Today we are guests of the Beitula family on their farm in the village of Karapelit, Dobrich region. The village is located in the heart of the Dobrudzha and in addition to the fertile lands in the region is known for its rich history and the heroic battle in Karapelit during the First World War, which inspired Yordan Yovkov for his story “Triumph”.
Javidan Beitula, one of the daughters of the owner Javit Beitula, will tell us about the farm. Together with her sister and the other members of the family, she runs and develops a farm with over 27 years of history, which has been a member of NARMS since its inception. We are greeted by a smiling and friendly woman and we can’t imagine how she manages to bear the responsibility for this huge farm. We will ask her now if it is difficult to combine the care of the farm and that of the family.
Hello, Javidan! Thanks for the hot coffee! You have a wonderful farm, tell us about it.
Hello and welcome! Our farm and company are family, we all participate in the work here – my father, me, my sister and our husbands. Each of us has different responsibilities. At the heart of it all, of course, is my father. He created the farm 27 years ago!
How many and what kind of animals are there on the farm at the moment?
Currently, the farm raises 1,200 sheep, 100 buffaloes and over 1,000 cattle of various breeds – black and white, jersey, brown cattle and over 200 Simmental animals, the first Simmentals my father imported from Austria in 2007. He very likes and loves this breed! We also cultivate more than 11 thousand decares of land.
What is the difference in breeding and production between Simmental and other breeds?
Simmentals are great animals – they are bred and easily adapted. We did not have any problems with their import. They are much easier to adapt than the black-and-white ones, for example, in which we even had deaths. Their milk is significantly superior to that of other breeds in terms of fat and protein, and I personally take only from my family.
What technology have you chosen for raising animals?
All animals are bred in a free-stall barn and milked on a central milk line at the moment, but we are in the process of building a carousel-type milking hall with 50 places for animals. With the central milk line, milking so many animals requires a lot of workers, and this is a major problem not only in our country. It is very difficult to find milkers and any other staff. Here are provided all the working conditions of employees, as well as competitive for the region remuneration with full insurance and yet we encounter great difficulty in finding staff, not to mention qualified. With us, manual labor is minimized and we strive to provide the maximum technical support so that we do not depend on the human factor.
Our farm is decent in every way, and we are subject to permanent inspections by all institutions – maybe for this reason.
How did you manage to build this impressive base? Did the state help you?
We gradually joined the stables, which are part of a former cow complex. In the beginning we built everything with our own funds and efforts. Subsequently, we benefited from support under measure 121, but, frankly, the constant inspections and unbearable requirements demotivated us and in the future we will rely only on our own funds, because the balance is not in favor of our participation in programs. The funds they returned to us were not many, and at the same time they overwhelmed us with bureaucracy and all sorts of inspections, insurance and interest! It’s just not worth it, and it’s an unbearable tension at some point. We did not have enough support points for the milking parlor, just because we lack construction in the project, as we already have a building built. Absurd, but a fact! However, by the end of the year the hall will be open!
Do you plan to increase the number of Simmental animals after this investment?
Mandatory to make a dairy at some point, but due to the problem of finding labor, the milking hall has become a top priority.
Some farms have a big problem with the realization of production and regular payment by dairies. Are your partners correct in this regard?
Yes, a lot! We have been working with Tirbul for three years and I can only say good things about them! I don’t remember being a week late with the payment and the purchase prices suit us better. It wasn’t like that before. Serdika in the town of Dobrich owed us BGN 175,000 years ago and for months we could not take our money, which is deadly for a farm! But in general, the purchase price of raw milk in our country is not adequate to the efforts and investments that are made. She’s been falling even harder lately. Some legislative change is needed in this regard.
Why do you think you have been subjected to so many inspections by state institutions?
Because we strive to be neat and it is much easier to visit such a place and report activity. Certainly, we also have our shortcomings, but it is really difficult to be constantly in the process of inspection and this greatly complicates our daily activities.
How do you manage to balance between the farm and the family?
It is very difficult and I can hardly take the time. The farm is a commitment per 365 days a year without exception and excuse. Care with employees and institutions also does not stop even in free time, if it remains at all. We have chosen such a business, but for the moment we manage to cope and develop.
We admire your energy! Let’s talk about your membership in the association. You have been a member from the very beginning, when there was no support for cows under selection control, which is the main, and in some farms the only motive for membership. What motivates you?
Administratively and professionally we receive full assistance in the face of the association, and I think we are a loyal partner. This is the way in all developed countries, and we also want to have a modern farm with purebred animals. Of course, the seed material, to which we have access thanks to NARMS, guarantees us offspring with better and better indicators with each succeeding generation.
I have only one recommendation and that is if we can hold the next annual meeting closer to our region.
We will try, but central Bulgaria is not that far… I hope this interview was inspiring for other ladies who would or are engaged in cattle breeding! Thank you and we will be waiting for news about the new milking hall and the dairy! We wish you success in every way!