A transparent family business
A fur breeder enjoys life in the countryside! I have never even considered moving. I enjoy the early morning moments – the morning dew disappears as the sun rises; the fur farm wakes peacefully to a new day. My life is here. I have a job I enjoy, and it feeds my family. I continue the work on a farm my grandfather once started. It feels important to cherish the valuable tradition. I am part of a long chain of generations. I am lucky that I don’t have to move away from my place of birth to find work. I also hope that the youth in my family is interested in fur breeding, so that there is somebody to continue my work. They follow my work already and every summer they have a certain summer job. Even younger members can help with lighter tasks, depending on their interests and age. Fur farming is a family business at its best.
Animals set the pace
Animals set the pace, not the watch
We don’t really need a watch, or a calendar and we don’t have 8-16 workdays. We care for the animals on every single day, be it a workday or a bank holiday, according to the animals’ own pace. The workday ends when all the tasks on the farm have been taken care of. We have busy times when we work from the early morning until late in the evening. And there are times when the pace is a bit calmer.
The experience and knowledge move from one generation to the next. I knew at an early stage that I want to continue my father’s and grandfather’s work. They got me started by teaching me the basics, then I have gotten the necessary education for this field of work. Although fur farming has long traditions the branch is still constantly developing. Earlier the animals were fed manually, taking a wheelbarrow with feed into the shadow house and distributing the feed for the animals. Water bowls were filled manually from a hose. Today these tasks are easier to do with the help of feeding trucks and water dispensers. Despite of this the work is still physically demanding.
does not change
One thing hasn’t changed over time – the animals’ welfare is still the cornerstone of our work. Without it there is nothing! The animals are treated gently and with respect.
Near nature with the animals
The biggest motivator in my work is the freedom. Of course, the everyday life of an entrepreneur can also be demanding and challenging. Laws and regulations need to be followed, and they are aimed to ensure the animals’ welfare and the quality of operations. Fur breeding is tightly regulated in Finland.
The branch is cyclical by nature and the entrepreneur needs to adapt to seasonality. The work on the fur farm is measured on fur auctions four times per year. That is when buyers define the price for the pelts, and a part of that price is the fur breeders pay. There are a lot of expenses during the breeding period and the breeder will get the financial compensation much later.
I enjoy it when I can work outside, near nature and with animals. It is a privilege to build and develop my own business. My work is here, and I don’t need to move away from my place of birth in search of work. I have the chance to manage my work independently. Breeding is the most interesting part: I can follow the development, the effect of the feed and the animals’ welfare. I can choose the best breeding animals, which will result in healthy pups and high-quality fur. I can be proud of my work when I know the animals are healthy, the fur farm is neat, and the furs are of high standard.
Would it fascinate you to work with fur animals?
The education of the field is focused in Ostrobothnia, which is the heartland for the branch. Education is available in both official languages for beginners as well as for more experienced fur breeders. The countryside college in Kannus is the only place in Europe to offer school type education of fur farming for young people wishing to become fur breeders. It is also possible to learn by apprenticeship. An experienced breeder can take the 20 credits course for Specialist qualification in fur breeding. Different specialized educational courses are also arranged.