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Young Blood and Simmental Cattle Tops Agenda

04 July 2008

UK - Injecting new, young blood into Simmental cattle breeding programmes was top of the agenda at the World Congress meetings held at Huntingdon and Meriden last week.

A consistent theme was the need to encourage young members - defined as those under 40 years of age - to play a more active role in international breeding programmes.

The World Simmental and Fleckvieh Federation voted additional funds for young member activities and will encourage all member countries to follow suit.

Use of Simmental and Fleckvieh to inject new blood into crossbreeding programmes with Holsteins and Jerseys, for milk and beef production from dairy herds, is also attracting new investment from federation members.

Further work on meat tenderness and the use of DNA technology in genetic evaluation programmes is also planned.

After 34 years, the international secretariat moves, for the first time, from the home country, Switzerland, to the Czech Republic with Krystina Skopalova named as the new Secretary General.

Canadian, Bruce Holmquest is the new President with Joseph Kecera, Czech Republic and Bill Almond, Australia elected as Vice Presidents for two year terms leading the 26 member countries.

Dan Evans, President of the British Simmental Cattle Society and host for the World Congress commented: "There was an optimistic tone to all our discussions, backed by a determination to use the latest breeding technology and to engage with younger livestock farmers who are the future of the breed in the UK and throughout the world."

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