Beef is ON

Meet our new Beef Manager Maiju Pesonen, whose office is in VikingGenetics Finland. She sees huge potential for beef semen around the world and is excited about her new role. Pesonen also shares her view about how genomic evaluation can make breeding decisions even more accurate, and why sexed semen is so important to complement this strategy.
Maiju Pesonen is the new Beef Breeding Manager in VikingGenetics with her office in VikingGenetics Finland. 
“It is estimated that the use of beef on dairy cows will be more than double in two years. Therefore, we need to have the knowledge and skills to choose the best suitable beef genetics”.

Maiju Pesonen, Beef Manager, VikingGenetics
What does a Beef Manager do?
My main responsibility is to find the best genetics to be used for the ‘Beef on dairy’ programme. Which beef bulls will provide for easy calving and fast-growth progeny that brings value for everyone in the production chain.
What prompted you to apply for the position?
I’ve always felt that the basis of healthy, sustainable animal production is to use the right genetics. Now, I can be a significant part of this within a great team.
What did you do before you became the Beef Manager at VikingGenetics?
I have a strong background in research. I was a beef researcher at the Natural Resources Institute in Finland for almost 10 years. My main responsibility was in the beef breeds, conducting different kinds of research projects which involved beef breeds and their crosses, from feeding experiments to literature surveys. My last task was to help develop a carbon neutral bovine chain for one of the biggest slaughterhouses in Finland.
How do you feel about your new role? Why are you excited about taking this on?
Everything is exciting! I think there are lots of opportunities in this position. There is also a great responsibility in the fact that many factors rely on the decisions you make as a Beef Manager.
What is the potential of beef semen in the world?
There is a huge potential for beef semen in the future. The sexed semen technologies and genomic evaluation have changed the way dairy breeders choose the Artificial Insemination (AI) sires. Genomic evaluations have made the breeding evaluations more accurate for even the young animals. The best dairy cows are chosen to be the base of the next generation dairy herd and how the rest of the beef semen is used. It is estimated that the use of beef on dairy cows will be more than double in two years. Therefore, we need to have the knowledge and skills to choose the best suitable beef genetics.
What do you do outside of work?
There are seven of us in our family. Five children, of whom two already live by themselves. My husband and I have an Angus breeding herd. One of my favourite things to do is search for the perfect black cow and the genetics to achieve this.
What are some of your passions?
I like to run early in the mor­ning when it is still quiet. I’ve also been horseback riding almost all my life.

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