HomeFarm AnimalsNew big project will increase the knowledge of Nordic cattle breeds

New big project will increase the knowledge of Nordic cattle breeds

Date: 04.10.2019 Author: Sara Landqvist Category: Farm Animals
Northern Finncattle

Northern Finncattle is one of the cattle breeds targeted in the project.

NordGen has, along with several different partners, been given means to collect and distribute knowledge of Northern mountain cattle breeds in Finland, Norway and Sweden. Local entrepreneurs are key actors in the project. The purpose is, among other things, to increase the understanding of the connection between our cultural history and these animals. Also, a game application for education purposes will be developed to highlight the importance of preserving animal genetic resources.

Northern finncattle, Norwegian Sidet Trønderfe and Nordlandsfe as well as Swedish mountain cattle are three breeds that traditionally have played a very important part in the agriculture in the northern parts of Finland, Norway and Sweden. These animals are in general very patient, kind and somewhat smaller than commercial breeds which means that are able to survive with poor quality feed found in the north. They also carry a wider genetic variety which might be important when it comes to our future food production. However, all of these breeds have been in the risk of extinction.

“In order to save the Northern mountain cattle breeds, we need to distribute the knowledge about them. For hundreds of years, these animals have been part of every-day life in the northern parts of the Nordic region. But younger generations have often not been in contact with them at all. With this project we want to change that”, says Mervi Honkatukia, Section Leader at NordGen Farm Animals.

Different work packages

The project, which will commence in January, includes several different work packages. In all of them local entrepreneurs are important actors. Among other things, DNA and archaeological examinations will determine how closely related the different breeds are. Different networks with participants familiar with the cultural history of the area will be established, as well as networks with people keeping the cattle breeds. Local Information is to be collected by going through archives, performing interviews, writing competitions and exhibitions. Once gathered and consolidated, the information will be made available for everyone interested, for example through an art vernissage, education packages for schools and museum exhibitions.

” I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to secure funding for this project. It will lead to new knowledge about an important part of the Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish cultural history. We also hope that the project might lead to new ideas regarding how the Northern mountain cattle breeds can be used in tourism. If these animals are to exist also in the future, it’s important to create incentives to keep them” says Mervi Honkatukia.

The duration of the project is from the 1st of January 2020 to the 30th of September 2022. It is financed by Interreg Nord together with Lapin liitto and Region Norrbotten and has a budget of about 950  000 Euros. NordGen’s partners in the project are Ahlman Vocational College (Finland), Luke (Finland), University of Southern Denmark; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and artist Anu Osva.

Mervi Honkatukia
Section Leader NordGen Farm Animals
+47 40 72 94 78