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Slovenian Holstein Association

Groblje 3, 1230 Domzale


Groblje 3, 1230 Domžale, Slovenia

Slovenian Holstein Association was founded in September 1991 (two months after our separation from Former Yugoslavia). Slovenian Holstein Association was first breeding organisation which was established after Second World War in this area of Former Yugoslavia. Slovenian Holstein Association in non-commercial and non-profit organization with approximately 1,100 members across Slovenia.
The main purposes of the Slovenian Holstein Association are:

  • to improve the breed of Holstein cattle
  • to define the breeding goals, breeding programme and the breed’s strategy
  • to take care for education, trainings and knowledge transfer for their members
  • to promote results and good farming practices of Holstein breeders
  • to promote the interests of breeders and owners of Holstein cattle in Slovenia.

The Association is focused on activities helping Holstein breeders to improve their herds and to increase economic efficiency of their farms. The highest body of the Association is the Membership Assembly. The executive body of the Association is the Executive Committee which is constituted of 13 members elected by the Membership Assembly. The Association publishes the bulletin “Black and White Cattle” for its members, organizes seminars, trainings and exhibitions.

In year 2009, we had:

  • 74,286 HF cattle
  • % of HF cattle in all cattle population: 16 %
  • 33,610 HF cows located on 3,110 farms
  • % of HF cows in all cow population: 19.8 %
  • 31,206 HF cows included in milk recording, located on 2,252 farms
  • average number of HF cows per farm was: 13.9
  • number of first insemination with HF sires: 38,553
  • % of first insemination with HF sires: 23.85 %
  • 130 HF bull dams
  • 25 HF bulls in performance test
  • 12 HF young sires
  • 3 to 4 positively tested and selected sires

Breeding Philosophy

Slovenian Holsteins have been developed under a philosophy of balanced breeding and combination of type, production, and other traits. In Slovenia a revised Total Merit Index for sires and cows has been introduced in 2005. The TMI for Holstein-Friesian breed has the following relative index weights: production traits 40%, type traits 45%, age at first calving and calving interval 10%, and calving ease 5%. As can be seen some functional traits have recently been included in breeding index. However, it is experienced that by far the most selection emphasis in the field is on the production and type traits. In year 2009 we introduced the Linear Scoring and Classification system regarding the ICAR and WHFF guidelines with help of Arie Hamoen from the Netherlands.

Picture 1: Holstein cows by location over the country

Table 1: Average milk production of Slovenian Holstein cows in milk recording in Slovenia (in years 1970 – 2009)

Breeding for healthy and profitable cow

Breeding goal of Slovenian Holstein-Friesian cows:

  • Higher Production with emphasis on protein content
  • Healthy and adaptable animals
  • Better Longevity
  • Improvement of Udder Health and Health of high productive cows
  • Improvement of Fertility
  • Better Udder and Feet & Legs
  • Improvement of functional traits (calving easy, milking speed….)

Holstein Cattle Shows and the International Agricultural – Food Fair (AGRA)

  • Dairy cattle shows have played an important role in the promotion and improvement of
    the Holstein breed. Slovenian farmers with help of professional people from breeding
    services (Agricultural Chamber, Biotechnical Faculty, Agricultural Institute and other
    institutions involved in breeding work) regularly organise cattle shows on different levels
    (local, regional, national).
  • Till now we organised four National Holstein Shows. Last one was in year 2007 (see picture with championship from this Cattle show which was first time organise in the capital of Slovenia – in Ljubljana)
  • Slovenian Holstein Association takes an active part in International Agricultural – Food Fair (AGRA) in Gornja Radgona where each year present progeny of young Holstein Sires
  • This year we will participate on European Cattle Show in Cremona. This will be first time experience for us!

CHAMPION on 4th National Holstein Cattle Show, Ljubljana – June 2007

Progeny group of Slovenian Holstein heifers on International Agricultural – Food Fair (AGRA) in Gornja Radgona in year 2009 – Judge by dr. Abele Kuipers, president of Cattle Commission of EAAP & director of the expertise centre for farm management and knowledge transfer, Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands and Jelle Landstra, Agricultural counsellor of Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

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