Us entrepreneurs Veera Jokinen and Markku Antila want to welcome you to a virtual presentation of our family farm located in rural Nokia, Finland! The history of our farm is known since 1540 and it was previously owned by Veera’s parents Hilkka and Markku Jokinen – and before that Hilkka´s parents. Former owners still live by the farm and our daughter Aili (6 years) sings and dances along the barn yard if not busy with preschool. In 1970´s milking cows were replaced to beef cattle by my grandparents and in the 1990´s and early 2000´s mothering cows were introduced to the farm as well.

The farm as we know it today started to come to life in 2010´s when I and Markku Antila started building a new diagonal-floor-bedding cow shed for the mothering cows. We had 23 mothering cows at the time and some young cattle. The amount of field including rental fields was about 30 hectares. Since those times a ton of paint has been brushed to walls, dozens of weldind rods have burnt and progress has been made. Almost every year new buildings have risen or at least old barns and cowhouses have been roofed or fixed.

All of our cows give birth in spring because we want to keep our work as coheisive and consistent as possible. Calvings are being monitored and observed day and night, and the new pair of mother and calf are kept in a private pen for a few days. When everything goes smoothly mother and calf join a small group of other mother-calf pairs and they are introduced to the big herd later. At the moment we have 220 mothering cows, half of which are pure Simmental breed and half are mixed.

When cows come to heat in June-July as many cows as possible are artifically inseminated. After that time period each group have their own bull to do the rest of the work. The best cows are inseminated with pure Simmental semen to reproduce more mothering cows and good working bulls, and over 50 % of the mothers are inseminated with Y-sexted semen. The majority of calves leave the farm in October-December to grow to their final weight in another family farm. This service is provided by the slaughter house Atria we co-operate with. The best bulls stay in the farm and are sold in spring at one-year-old to work in other mothering cow farms. Some new bulls are kept to work in our farm too. Artificial insemination has been used in our farm for 15 years and it has two important benefits: best reproduction possibilities to the best mothers, and good beef calves with Y-sexted semen. Simmental was chosen to be the main breed of the farm as it produces a good amount of milk and has a good growth potential. Simmental also has a good temper which plays a big role in our farm functions.

Building stock on the farm is about to be finished by the end of this year. All cattle sheds are connected to one another via pens to make it easy to move cattle from a shed to another. Old shed from the 2010´s is the venue for calving. We have a lot of pens where you can lock the cows up from their neck to make artificil insemination and other healthcare simple. Also all sheds are provided with hiding pens for calves. Bigger cows cannot enter these areas but calves can move freely from their peat and straw beddings and free feeding areas to the company of the rest of the herd. In the new shed cows have nice and soft sand beach beds!

We are aiming to have a farm where work flows easily and functions are well thought and good for both people working there and our animals. Our farm has one worker and the good intention is that she can do all the daily work through her workday. Calving season and insemination period need obviously more hands on deck. It is important to try to reduce the workload per animal by simplifying daily tasks. As the number of our animals is growing, it enables us to have a worker in the farm and decreases the possibility of burning out under the workload. We also use contractors in many operations such as silage making, spraying the fields and harvesting.

Thank you for your attention and do not hesitate to contact us for more information!

A view of the Mattila spatial center in the 1940s. The farm’s newest production buildings have been built on the plot called “Ball field” in the foreground of the picture.
Kaarela’s estate is currently part of Uusi-Mattila’s estate. In the photo, Aakusti Jokinen is plowing a yard field in the 1930s.
The farm’s first mother cows were in the shed behind the gray barn in the 1990s. In the picture in the foreground is the bull of the herd, Emppu of the Aberdeen Angus breed Toivettula.
The farm’s first mother cows in the 1990s were crossbreeds of dairy breeds and different meat breeds, as was the custom at that time.
The red barn building visible in the background is 100 years old, it was renovated in 2015.