The distinguished Service Awards go to senior persons in acknowledgement of their outstanding career and service to the livestock in general and to EAAP (European Associations of Animal Production) in particular. Erling Fimland who recently retired from his post as leader of NordGen Farm Animals, former Nordic Gene Bank Farm Animals, has had long and successful career within animal breeding and genetic resources.
He began his professional career as Research Assistant from 1966 to 1970 at the Agricultural University of Norway (NLH) and was 1971 employed by the Breeding Organization for NRFâ€“Norwegian Red (NRF) and worked with evaluation of breeding value for cattle located at NLH. After taking his doctor's degree in 1976 in Agriculture (Farm Animal Husbandry) he became 1981 Head of division for Breeding Operations and Trials at the NRF.
Some years later (1985-1989) he was appointed and worked as Manager of the Norwegian Fur Breeders Association. During this time Fimland was Professor II at the NLH. In 1989 he got a position as Managing Director of AQUAFORSK - the institute of Aquaculture Research, a position that he kept for more than nine years.
In 1998 Erling Fimland was appointed Director of the Nordic Gene Bank Farm Animals and continued until 2007 when he took over the interim management for the Nordic Gene Bank for crops. In 2008 when Nordic Genetic Resource Center - NordGen was formed from the two organizations mentioned together with the Nordic Council for Forest Reproductive Material, Erling Fimland returned to his position as Head of the Farm Animal division.
Erling Fimland has made an invaluable contribution to Nordic Animal genetic resources with a considerate number of scientific articles, participations in committees both on the Nordic level and internationally and as opponent of numerous doctoral disputations. His research has mainly focused upon breading and quantitative genetics applied on a broad range of farm animal species as cow, sheep, fur animals and salmon. Among his many participations can be mentioned his chairmanship of a working group, appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture to prepare a national plan for the management of genetic resources of farm animals, cultivated plants and forest trees.
We at NordGen are proud to have had the pleasure to work with Erling Fimland, not only for his considerate knowledge and experience in animal genetic resources, but also for his warmth and generosity that he shows towards us colleagues and working partners. Luckily we are not going to lose him as he continues to work part time as a consultant with us.
Photo: Simon Jeppson, NordGen