Today we will meet you with one of the foreign specialist who visited this year’s livestock exhibition in Sliven and some Bulgarian farms. He told us what he saw here and how to most effectively bring the Western experience to our country.
Dr. Martin Meyer is a proven specialist and independent partner of two of the most important and influential organizations for breeding, marketing and export of cattle – FIH and Genetic Austria.
Hello, Dr. Mayer, welcome to Bulgaria! You are a proven specialist in the Simmental breeding and international cattle trade. Tell us about yourself – what exactly do you do and which are the organizations you represent?
Hello! First of all, thank you for the kind invitation! It is extremely interesting for me to attend the largest livestock forum in Bulgaria and to visit some farms here. The potential is great and there are many opportunities for development!
I am an independent breeding consultant and work closely with two organizations, FIH and Genetic Austria.
FIH is an organization for the breeding and marketing of animals in Austria, which has about 3,000 farms with over 50,000 registered cows. FIH owns 50% of the shares of one of the artificial insemination centers in Austria and works closely with German AI centers. Genetic Austria is an international trading platform for the breeding and export of cattle from FIH and all Austrian breeding associations and AI centers. More than 50 different trade channels have been established for the export of seed and cattle to more than 25 countries around the world.
You have already visited some Bulgarian farms. What impressed you?
We visited 2 farms with great potential. The efforts are visible, but in order to progress in the right direction, they will need the help of nutrition specialists to advise them and achieving optimal conditions for raising animals. The quality of the feed and the competent care are of priority importance and I think it would be good if the Association could help them with its own specialist who could train intensively practically from the experience in Austria and bring it adequately to the Bulgarian farms. in NARMS. Increasing the competence of farmers will guarantee them over time a sustainable market presence, the opportunity to identify and solve problems, peace of mind and time to build a vision for future development. People need to know that just buying animals with good pedigrees is not enough to have quality production. The potential of these animals depends mainly on proper breeding and living conditions. And the best genetics and modern technology do not replace proper nutrition and breeding! It is necessary to work on all factors at the same time and farmers to increase their competence constantly, and not to exploit animals without taking proper care of them.
What did you see at the exhibition in Sliven? Is it different from your forums?
The exhibition was strongly focused on sheeps, goats, horses and less on cattles. One of the farmers who introduced the Holstein breed had very good animals. There is a lot to be desired for this forum to be as business-oriented as possible and useful for farmers, associations and traders. Next time it will be nice to show heifers recently imported from Austria. We could jointly prepare informative materials for visitors, as well as catalogs for cattle and semen.It will be very helpful to have a proper nutrition and breeding consultant with whom people can consult.
What areas of cooperation do you plan to develop with our association?
First of all, this cooperation should gain a popular identity in Bulgaria and be recognizable as a valuable advisor and liaison with the Austrian breeding organizations, farms and seed centers. It is possible to create a Simmental web club and develop an informative website together.
I believe that we should do the best to facilitate the exchange of experience with Austrian farms and to organize trips together for this purpose, as well as the training of consultants who will be competent advisers to the farms that are members of the Association.
It will be very useful, for example, a two-day trip to Austria with a visit to an exhibition, selected farms, consultation with specialists – both for farmers and for NARMS employees. Valuable experience can also be shared in Serbia and Bosnia.
You have motivated us in many ways and gave us very good ideas! We will take advantage of your valuable advices. What would you say to our farmers after you get an idea of the realities here?
You have a huge potential that needs to be developed! Take a look “out of box” to see what is happening in Austria and other countries that have faced your current problems long before you. “Steal” their experience instead of discovering what has already been discovered. Step on this foundation to think in perspective. Literate yourself daily and take care of your animals competently – they will regain that care many times over. Do not focus too much and indiscriminately on technical investments, but on those that are profitable for you. Extract the most valuable from other people’s experience, apply it adequately to your conditions and set your priorities correctly. Pay serious attention to the proper nutrition of your animals and be competent!
Great finale! We look forward to meeting you again – maybe then you will be the host and show us something interesting and useful!
I already have several similar ideas and it’s only a matter of time before we implement them together! Thanks again for the invitation – it was very useful and interesting for me!