18 years have passed since the first animal of the Montbéliarde breed set foot in Bulgaria. During all these years, the Montbéliarde breed has permanently found its place among the breeds bred in our country.
The breed is becoming more and more attractive to farmers who want to produce quality milk, and milk processors, who do not flood the commercial network with imitation products, buy milk from such herds with high priority.
NARMS is particularly proud that it is our Association that is the reason why Montbéliarde is increasingly popular in the country, but behind this development are not only our efforts, and the cooperation with one of the largest and most successful cooperatives in France – Coopex Montbeliarde. It is thanks to their professionalism that over the years NARMS supplies its members with high-quality seed material and every year at least several farms become proud owners of purebred heifers of this breed imported from France.
In the month of June, we had the pleasure of welcoming two of Coopex’s regional managers, who visited several farms in our country growing Montbéliarde, and today we will introduce you to them and their impressions of Bulgaria.
– Hello and welcome to Bulgaria! Introduce yourself in a few words, starting with the lady, of course.
EMMA: – Hello, my name is Emma Shane, I am 23 years old and I have been working at Coopex Montbeliarde since August 2022. I have the pleasure of visiting Bulgaria for the first time as the deputy of Jean Paul Brun, who until that moment held the position of Export Manager for the German and Turkish markets, as well as for the Balkan region.
My education is engineering and it is in the field of agriculture and animal husbandry. Before I started working at Coopex, I worked in a milking and milk productivity control organization.
During my studies I participated in various internship programs – in particular at a dairy farm in Quebec, Canada and in Australia at a beef farm.
– You are a very young lady. Why did you decide to take on such a responsibility? It is not very easy for women to prove themselves in this “male” industry.
EMMA: – In fact, I was very well received both in this and in my previous position. At the beginning I also had my concerns, but it turned out that if I assert my authority by actually finding a solution to every problem, the respect of colleagues, partners and clients inevitably follows.
I chose this field as a child since I come from a region in France where agriculture and animal husbandry are extremely well developed and respected by the public. I grew up around many cattle farms and interacting with the animals has always been a pleasure for me.
– Dear Jean Paul, it is a great pleasure for the NARMS team that you have chosen Bulgaria as your stop on your tour with this ambitious young lady! For 15 years now, you have been helping the Montbéliarde and Simmental Breeding Association in Bulgaria with the import of pregnant heifers and seed material from France and assisting us with any problem that may arise. Tell us a little about yourself and your work at Coopex?
JEAN PAUL: – Hello. My name is Jean Paul Brun and I am 63 years old. I have been working at Coopex Montbeliarde since 1981. Years ago I participated in the selection program of Umotest, and then I took the position of Regional Export Manager for multiple countries. As of May 1 of this year, I retired and currently I have the pleasure of helping Emma get to know the region and our long-term partners.
It is really very joyful for me that I have the opportunity to visit Bulgaria for the last time in this capacity, as over the years we have actually been able to create a great professional relationship and today I can happily call your chairman Mr. Atanasov my friend.
– There is hardly anyone else who could better introduce the Coopex Montbeliarde institution to our audience, so I will ask you to tell us about it in a few words.
JEAN PAUL: – Coopex is a cooperative that is divided into two parts. The first deals with the Umotest selection program, tests and selects bulls of the Montbéliarde breed, whose seed material subsequently reaches farms in Bulgaria and all over the world. We have implemented over 1 million doses of seed material in different countries and we are definitely a leader in the selection of this breed. The second part of the cooperative deals with the export of live animals for breeding – heifers, cows, young animals and bulls to all continents.
– What has happened in these 40 years that you have been part of this market?
JEAN PAUL: – Many and various changes have occurred. The number of
farms is constantly decreasing, but their size is increasing. Currently, there are many more large industrial farms at the expense of the small family farms that were traditional years ago.
One of the many positive changes that occurred was the education of farmers in all regions and in every direction – technique, modernization, cultivation and selection. Now everyone demands more from themselves and I was happy to see during this visit to Bulgaria that many positive changes have taken place here as well!
Since my first visit to Bulgaria in 2007, the evolution is palpable! Once, everything happened with what was available and farms survived with the minimum, but today there is vision, selection, modern technologies. I am extremely pleased with how the Montbéliarde farms in your country have developed over the years!
– And how has the cooperation with NARMS developed over the years?
JEAN PAUL: – We have been working together for over 15 years now and I can safely say that with each subsequent year, NARMS permanently imposes more and more Montbéliarde breed in Bulgaria and succeeded in popularizing all modern practices in breeding and selection.
Every year we jointly carry out several imports of purebred heifers that successfully adapt to regional conditions and supply the farms with seed material from bulls that are among the most preferred in our selection.
I think that during these years NARMS has done a great job and today many Bulgarian farmers are quite informed and are turning to the Montbeliarde breed.
– We are having this conversation after yesterday and today you visited several farms in Bulgaria, where you had the opportunity to familiarize yourself in detail with the conditions and practices in our
country. What did you see?
JEAN PAUL: – Yes, we saw four farms that differed significantly from each other in terms of the cultivation technology they had chosen. The common thing was that in each of them the goal was to produce the maximum amount of milk.
I was particularly impressed at the farm in Osoiitsa, as it is an organic farm at an international level. I was particularly impressed at the farm in Osoiitsa, as it is an organic farm at an international level. This farm has a first class veterinarian and a visionary owner with business experience. This farm has a first class veterinarian and a visionary owner with business experience.
In two of the farms, the animals were raised using the excellent natural conditions and the presence of beautiful meadows nearby. At the farm in Zemen, the owner managed to close the production cycle and practically convinced himself of the excellent quality characteristics of raw milk from the Montbéliarde breed.
It was indeed a pleasure for me to see beautiful and well-bred animals everywhere. My impressions are extremely good and I definitely think that it is going in the right direction.
EMMA: – I am also very satisfied with what I saw and motivated myself for various future initiatives based on the good foundation that these farmers have laid.
I saw people who definitely want to develop and have succeeded in many ways, regardless of economic or other difficulties at the regional level.
I think it takes quite a bit for them to reach the western level and I hope I can contribute to that in the future! I think it takes quite a bit for them to reach the western level and I hope I can contribute to that in the future!
– Thank you for being our guests and taking the time to tell us about our cooperation, and we hope that it will only improve over time and bring benefits to Bulgarian livestock breeders!
Jean Paul, on behalf of the NARMS team, we would like to thank you for the years of working together, as well as for your professionalism and adequacy in solving every problem! We wish you to fully enjoy the well-deserved rest and be healthy!
Emma, we are glad that we will have the opportunity to be infected by your youthful enthusiasm and we wish you many joint successes and occasions for you to visit us again! Good luck with this new challenge!
JEAN PAUL: – Thank you! I leave here with nostalgia and I can say that my work with NARMS brings me only positive memories! Be healthy and successful!
EMMA: – I can’t wait to discuss and implement many useful ideas that occurred to me while I was here! I will make every effort to be at least as useful to you as Jean Paul has been over the years! See you soon!