jersey cattle society
Jersey Cattle Society
of the United Kingdom
The Studio @ The Mill
Mill Lane
Little Shrewley
Warwickshire CV35 7HN
General Enquiries T: 01926 484035
Cattle Registrations T: 01923 695203


1st August 2019

The 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.

The Society is always looking for new and innovative ways of achieving this.

In the field of genetics, the Society has been assisting with the steady inexorable uptake of genomic testing and the selection of sires and potential bull mothers.

In 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.

In 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.

By 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, and Finland.

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.

Your 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.

During 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

The 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 male offspring.

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.

Further 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 breeding collaboration.

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 Jerseys),
Peter Larson (Viking Genetics Senior Breeding Manager) & Steven Bland (JCS Finance Director)

L-R: John Whitby (JCS Chairman), Bent Oleson (Chairman, Danish Jerseys), Ole Sorenson (Vice Chairman, Danish Jerseys),
Peter Larson (Viking Genetics Senior Breeding Manager) & Steven Bland (JCS Finance Director)

The 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 Officer.

John Whitby
The Jersey Cattle Society of the UK


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