Skip to main content

Herd of the Year Finland - Kotirinne Farm

They won due to their good production level, enthusiasm for breeding and participation in the VikingGenetics breeding programme.

The VikingGenetics Herd of the Year 2021 farm in Finland is the Kotirinne farm in Sysmä, owned by Miina Kuusimo-Rinne and Pasi Rinne. They won due to their good production level, enthusiasm for breeding and animals provided for the VikingGenetics breeding programs. Their enthusiasm for breeding is manifested through numerous embryo flushes and embryo transfers. The farm serves as a recipient herd for VikingGenetics embryos.

The Kotirinne farm was passed on to Pasi from his parents in 1990. His parents originally had 12 cows, but soon Pasi bought a neighboring farm that could hold 22 milking cows. In 1998, Miina joined Pasi on the farm, and together the couple began to expand the farm. A new barn was built in 1999 and then in 2009 it was extended to its current size. The farm has a total of 120 hectares of land.

Miina and Pasi have 120 milking cows and 60 heifers in their barn. Most of the herd is VikingRed, but the goal is to have approximately half VikingHolstein and half VikingRed. They also have one VikingJersey cow in the barn. Miina’s favorite breed is VikingHolstein. She feels that they are nice and calm, they have good yield and are just as healthy as their VikingReds.

VikingRed cow

Longevity is one of the main goals

Miina and Pasi do not want to overcomplicate the feeding; they want to keep it simple and easy. All the fields are used to grow grass, which is used to make pre-dried silage. In addition, the animals are provided with concentrate feed and minerals. Salt stones are always available. The same concentrate feed is used on all animals, and it is just the amount that varies as needed. The couple places great importance on the quality of the feed.

The cows are milked at fishbone milking station for 16 cows. The 305-day average production is 10,048 kg of milk, with 447 kg of fat and 356 kg of protein. The fat percentage is 4.45 and the protein percentage is 3.54.

Longevity is pursued not only in terms of production, but also through udder health and conformation. In udder conformation, Miina and Pasi pay special attention to the shape of the udder. When the shape is initially good, the udder lasts longer in milking without difficulties when the cow ages and the yield increases. Good temperament is also a focus point for Miina and Pasi: they want calm co-workers for everyday life in the barn.

VikingGenetics Herd of the Year Finland

Genomic testing and embryos as breeding tools

All born heifer calves are genomically tested. Miina states: “The genomic values taken from calves accurately predict the animal’s future performance.” They prepare a breeding plan for their herd three times a year. Doses of selected sires are ordered by home delivery to their own tank, but inseminations are done by an AI technician.

In the beginning, Miina and Pasi bought embryos, but in 2016 the first embryo flush was performed on the farm. The embryos were flushed from a cow called Immigrant, who the couple had bought as an embryo from VikingGenetics. Immigrant's embryos have resulted in many offspring at Kotirinne farm. A bull called VH Oonsun has also been bought for the VikingGenetics breeding program from Immigrant’s embryo flushes.

Since 2016, they have done embryo flushes regularly - a total of 18 flushes over five years. The results have been excellent, with as many as 10.5 transferable embryos per flush. They do a few flushes a year. Some of the embryo flushes are done as contracted flushes with VikingGenetics and some are done just for themselves. There are plenty of embryo transfers because the farm is part of VikingGenetics’ embryo recipient agreement, where at least 40 embryos produced at the Hollola heifer station are transferred to Kotirinne herd.

“Breeding, embryo flushes and embryo transfers are like opening Christmas presents”, says Miina, who continues: “We like doing embryo flushes – they give us energy! Our own flushes are not a burden, on the contrary, they give us energy for running the farm.” The couple are always excited to get the results of the genomic tests and choose the best females for the embryo flushes. Then comes the waiting for the flush results – how many pregnancies they got, are the offspring male or female, and will VikingGenetics buy some of the calves born for the breeding programs.

VikingGenetics Herd of the Year Finland

New sires from the farm

One of the finest moments at Kotirinne farm was when VikingGenetics bought two bulls on the same day - VH Bellino and VR Bean. Another golden memory is of an embryo flushing, in which two different VikingRed sires were used and VikingGenetics bought one offspring of each used bull. The bulls were VR Allez and VR Forza.

Miina and Pasi manage the farm alone, and they do not have any employees. For them, managing and running the farm is a way of life and a hobby, and there is little time left for anything else. Close to Miina’s heart is taking care of their beautiful garden. There are seven children in the family, who take part in fieldwork during busy summers, among other things. The breeding work they do is so important to them that they felt very honored to receive the VikingGenetics Herd of the Year 2021 award.



  • Farm: Kotirinne farm, Sysmä, Finland
  • Owners: Miina Kuusimo-Rinne and Pasi Rinne
  • Herd: 120 milking cows with 60 young cattle
  • Average: 10,048 kg of milk, 4.45 % fat and 3.54 % protein
  • Size: 120 hectares of fields
VikingGenetics Herd of the Year Finland

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest farm stories to your email