Dr. Harma Berends

Precision Nutrition – Bringing science into farms

Harma Berends obtained an MSc Animal Sciences from Wageningen University. She continued her studies at Wageningen University as a PhD scholar in calf nutrition and physiology, studying nutrient utilization, metabolism, interactions between milk replacer and solid feeds, rumen development, feed preferences and passage kinetics.

From 2013 to 2018, she worked as a research scientist at Trouw Nutrition R&D with a focus on the development and formulation of milk replacers and starters for young dairy calves. She has contributed to numerous scientific and technical publications and international conferences over the last 10 years. In 2018 Harma joined Royal Agrifirm Group as R&D manager ruminants, contributing to relevant and measurable value creation for farmers.


Dr. Peter Sanftleben

Fokussing on Calves diarrhea – Do we have the right tools at hand?

Dr. Peter Sanftleben studied animal production at the University of Rostock where he graduated to Dr. agr. (animal breeding) in 1994. After scientific assistance at the University of Rostock from 1991 to 1993 he entered the Research Centre for Agriculture and Fishing Industry in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (LFA MV) as a scientific assistant in 1993 where he became the head of the subject area milk production at the institute for animal production of LFA MV in 2002.

In November 2005 Dr. Sanftleben took over the leadership of the institute for animal production at the LFA MV and since 2012 he is the head of this research centre. From April 2014 to December 2016 Dr. Sanftleben was also state secretary at the ministry for agriculture, environment and consumer protection in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.


Prof. Dr. Richard Ducatelle

All calves suffer from food allergy. How can we avoid it?

In 1978 Richard Ducatelle graduated as a veterinarian from Ghent University in Belgium where he also obtained the PhD in veterinary pathology in 1983. From 1985 to 1989 Richard Ducatelle worked as a scientific advisor for the Belgian government, and since 1989 he holds a professorship in veterinary pathology at Ghent University. He is also a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Pathologists and of Poultry Veterinary Science.

Since 1991 Mr Ducatelle is the president of WVPA Belgian branch, and formerly he had been the president of the European Society of Veterinary Pathology. Furthermore, he is a member of the board of directors at Ghent University. Regarding scientific publications Richard Ducatelle is the author or co-author of more than 650 scientific publications listed in the web of science and more than 400 abstracts in proceedings of international congresses.

He was invited as a speaker to more than 100 national and international congresses and invented more than 10 patents. His research interest mainly focusses on gastro-intestinal health with a focus on poultry, calves and pigs. Mr Ducatelle was the mentor of more than 20 PhD theses in this field of research.


Charlotte Rothert

From necessary evel to competitive advantage – How to understand, develop and keep employees.

Charlotte Rothert worked in a veterinary practice for a year after graduating from high school. After an appointment on a modern large dairy farm, she followed a 4-week internship and then completed her agricultural training on that farm. Here she also completed various courses and further trainings in dairy management.

After completing her apprenticeship, she started as a herdswoman and later as a herdsmanager at Eider Milch GbR. Together with the farm owner and the team, they increased the performance from 9,500 kg to 12,500 kg using fixed systems and structures, as well as modern, non-agricultural management strategies. In addition, the number of cell counts, first calving age and rearing losses could be massively reduced. At the beginning of 2017 she went into business for herself, at the request of several farmers. She now advises approx. 30 farms with between 300 and 3.000 cows across Germany and Luxembourg with a focus on work organization, communication and employee management. In order to advance companies more broadly, she founded the company Galaxis in summer 2019. A multilingual online training and education platform for dairy farmers and their employees.


Dr. Jodi Wallace

Zero Zero Calf Care – zero treatments, zero loss

Dr. Wallace grew up on a dairy farm in Herdman, Quebec, Canada. She graduated in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Guelph in 2002. Dr. Wallace began her career at the University of Cornell, Quality Milk Production Services, before going to a dairy practice in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada.

In 2004, Dr. Wallace returned home to Ormstown, Quebec, Canada, where she began her work as a veterinarian and associate owner at the Ormstown Veterinary Hospital. She completed a Masters of Veterinary Science from the University of Montreal in 2009.

In addition to everyday veterinary practice, Dr. Wallace performs calf health and milk quality consultations conferences, and seminars for dairy producers and veterinarians throughout Canada.

Dr. Wallace is also a 6th-generation dairy producer. She lives with her husband and four children on their dairy, Anderson Farms, in Howick, Quebec, Canada. Anderson Farms is focused on Zero-Zero calf health. They are also a two-time medal winner in the National Order of Agricultural Merit competition, placing in 2010 and 2015.


Prof. Dr. sc. agr. Anke Schuldt & Dr. Regina Dinse

Well-being, health and fertility – how does the drinking allowance influence calf rearing?

Professor Dr. sc. agr. Anke Schuldt

1977 – 1983
Studies of agricultural sciences at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel

1983 – 1988
Research assistant at institute for animal feed and feed stuff knowledge at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel

1988 – 1993
Consultant at Association for specialized consultancy of cattle farmers Plön e.V. 1989 Doctorate at agrcultural faculty of Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel

since 1993
Professor at University Neubrandenburg, field of expertise: animal feed and feed stuff knowledge Dr. Regina Dinse 1978 – 1986 Studies and research studies at University Rostock

Dr. Regina Dinse

1978 – 1986
Studies and research studies at  University Rostock

1986 – 1991
College teacher at agricultural engineering college Tollenseheim

Doctorate at University Rostock

since 1992
Employee at University Neubrandenburg, field of expertise: agricultural sciences and food sciences joint research project: rearing of calves and heifers

since 2010
various publications in this field (specialised articles, speeches). More


Dr. Christian Koch

Head of Department for Ruminants, Feed Production and Feeding Trials, Educational and Research Centre for Animal Husbandry, Hofgut Neumuehle, Germany

2009 – present:
Head of Department for Ruminants, Feed Production and Feeding Trials, Educational and Research Centre for Animal Husbandry, Hofgut Neumuehle
2007 – 2010:
Doctoral Thesis in Animal Nutrition at the Institute of Animal Science, University of Bonn
2002 – 2007:
Study of Agriculture at the University of Bonn
2000 – 2002:
Education as a practical farmer

Research Interests: Nutritional and metabolic programming in dairy calves Dairy calf and cow nutrition Metabolic regulation and adaptation in dairy cows in the transition period


Dr. Peter Zieger

Ruminant Technical Support and Sales Manager

As Technical Support and Sales Manager serving German-speaking countries and Hungary, Dr. Peter Zieger works to support and grow Diamond V’s ruminant business.

Dr. Zieger was born and raised in Grossostheim, Germany, on a family-run dairy farm. He studied veterinary medicine at the University of Giessen (Germany) and Ecole veterinary de Nantes (France). After completing his studies, he worked for 11 years in mixed animal veterinary practice as an associate. He then joined the animal pharmaceutical industry at Pfizer/Zoetis, staying with the company for the next 10 years. While with Pfizer/Zoetic, he held several positions, working as a Technical Manager and as National Veterinary Specialist for dairy cows.

Since 2000, Dr. Zieger has also worked as an independent dairy advisor and journalist. He is also a founding member of the innovation team Milk Hessen, a non-profit consulting organization of economists, nutritionists and architects, supporting the dairy industry. Dr. Zieger is based near Frankfurt, Germany.


Marijke Everts

VanDrie Group, Netherlands

Marijke Everts is Director Corporate Affairs of the VanDrie Group. Among other things she is responsible for all strategies which includes CSR policy, internal and external communication, representation and promotion of the veal sector, opening and maintaining of export markets.

By continuously collaborate with colleagues, stakeholders, (international) governments, clients and NGO’s Marijke stands up for the interests of all companies within the VanDrie Group.

The Dutch family business VanDrie Group is the global market leader in veal, calf skins and calf milk powder. With more than 25 companies and an annual turnover of approximately €2.2 billion, the VanDrie Group is the largest private agribusiness group in the Netherlands. It exports its high-quality products to more than 60 countries around the world.


Dr. Evi Croes

Nukamel, Netherlands

Dr. Evi Croes has received her PhD in Bio-Engineering in 2009. After a year at the Proecentrum voor Fruitteelt Dr. Croes changed to Nukamel and worked in the area of product development, technical support, evaluation of raw materials and she has setup and analysed animal trials.

Since then she participated in more than a dozen research publications. Today as R&D Manager at Nukamel, Evi Croes is building a network combining science with practice and signalling trends in young animal nutrition. She has profound knowledge on dairy ingredients and vegetable protein sources.

Striving for high quality and innovative solutions to support both growth and health of young animals is her goal. Her experience on different species (poultry – calves – piglets) made her travelling worldwide for technical support, building relationships B-to-B and creating network within animal nutrition.


Holger Kruse

Head of Marketing at Holm & Laue GmbH & Co.KG and General Manager at ECC GmbH

After his agriculture apprenticeship on dairy farms at the end of the 1980s, Holger Kruse completed his agricultural studies at the University of Applied Sciences Kiel in 1995.

He then started his career as area sales manager at Lohmann Tierzucht in Central Eastern Europe. After 7 years in the poultry industry and in international sales, he moved back to cattle and to Holm & Laue in 2002.

The focus of his work today is the marketing organization in the company and sales with his own key accounts. He is also responsible for the sales training of the distribution partners as well as further education for farmers and companies in the calf feeding and rearing branch.

Since 2018 Holger Kruse is also Managing Director of the European Calf Conference.


Jürgen Plesse

Business Development Manager, Förster Technik

Born at/in: 19.06.1959 Waren/Müritz, Germany
1976 – 1979
Training and education in cattle breeding, Köllitsch
1979 – 1981
Study „Practical trial research“, in Quedlinburg
1981 – 1985
Study „Animal breeding and crop production”, in Rostock, KMU Leipzig, MLU Halle
1981 – 1989
Head of breeding, production and software developer at AG Baasdorf, TZ-Gut Köllitsch
1989 – 2008
Head of sales, CEO and software developer at dsp-Agrosoft GmbH

Since 06/2008 Business Development Manager Agriculture consultancy Marketing/Sales Förster-Technik GmbH

Main topics:

  • Physiology of cattle growth
  • Nutrition and feeding of calves
  • Herd management
  • Automation of feeding technology esp. in calves

Bärbel Achelpöhler

Calf specialist, DairyTop

After finishing the agricultural apprenticeship Bärbel Achelpöhler studied animal production and economy in Göttingen. During her studies she worked in 1989 for 1 year in the USA on an embryo transfer station in New Jersey and a dairy with 400 cows in Illinois.

After graduating from university, she developed together with the LKV Lower Saxonya specialized consultancy for dairy farmers. In 1997 she started to work for Keenan as a nutritionist. In 2008-2009 she worked on a dairy with 2000 cows in Indiana and on a heifer facility with 22.000 cattle in Oklahoma.

Back in Germany she supported from 2010 –2013 projects from the InnovationsTeam Christiane Brandes regarding working processes and organization. During this time, she published the book “working organization on a dairy” (LV Münster/Elite).

Since 2013 she was responsible for the cows and calves on a 600-cow dairy in Lower Saxony. In May 2017 she started at Dairytop as a calf specialist.


Dirk Sötje

Area manager and project planner at Holm & Laue
Grown up and working on a dairy farm in Schleswig-Holstein 2015 Bachelor of Science at the University of Applied Sciences Kiel in the Department of Agriculture Focus on Animal Production and Business Administration 2017 Area Sales Manager for Eastern Germany at Holm & Laue. Focus on consultancy for calf health and stable construction.

Beke Ostendorf

M. Sc. Agrarwissenschaften

Beke Ostendorf grew up in the dairy-influenced region of Wesermarsch. After graduating from high school, she completed an agricultural apprenticeship before studying agricultural sciences at the Christian Albrechts University in Schleswig-Holstein.

After her bachelor's degree with a focus on livestock sciences, she travelled to New Zealand for six months and worked on various dairy farms, where she was responsible for calf rearing, among other things.

Returning to Germany, she continued her studies and recently obtained her master's degree in livestock sciences. As part of her master's thesis, Beke Ostendorf conducted a practical experiment in the field of calf feeding.