the analysis frameworks in the following documents before the first course :
Botreau R, Farruggia A., Martin B., Pomiès D., B. Dumont B., 2014. Towards an agroecological assessment of dairy systems: proposal for a set of criteria suited to mountain farming. Animal, 8: 1349-1360. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1751731114000925
Bonaudo, T., Bendahan, A.B., Sabatier, R., Ryschawy, J., Bellon, S., Leger, F., Magda, D. and Tichit, M., 2014. Agroecological principles for the redesign of integrated crop-livestock systems. European Journal of Agronomy, 57, pp.43-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2013.09.010

Any session :

- In-person

oral exam

- Remote

written work

- If evaluation in "hybrid"

preferred remote

Additional information:

The final assessment of the students will be based on the group works and their presentation.  Modalities will be specified during the first course.
If sanitary conditions require it, the presentation can be organized by videoconference.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Feel free to contact the teachers for any question reagrding this course. We are available during the planned sessions or by appointment. You can contact us by phone or email (yves.beckers@uliege.be, +32 81 62 21 19, jerome.bindelle@uliege.be +32 81 62 26 09). Our offices are located in the building of the precision livestock and nutrition unit.

Association of one or more MOOCs