Good things happen to those who do the right thing

On the outskirts of the town of Ptuj, which is considered to be the oldest Slovenian town, more precisely in Nova vas, lies the Klemenčič Farm. Today, three generations live and work there under the leadership of Branko, the owner of the Farm.

December 08, 2020

The Farm which specializes in crop production and cattle fattening is today one of the most recognizable and successful in the region. It cultivates 163 hectares of land and has about 260 heads of cattle in the barn, but this has not always been the case.

A humble past

The owner Branko Klemenčič from Nova vas pri Ptuju points out that the beginnings were far from easy, but with hard work, effort and determination, the results came in the long run. "Everything you see today has grown from a small farm with only a few heads of livestock in the 1980s," Branko Klemenčič recalls of his humble beginnings, saying that he and his brother were put to the test as teenagers and had to find their own way in life. "With some help and support from others, who made our daily lives easier at the time, and with perseverance, stubbornness and a lot of sacrifices, we started farming," he says gratefully. And today, in this same place stands a model farm which was awarded the title "Farm of the Year 2001 of the Municipality of Ptuj" and is recognized throughout Slovenia.

Feed quality

On 163 hectares of arable land, of which 80 hectares are their own, they grow mostly classical crops - wheat and corn for feed and sell their surplus to the local Korošec mill. In their modern stables, there are 260 heads of cattle for fattening, mainly breeds of Charolais and Limousins. They produce all the food for the fatteners themselves. "Animal feed directly affects the taste and quality of the meat, so it is essential," says Branko, adding that every year they devote a lot of time to preparation - all with the aim of better self-sufficiency with quality bulky feed. All cattle are sold through a cooperative to regular customers from Italy, who appreciate Slovenian quality and are willing to pay more for it than domestic customers. "It’s nothing new, but unfortunately, many times foreigners’ value us more than we do ourselves", says Branko with disappointment.

From services to leasing

In addition to the basic activity of growing crops and raising fattening bulls, the Klemenčič family also provides agricultural services to many surrounding farmers. "When the harvest reaches its peak, the occupancy of the machines is very high, and there is never enough time with a full schedule and unpredictable weather, but we still find some for others," explains Branko. It is from the provision of services from the past that they cultivate almost half of the leased land, as they have been and are a trustworthy service provider for the owners. "I think we have always been responsive, committed and responsible to the best of our ability, so it all paid off in the long run," adds Branko.

Powerful machinery

Family connection and unity are shown during the seasonal peaks, where, in addition to the workers, the reliability and efficiency of machinery are also very important. The most modern machines on the Klemenčič Farm are a sign of quality over quantity. "We always choose all investments in machines very carefully - it means that we think carefully and twice about what we want," he explains, adding that they take into account many factors, but also have a reasonable limit. Their contact for the purchase of agricultural machinery is the family company Mehanizacija Miler, which is also an authorized representative of Farmtech. Of course, they have always known both the company as well as Farmtech products.

The king of the village

Their latest major investment was in the Durus 2000 tandem dump tipper. "Due to all the activities, the full schedule and increasingly shorter harvest times, we ran out of our own transport capacity," son Tadej justifies the purchase decision. His wife Karina, who is a big help during the harvest and mostly behind the wheel of the tractor with the Durus, jokes that the trailer is almost more noticeable than she is. "The Durus trailer is the king of the village and it stands out both in terms of appearance and quality," she says. In addition to the dump tipper, the Klemenčič family also owns a powerful Fortis 3000 three-axle push-off trailer. Due to their large loading volume, both trailers are suitable for all transport needs, especially during harvest peaks, and are mostly used for silage transport. They do not regret their decision, they just hope for a lifting front axle at the trident of the push-off trailer, which would make it easier for them to access more demanding terrain. When it comes to the size of the crates of both trailers, they would like to purchase a camera for an even better view and control.

Bright future

The Klemenčič Farm has found its way of life in farming, and this is reflected in their way of thinking and working. “Our actions speak for themselves and we do all this honestly and with heart,” they say in one voice. The purchase price of agricultural products is not what we would like, but the Klemenčič family believes that this will change sooner or later. "We cannot directly influence prices. But we do know that the costs necessary for farming are unfortunately constantly rising," they added. The owner is also aware that the survival of such a farm requires even greater productivity and sees potential in the future, but remains realistic. "I have achieved my goal, and the successors will decide on expanding it", he concludes. In his mind is his son Tadej with his family, who are just around the corner from taking over the farm, so there is no fear for the future.