RObust Animals in sustainable Mixed FREE-range systems (ROAM-FREE)


General Data


Member of UL

Veterinary faculty, Gerbičeva 60, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


Name of the project leader

University of Copenhagen, Dyrlægevej, 100, Frederiksberg C, 1870  



Project number/acronym


Project title

RObust Animals in sustainable Mixed FREE-range systems (ROAM-FREE)  

Funding source

180037 ERA NET - Kmetijstvo - 14-20  

Funding period

1 Sept 2021–1 Oct 2024  

Annual budget

27.000 eur  

Project leader

Associate prof. dr. Marina Štukelj  

Scientific field

Veterinary medicine  



Work Packages

WP 1: assessing animal health and welfare in mixed free-range systems with pigs
WP 2: assessing parasite preventive effects of specific crop species or management procedures
WP 3: biodiversity and sustainability of mixed free-range systems with pigs
WP 4: project management and final workshop




Project Description

Free-range animal rearing is less financially demanding for the lack of infrastructural expenses but challenging for implementation of proper biosecurity measures and meeting the pasture standards. Free-range organic pig rearing trend in EU is currently in decline. Our aim is to analyze if free-range mixed animal production in combination with domestic pigs with self-grown feed and support can stimulate farmers to adopt this concept of pig rearing. That way we want to improve self-sufficiency with pork and biodiversity on the free-range farms.

General goal of ROAM-FREE project is to discover, whether mixed production systems can improve animal immunity, environmental and economic sustainability, and biodiversity in organic pig production. The project is carried out in 5 European countries simultaneously to support ecologic farming Europe-wide. Mixed pig-rearing systems will be assessed and compared in 5 partner countries: Norway, Denmark, Romania, Italy, and Slovenia. The goal of the partnership is to assess the local difference in climate, health status, traditional methods of livestock rearing and other economic differences between the partner countries.

We plan cooperate with the local breeders to assess the health care of pigs, their welfare status, productivity (feed-to-growth ratio), the impact of soil and flora composition with antiparasitic effects, biodiversity, and mixed-production animal rearing impact on the ecosystem. Main focus point will be on pig health status and welfare conditions. 

The benefits and challenges of mixed-production systems are expected to arise during the ROAM-FREE project duration period. The findings should be the base for improvement in existing free-range mixed production systems in Europe. The innovative concept of mixed farming is set to be developed and introduced to the public through workshops, education, and training. We thrive for the results to be presented to the public to improve the strategy and position of mixed-production systems and organic pig farming.


Project Group Members

  • Marina Štukelj
  • Jan Plut
  • Andrej Škibin
  • Jože Ilc
  • Irena Golinar Oven
  • Jože Starič
  • Bojan Papić