Farewell at Minitube Australia: Alan Smith handing over the baton to Daniel Hollingworth

Alan Smith was appointed Managing Director of Minitube Australia when it was established in July 2004. After nearly 20 years in this role, Alan is retiring and handing over the baton to new general manager Daniel Hollingworth.

 “It’s been a wonderfully satisfying journey”, says Alan.  Always passionate about animal reproduction, Alan found the innovations and cutting-edge research and development that Minitube offered a wonderful way of meeting industry needs and growing the business in Australia.  

Having distributed Minitube products for 10 years prior to Minitube expanding into the Asian region with this new base in Australia, it was a natural evolution for Alan to then join this wonderful family company.  Based in Ballarat, Victoria, Alan (and his wife Terri) had established some business in the equine and bovine sectors and were quickly introduced to the porcine AI world that Minitube had pioneered in Australia and New Zealand.

Being passionate about farming, animal breeding and business development made it enjoyable work for Alan and has led to many lasting friendships with customers and colleagues that will endure long after he leaves the day-to-day affairs of running Minitube Australia.

During prolonged and severe droughts in the mid 2000’s, Alan worked closely with our cattle and sheep producers to sustain and support their efforts. Minitube became the ‘go-to’ company for animal reproduction products and services in Australia. The canine AI world in Australia boosted Minitube’s sales and reputation post-drought as farmers and vets sought assistance to breed highly valued cattle and sheep dogs, as well as the popular show dogs.  

Alan soon saw a need for AI & ET training for vets with little or no reproduction education in their university years so branched out into education with short-courses in most species. Universities also reached out to Alan to conduct in-house training with hands-on and technical advice. These courses provided an invaluable opportunity to connect to and forge relationships with vets around Australia & New Zealand.

Over the years Alan travelled widely, both to all species conferences around Australia and NZ, but also international conferences like EuroTier and of course to Minitube Germany to catch up on the latest developments and technologies. Alan was a socially active participant at conferences and seminars, enjoying the journey all the way. He developed a liking for Weiss Beer when in Bavaria, where the Minitube family always warmly welcomes team members and customers. Alan says he will miss this, but knows he is always welcome to visit again.

He also extends his ongoing friendship to any visitors who might come to Australia. Alan will remain active in the animal health industry with interests in a new country vet practice and a farm supplies and animal feed store in the small town of Smythesdale very close to the Minitube Australia base. I’m sure he will pop in when mutual friends visit, or when the tops are taken off a beer or two on ‘frothy Fridays’ after a long, hot, or successful week at Minitube!

His successor Daniel Hollingworth is very excited to have been given the opportunity to continue the great work Alan has done for assisted reproduction within Australia and New Zealand over the last 20 years, continuing to provide the same top tier products and customer service that he enjoyed as a Minitube customer.

His background is in the porcine industry, his affiliation with pigs started at a young age, at home in England, where his parents had a 200-sow free-range piggery. Eventually the piggery was sold, and he moved on to university to study accounting and finance.

He couldn’t stay away from pigs however and after a short time in a management role at a transport business he found himself on the way to Australia in 2010, taking up a management position on a 3,000-sow breeder unit in Western Qld. After living in Qld for almost 2 years, he was offered the opportunity to move to Victoria and run a 2,500-sow free-range piggery, which, over the next 6-years grew to a size of 5,000 sows across multiple sites.

“After 10 years with the business I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to join the Minitube team”, Daniel stated. “The protein market in Australia and New Zealand continues to enjoy record highs, bolstered by consumer confidence as normality returns to all of our lives following a tough 2-years of COVID restrictions, the team here at Minitube Australia are fantastic to work with and I couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome, meeting my colleagues from across the globe has reaffirmed to me how dedicated Minitube is to providing top quality products and service to the assisted reproduction industry.

Daniel looks forward to broadening his knowledge of reproduction in all species while working for Minitube for many years to come.

Farewell at Minitube Australia: Alan Smith handing over the baton to Daniel Hollingworth