l-r: Stephan Haarhoff and Roland Metz will work closely together as breeding managers and managing directors of the Association of Breeders of the Holstein Horse

By Jean Llewellyn / press release (translation)
Photography: Holsteiner Verband/Janne Bugtrup

At the turn of the year Stephan Haarhoff (27) and Roland Metz (48) took up their new duties as breeding managers and managing directors of the Association of Breeders of Holstein Horses. In this interview, the two of them talk about their plans and visions of how the future of the Holstein horse can be shaped.

Q Mr. Metz, you have been working for the Holsteiner Verband for almost two years. Now you are taking on even more responsibility – does this mean that you see the prospects for your future career in Holstein?
In retrospect, the first two years were very eventful and eventful times in which we achieved a lot – not least with the help of strong support from our breeders. In addition, my family and I have settled in very well in Schleswig-Holstein. A restful yard near Elmshorn has become our new home, where my wife and daughter also feel comfortable. In addition to my work at the Holsteiner Verband and the warm welcome from its breeders, it was also my private circumstances that made me take on more professional responsibility.
Q Since January 1, 2021, in addition to managing the Holsteiner Verband Vermarktungs und Auktions GmbH, you have been managing director of the general association. Where do you see the focus of your daily work in the future?
RM: I see a very important task in keeping the Holsteiner Verband competitive in the future. The market for the German breeding associations is getting more and more difficult, but with the studbook 'Holstein Global' the first step in the right direction has already been taken. Living this openness and promoting it is important in order to secure the market share for Holstein horses in the future. In addition, we will make sure that the service to our members is upheld. The separation between breeding management and general management gives the managing director even more capacity to take care of profitability, without losing sight of the close and friendly exchange with the breeding manager. I am thinking, for example, of optimizing events, generating advertising income, and strengthening the association system in Elmshorn as the home port of Holstein horse breeders.

Q In the past few years the Holsteiner Verband has opened up in various directions, including service for breeders and digitization. Do you already have plans as to whether and how these areas can be expanded further in the future?
RM: As already mentioned at the beginning, I see one of the most important tasks as strengthening and further expanding the market share of Holstein horses. An important tool is digitization, which has made it possible, for example, to register foals and mares online for several years. In addition, it was decided at the last assembly of delegates to reduce the admission fee from €300 to €100. We have thus set a sign of attractiveness in comparison with other breeding associations. As far as further digitization is concerned, the corona pandemic last year forced us to take a few new paths, which, in retrospect, fortunately have proven their worth. I am thinking of the experiences in the area of ​​online and hybrid auctions, which we will certainly use in the future in the breeding area. In summary, we would like – and here I speak for Stephan Haarhoff and myself together – to make the Holsteiner Verband modern and successful for the future... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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