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Den 8 april öppnar en ny utställning med det tvärvetenskapliga 3MC-projektet, som leds av NordGen.

Nordic co-operation, cultural heritage, knowledge transfer and the agriculture of the future are central themes in the exhibition about Nordic mountain cattle, which opens at the Museum of Torne Valley on April 8th. The goal of the multidisciplinary 3MC project, led by NordGen, is to increase awareness about the Nordic mountain cattle breeds.

For centuries, people have kept cattle in order to survive in the harsh conditions of the North. Before the modernization of agriculture in the 20th century, the most common cattle in the northern parts of the Nordic countries were mountain cattle, which today are in focus at the newly opened exhibition at The Museum of Torne Valley. “Native breeds are part of the Finnish and Nordic cultural heritage. Preserving them for future generations is important and it is our responsibility to preserve them,” said Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland. According to Lise Lykke Steffensen, Executive Director at NordGen, the exhibition is an excellent opportunity to display the Nordic mountain cattle. “3MC is an important project for NordGen, as our goal is to increase awareness of our native breeds. Dissemination of knowledge contributes to preserving the Nordic mountain cattle for the future. At the same time, it is important to find new, sustainable ways to use native breeds.” The exhibition team includes researchers from the cross-disciplinary 3MC project and staff from the Museum of Torne Valley. Hilja Solala, history researcher in the project, is responsible for the planning of the exhibition. Cross-border co-operation is important because the Nordic native breeds are often related to each other. The Nordic mountain cattle consist of three sister breeds that most likely have a common ancestry. Native breeds are part of the Nordic cultural heritage and are needed in preserving the cultural landscape. Their landscaping properties are also important in protecting endangered biotopes. “Biodiversity loss is of great importance in both the domestic and the international discussions. Conserving native breeds is important to prevent the loss of biodiversity,” said Husu-Kallio.

Native breeds are a source of pride

In addition to national borders, the 3MC project also transcends scientific boundaries. The journey of the Nordic mountain cattle through history is viewed from perspectives such as cultural studies, history and archeology. “These fields are combined with genetic research. To be more successful in preserving our native breeds for the future, we must know their past but also understand the value of the cultural heritage associated with native breeds – both now and in the future,” says NordGen Farm Animals Section Leader Mervi Honkatukia, who also leads the multidisciplinary 3MC project. The exhibition offers the locals reasons to be proud of their cultural heritage and gives them the opportunity to use the mountain cattle in their own livelihood. Museum Director at The Museum of Torne Valley, Titta Kallio-Seppä, believes it is important that upcoming exhibitions are current, interesting and have a connection to the museum's area of activity. “The history and future of mountain cattle play an important role in the entire Torne Valley region,” said Kallio-Seppä.   Top image: Saana Ikonen