How can we ensure sustainable cattle production systems for future generations?

Bertebos Prize conference

Ruminant’s production offers many benefits to society, but they do also provide difficult environmental challenges. Ruminants produce, for example, high quality food from low quality feed, but are at the same time a major source of greenhouse gases. Yet, grazing ruminants with their four stomach compartments help preserve pastoral landscapes, preserve biodiversity, conserve quality of soil and offer aesthetic values. Cows (catttle), sheep and goats are all ruminants, but during this conference we will focus on cattle since they are the dominant ruminant on the planet.

There is no easy way of meeting the growing demand for food and animal products while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and environmentally friendly impacts of livestock production. Science must contribute to providing answers to questions like these: Can the efficiency of ruminant production systems be improved? Are there more environmentally friendly ways of raising ruminant livestock? If so, what tools do we need? Can we reduce greenhouse gas emissions from meat and milk production?

The increasing demand for meat and milk will continue to force agriculture to lower its environmental footprint. Today’s farmers need to plan for the future. This conference will help provide information to enable farmers, researchers, policy makers and consumer organizations to deal with these complex issues now and in the future.


Sunday September 9
18.00 Bertebos Foundation Welcome dinner
Per Stenström, Bertebos Foundation
Ruminants role for biodiversity and beauty of the landscape
Causerie during the dinner by
Stefan Edman, The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA)
Monday September 10
Different aspects at animal and food production level
Moderator: Margareta Emanuelson, SLU
9.00–9.10 Welcome
Bo Andersson, The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA)
9.10–10.10 Greenhouse gases and animal agriculture – finding a balance between food and emissions
Karen Beauchemin, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre
10.15–10.40 Coffee break
10.40–11.20 Influence of ruminant livestock on the land
Henry Jansen, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre
11.30–12.00 Discussion
12.00– 13.15 Lunch
13.15–13.45 Mitigation strategies in dairy production
Theun Vellinga, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands
13.45– 14.30 Different feeding strategies mean different emissions from land use
Christel Cederberg, SIK and Chalmers, Gothenburg
14.30– 15.00 Discussion
15.00–15.30 Coffee
15.30–16.00 Should we change the cow’s genes or the genes of the rumen microbes?
Jan Bertilsson and Helen Hansen-Axelson, SLU, Uppsala
16.00–16.30 Risks and opportunities for the cattle sector arising from the increasing global demand for livestock products
Maggie Gill, University of Aberdeen, UK
16.30–17.00 Climate tax on food – an effective policy instrument?
Fredrik Hedenus, Chalmers, Gothenburg
17.00–17.30 Discussion
19.00 Reception dinner hosted by KSLA
Bo Andersson, KSLA
Tuesday September 11
From farm to fork
Moderator: Peter Sylwan, Munka Ljungby
08.00 Excursion to Bertebos enterprises
Per Stenström, Bertebos Foundation
11.30–12.30 Lunch
12.30–13.00 Greppa Näringen – how does the advisory service deal with the climate issue?
Anna Hagerberg, Swedish Board of Agriculture
13.00–13.40 Environmentally friendly dairy businesses from a farmers perspective
Åke Hantoft, Arla Foods
13.40–14.15 The cattle production’s environmental effects – a wholesaler’s view on consumer behavior
Calle Ramvall, North Trade AB
14.15–15.00 Summing up by the organizer and a politiciants view
Bengt-Anders Johansson, Vice President of Environment and Agriculture Committee representing the Moderate party. 
15.00 Coffee and departure  

A background to the Bertebos prize conference

The Bertebos Prize was instituted in 1996 by Brita and Olof Stenström as a means of promoting education and research in the food chain. The prize consists of two parts, a diploma and 300,000 Swedish kronor, which are awarded in January every second year, followed by a two-day conference in Falkenberg in the following year. The award-winner plans the conference in collaboration with the Academy and opens the conference with a plenary lecture.

In 2011 the Bertebos Prize was awarded to Professor Karen Beauchemin, Alberta, Canada, for her pioneering research into reducing the environmental impact of ruminant animals without having a negative impact on productivity and animal husbandry.
Karen Beauchemin leads a broad research programme, the aim of which is, by means of advancing knowledge on ruminant nutrition, to reduce the environmental impact of these animals without having a negative impact on animal husbandry. Her research shows that by choosing the right quality and composition of the fodder it is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions considerably and simultaneously to improve the health of the livestock and the production. For more information please visit

Previous winners of the Bertebos Prize

2009 to Dr. Joachim von Braun, Washington DC, USA, for his outstanding work in development economics and as effective head of several development research institutions focusing on food, agriculture and rural poverty.

2007 to Professor Ingo Potrykus, Magden, Switzerland, who has been a leading scientist in the development of methods for DNA transformation in plants.

to Professor Piotr Kowalik, Gdánsk, Poland, for outstanding multidisciplinary research in water dynamics in agriculture and forestry.

to Professor Erik Steen Jensen, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (KVL, now the Life Faculty of Copenhagen University ), Denmark, for his research on plant production, soil biology and environment, especially in organic farming systems,  and to Prof. John R. Porter, The Royal Veterinary and Landbohöjskole (KVL), Denmark, for his research for better understanding of the relationship between crops and their environment.

2001 to Professor Donald Grierson, University of Nottingham, England, for his groundbreaking research to better understand the plants’ maturity course.

to Professor Wolfgang Witte, Robert Koch Institut, Wernigerode, Germany, for pioneering, scientific tracing of risks for animal and human health as well as for the environment associated with the use of antibiotic feed additives.

to Professor Christopher Polge, Cambridge, England, for his exceptional scientific contribution to the methods within animal reproduction.


Room reservation at the hotel where the conference is held will be made by the attendee to or +46 346-71 49 00.

When making a reservation give the code “KSLA” to get the Academy’s corporate rate. (single room from SEK 1 290 + VAT, double room from SEK 1 470 + VAT). Prices include breakfast, tax and service charges. Accommodation cost is paid to the hotel by the attendee. Cancellation of hotel bookings must be made to the hotel not later than 15 July 2012. Late cancellation is charged according to hotel regulations.

PLEASE NOTE that no other way to make hotel reservation is accepted. Neither the Academy nor the Bertebos Foundation is responsible for hotel bookings, cancellations or payments.

For hotel information and map, see the hotel’s website

Other options as hostels are available upon request.
Skrea camping

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