We congratulate Charlotte Andersson who accomplished 40 years working for VikingGenetics 

Charlotte Andersson has witnessed the advances that cattle breeding has reached through 40 years of working to develop the Scandinavian breeding program that aims for a balance between production and health. 
In March, Charlotte Andersson who is our Swedish national responsible for the Jersey breed, run the genomic testing programme on females and Embryo Transfer project, completed 40 years working for VikingGenetics.
Charlotte was a farmer and milked cows for 20 years. She has seen and learnt a lot from farmers, colleagues, cows, and bulls during the time she has been on farms working with dairy and beef cattle  breeding in Sweden. She loves farming and cows and her long and successful career began when she was 20 years old. She started working in breeding literally by accident, since she was covering a sick-license to a friend that worked in SeminAvel, later Svensk Avel, which became VikingGenetics when merged in 2008 with Denmark and included Finland in 2010.

When she started working in the breeding department at SeminAvel in 1978, the time of genomic selection was far away. The team strived already then every day for the best bulls in the country to offer farmers the best possible genetics for their breeding goal. 
“I always liked to be with farmers and that was a big advantage. By the time I started in SeminAvel, I had the task to evaluate the bull dams of a potential calf or the daughters of a bull. I accomplished this work by milking these cows in the afternoon and in the morning to make an accurate evaluation of them. In practice, it meant that I had to stay overnight on many different farms in Sweden. It was a lot of long and enriched talks with farmers and their families”, she remembers from the time she was visiting dairies in Sweden. 

Charlotte is a person everybody likes to have as a colleague; she is a positive person with a lot of experience. Charlotte is very proud to be a part of the team that focus on finding the bulls that breed productive and healthy cows, having the Nordic Total Merit (NTM) as the breeding goal to enhance success for the farmers. She says the journey to be the leaders in providing the best genetics to the dairy business is not easy, it takes time, focus and effort but it has been worth it 

“When I started to work, our cows produced 5,500 kg milk, now we are on an average closer to the 10,000 kg milk. Besides the fact that we have improved health traits in an incredible way; our current level of hoof health is something really to admire and to be proud of”, she says. All these goals have been achieved thanks to a very active dairy industry that believed from the beginning in the importance to register the performance of their cows on an individual level.  

The journey the cattle breeding in Sweden has undergone is to a high degree incredible in Charlotte's eyes, “just to think about how clean the stables are now compared to 40 years ago, it’s just incredible. There is a big difference when you see how the cows are treated, the overall welfare of our animals is a huge step we have achieved”, she continues and explains that cows in Sweden are on pasture from May to October. “The Nordic countries have the highest milk production and at the same time they are also the healthiest cows in the world”, she says. 

Charlotte is also representing the labour union and has a sincere answer when asked about what has been the best with working in this business. She said the colleagues she has had and has now are her most important asset. ”To have the opportunity to be part of the development of cattle breeding with an amazing team of people; and also to witness most of the process that leads to an excellent breeding programme in the Nordic countries”, she emphasizes. Charlotte believes in teamwork and fair conditions at the workplace. All this she found through a long career at VikingGenetics where she can continue sharing her passion for breeding for many more years to come.

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