||JERSEY CATTLE SOCIETY OF THE UK & VIKING GENETICS
A NEW COLLABORATION
1st August 2019
Board of the Jersey Cattle Society of the UK has, as one of its many duties,
the promotion of the Jersey cow. The Board not only seeks to preserve the
purity of the breed but also looks at ways to improve the genetic merit of
the Jersey’s in the UK.
Society is always looking for new and innovative ways of achieving this.
the field of genetics, the Society has been assisting with the steady
inexorable uptake of genomic testing and the selection of sires and potential
years gone by the Society had a mutually beneficial arrangement with Cogent
Breeding to source animals from UK breeding stock bulls, the semen from which could
be promoted in the UK and Foreign markets. However, this arrangement came
to an end in 2017.
line with our declared aim to be progressive and forward looking the Society’s
Board was pleased to receive a presentation from Peter Larson, Breeding manager
at Viking Genetics in June 2018. He outlined an equally advantageous plan
to source bulls and bull mothers from herds in this country, with funding
and incentives provided by them to our Jersey breeders. It was clear that the
arrangement presented an exciting prospect enabling UK breeders’ new
opportunities whilst also contributing to the expansion of the diversity of the
available gene pool in both Scandinavia and the UK. Peter explained that a
similar fledgling agreement was in place in France.
way of background a study of their website shows Viking Genetics are a
Scandinavian company formed in the 1980’s and are now one of the largest AI-companies in the world owned by 20,000 farmers in Denmark, Sweden,
Viking Genetics use the newest techniques in their specialist Jersey
breeding program which provides Jersey genetics to individual farmers and
selects a number of Jersey bulls to enter in to the breeding programme each
year. They have bull studs in Denmark.
The goal for Viking Genetics is to provide dairy
farmers around the world with genetics that provide a balance between
production and health, to ensure a successful future for dairy businesses.
This means "breeding for what truly matters", a healthy,
high-producing cow, the invisible cow that makes daily life as a
dairy producer as easy as possible.
Board immediately saw merit in the proposal and so began a long careful process
of negotiation between the two parties. I am pleased to say these talks were
always held in good and positive spirit.
our negotiations a small group from the Board met our counterparts in
Denmark in January with this visit being reciprocated in May at the Jersey
Pavilion at Stoneleigh. Furthermore, the Society engaged legal
experts to advise on contractual matters at every stage with this cost
partly funded by Viking genetics
key parts of the agreement is that the Jersey Society Cattle Society of
the UK & Viking Genetics would work together to identify animals on farms
in this country who might have potential to enter into the Viking Breeding
Programme. The UK breeder would enter into a contract for the bull to go
forward into a defined screening and selection process with a high weighting on
genomic test results. Upon successful selection into the breeding
programme the bull would be purchased by Viking Genetics and the breeder well remunerated. There are similar contractual arrangements
for Jerseys Breeders for ET flushes from selected females and the resultant
It was agreed the Society would receive no commission or income from the above
contracts, acting purely as the conduit to enable our members (breeders) to
have the access to this breeding programme.
to the above, and more of a long-term return, the Society would see a 2%
royalty from the total of the semen sales on the bulls derived from the
This agreement is a truly collaborative and mutually beneficial arrangement
that will be available to ALL members. You do not need to be a show herd but
could just have animals that might be possess the potential to enhance the
genetic base in the Viking system. Please be assured that whilst this
exemplary collaborative agreement is mutually exclusive, your Society will
maintain dialogue with all other breeding companies and semen sellers worldwide
as we continue on our mission to be as inclusive as possible and offer
opportunity and support to all members. We also expect that this unique
opportunity might encourage some more sceptical Jersey breeders who have
slipped away from positive engagement with our Society that we now
additionally have something uniquely positive to offer.
L-R: John Whitby (JCS Chairman),
Bent Oleson (Chairman, Danish Jerseys), Ole Sorenson (Vice Chairman, Danish
Peter Larson (Viking Genetics Senior Breeding Manager) & Steven
Bland (JCS Finance Director)
next steps will involve some staff training days, again funded by Viking
Genetics, but in the meantime if you think you have animals that may fit the
criteria please contact Emma at national office or Becky our Field Services
The Jersey Cattle
Society of the UK