breeders behind viking sires - VR Viljar & Kati and Ari Luukkonen

VR Viljar is an ET sire from Kuusela farm in Finland

Kati and Ari Luukkonen are young dairy breeders from the Northeastern part of Finland. The family consists of three kids, Hanna-Kaisa (8) and the twins Melissa and Arttu (6½). Kati has a twin sister Anna-Stina, also a successful dairy farmer with her husband Matti. The girls have the spirit of breeding from their mother Malla. They were pioneers for Junior Handling with good success, also internationally. After finishing school, both sisters went to agricultural college and found husbands with dairy farms.
When Kati started the farm with her husband Ari, there were 13 dairy cows with average production of 6000 kg milk. Embryos have always an important role in developing the herd. One example of this work is the cow Nelli (s. Etroni), who was bought as a heifer to Kuusela and was flushed with good success. There are descendants of her at home farm as well as in sisters’ and brothers’ barns. Today, Nelli has milked a total of almost 140,000 kg milk with 4.1% fat and 3.5% protein, best lactation 11,600 kg milk, 3.9% fat and 3.5% protein. She is still alive and has calved 13 times. The daughter Unilaulu (s. Peterslund) is the dam of VR Vimpula (sired by Valpas),who was one of the most popular genomic sires at home market some years ago. Unilaulu’s lifetime production is more than 70,000 kg milk, best lactation 13,400 kg milk with components 4.4% fat and 3.6% protein.
VR Viljar gNTM +28

The dam of VR Viljar, Luckykymppi, sired by lately progeny proven VR Niki, was bought as an embryo to Kuusela farm. She is out of the famous Lakiala cow family owned by Sakari Oksanen, where VR Uudin originates. The Kymppi family (“Kymppi” means 10) cows have had lots of success. The MGD of Viljar is Isokymppi, VR Uudin’s sister, who was sold to ASMO nucleus herd where she was flushed several times. 
The dam of VR Viljar, Asmo Luckykymppi
The dam of VR Viljar, Asmo Luckykymppi was flushed twice with VG contract as heifer at Kuusela, first with VR Lazer and then with VR Vimur, the latter producing VR Viljar. There are also good genomically tested heifers out of these flushes growing at the farm. The dam of VR Viljar is an invisible cow. She is an active cow with good appetite. The first lactation was not on top in production even though with great components 5.0 fat and 4.1 protein. Now we know the reason: she had twins earlier this year. After second calving, she has started with 50 kg daily production.

VR Viljar has a very balanced proof. He is high in components, good in female fertility and excellent in udder health. Also the type proofs are strong with good height and optimal body coordinates, great feet and legs and remarkable udder. Viljar has travelled to Denmark to produce X-Vik semen earlier this year.
 The goal 

Kati (in the middle of the picture below) favours easy going cows, she does not want to spend 100% of her time in the barn but to have other activities as well. She has been an active, elected person in the local Cattle Club as well as in ProAgria dairy committee.
In sire selection, Kati pays attention to production and components as well, type needs to be ok. She has used a lot of embryos, sometimes half of the pregnancies have been ET. Today only high index females will be bred by the sire of their own breed, others will be serviced by beef breed if they are not used as embryo recipients. “Breeding is a part of developing the resourses of a dairy farm”, Kati says. It also gives a special interest in the work.

Today there are 40 cows in the barn, half red, half Holstein, and the average production is 10,000 kg milk with 4.4% fat and 3.7% protein.

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