World Simmental Fleckvieh Congress 2020

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An excellent showcase of the breed at the perfect moment

After 25 years, the time has finally come: Austria will host the Fleckvieh/Simmental World Congress from 1 to 6 September, 2020. The main venue will be the Parkhotel Schönbrunn in our capital city, and hence the key professional events of the first part of the meeting will take place here from Tuesday to Friday in the “Vienna Region”. We will continue on to Linz and Freistadt, where on Sunday we will present Austria’s best cows to a national and international audience at the upcoming Fleckvieh National Exhibition. Planned for the night before are an elite, first-class auction, the FleckScore World Cup and international events for young breeders.

For our international guests, especially for those who come from farther away places in Europe and from other continents, we have scheduled a Post-Congress Agrotour tour to the west and back to Vienna through the country’s southernmost states. Until September 10, we will showcase more elite livestock farms, along with our country’s culture and nature.

Fleckvieh changes
In addition to the many positive aspects of being able to present the excellent quality of genetics on an international stage in the country that has the highest percentage of Fleckvieh breeds and served as the cradle of modern breeding for this species, there will also be a focus on mega-trends and their effects on livestock breeding and agriculture as a whole. The timing could not be better, given the omnipresence of global challenges such as, one the one hand, digitalization and its accompanying accelerated development of new technologies in all areas, and on the other hand, very broad (and especially critical) debates regarding the climate impact of livestock. Through the motto of the congress, “Fleckvieh changes”, we wish to demonstrate that we not only perceive these challenges, but also are able to offer convincing answers. Thanks to the fact that Fleckvieh changes the cattle world, it allows for the breeding of dairy cattle with robust cows and is the most eco-efficient way of cattle breeding. Fleckvieh is “twice as efficient”, as animals make excellent use of food offered both in the growth phase and in the production phase. By far, the greatest positive impact on climate efficiency is achieved when all animals that are not selected for breeding are those most suitable for quality fattening cattle and are used for this purpose.

The breeding of purebreds as a great advantage
Fleckvieh’s modern genetics can accomplish this perfectly and in breeding purebred animals. The breeding of purebreds is very important because it allows strict selection for reproduction, which is even more effective than in the past thanks to the genomic selection and classification of calves, and, in this way, breeding progress is greatly accelerated. This helps us especially with the characteristics of fitness, and we hope that it will soon also help with “new” characteristics such as hoof health, metabolic stability or also behavior in milking and herding cows.

“Fleckvieh changes” is also applicable in the sense that, unlike many others, we still see a good opportunity to keep elite breeding in the hands of farmers in the future and to be able to implement a global breeding strategy. However, this can only be achieved through consistent breeding work and the constant use of modern techniques. Additionally, for genomic selection to work well, the underlying population must be large enough: the more than 1 million cows in the system are an excellent base and a great success of international cooperation.

Strengthening this international cooperation and spreading Fleckvieh’s modern and climate-efficient genetics worldwide even faster is another of the goals of the 2020 World Congress in Austria …

See you in September 2020!