Today we are in the village of Podgore, Vidin region, located near our border with Serbia. Here Milcho Matov and his family have developed their family business in the field of dairy cattle breeding. The breed they breed is traditionally Simmental for the region.

Our daughter-in-law, Mihaela, tells us about the farm. She has been taking care of everything related to the documentation for several years and strictly keeps an archive of what is happening in the herd of over 130 animals.

– Hello, please introduce yourself in a few words to our audience.

– Hello. First of all, I would like to thank NARMS for the invitation for an interview. My name is Mihaela Krumova and I am 30 years old. I come from the town of Vidin, but I have been living in the village of Podgore for 12 years. Before I came to the farm I was a student. Then I met my current husband – Nikolai and followed him here, where we are currently developing the family farm together.

– Usually young people are looking for a job in the big city, in the capital and even abroad, and you have chosen to live in the countryside and do such a hard and engaging business… I have asked other members of NARMS, I will ask you. What is the reason for this decision?

– Love comes first, of course! Family is more important than anything and I am very happy with the decision I made then. A great advantage to get used to quickly and feel in my place was my great love for animals. When you do something with pleasure and desire, you do not feel it as a heavy duty, but rather as a vocation. This is my place and I am very happy to have followed my husband. I was greeted very warmly here and it was very easy for me to get used to.

– Tell us a little about the owners of the farm and the animals on it.

-My father-in-law, Milcho Matov, is a hereditary cattle breeder with a lot of experience behind him. My husband, Nikolai, grew up among animals and always wanted to continue their work. He is very dedicated to this activity and does everything with great desire and energy. When I came here, there were about 80 dairy cows of different breeds on the farm. 6 years ago we started to select and leave for repair only animals of the Simmental breed, and our aim is to clean the herd. I think we did the right thing, the difference is huge – the Simmentals are in excellent health, high productivity and are very beautiful!

– Do you help on the farm from the very beginning?

– No, for the first 2 years I was a mother and took care of our 2 children. The focus was entirely on them. The herd has been under selection control for five years, and in fact then the right role was found for me, in which I feel useful. I am responsible for monitoring all processes in the farm that relate to the control that is carried out – insemination, calving and documentation.

– What breeding technology is adopted on the farm?

– In the warm months the animals are grazing, and in winter they are tied to the barn. There are currently 130 animals on the farm, more than half of which are Simmental and are under selection control.

– How do you make the ration of animals, do you use recipes?

– We have a mixer, and we determine our rations ourselves according to the needs of the animals. As I said – the farm is owned by hereditary cattle breeders and their experience is very useful for the correct practices on the farm! They know very well what the cows need at all times and this is the reason for the results to improve with each passing year! The assistance of the Association, with which we work excellently so far, also helps a lot! – How is milking cows organized? How many people take care of them? Do you have a labor problem?

– We are currently building a central milk pipeline, which will greatly facilitate the work, I hope. At the moment, they are still milking with units. A total of 4 people are engaged in the work on the farm, 2 of whom are workers who have been with us for a long time.

– How did the herd develop during the period during which it is under selection control?

– The number of animals under selection control is gradually increasing, along with the quality and quantity of production. There is a lot of meaning in selection, but the rules must be followed. Simmental milk is definitely more sought after and preferred by dairies.

– Do they check you often? Are you okay?

– Yes, sometimes twice a year! We are fine, but this is just an occasion for them to visit us more, because it is easier for the inspectors themselves to do their job in such farms. I have the feeling that where everything is in complete chaos, checks are avoided. Our documentation is in order, our animals are the exact number, all requirements are met and yet every year we are subject to inspection…

– This is a common opinion, unfortunately. If you can go back in time and have to decide again whether to follow your husband to the village of Podgore, will you make the same decision?

– Absolutely yes! This is the right decision I have made. I feel at home here from the first day, and working with animals gives me great pleasure and I hope to be as useful as possible! I am glad that my life is moving in this direction! I feel calm and secure! It is very important for a person to find what makes him happy. I was so lucky and I wish it from the bottom of my heart to everyone!

– What will you wish to the other ladies in NARMS?

– To be brave, to take risks and to follow their dreams!