Lars-Åke Johansson from Vretens Väg in Smedjebacken receives the Swedish Dairy Association's Gold Medal from The King. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/Scanpix
On Monday 25 February, The King presented the Swedish Dairy Association's Gold Medal to dairy farmers from across Sweden during a ceremony at the Swedish Society of Medicine in Stockholm.
This year, 44 farmers received the Gold Medal. Their herds vary in size from five to 300 cows. This year's oldest gold medal winner was 79 years old, and the youngest was 41. During the ceremony, The King also presented the Dairy Farmer of the Year award to brothers Tobias and Kristoffer Kullingsjö from Elmersgården, near Vårgårda, and their colleague Mikael Ljunghög. Minister for the Environment Lena Ek then gave a speech. Singer Ulrika Bodén and pianist Tobias Helldin provided musical entertainment. The Swedish Dairy Association's Gold Medal is the highest award presented jointly by the dairy associations "for proficiency and a sense of responsibility" in connection with milk quality. The medal is awarded to dairy farmers who have produced milk of the best quality for at least 23 years. A gold medal winner will have milked cows around 16,800 times over the course of 23 years. Each milking session takes up to two hours, meaning that a gold medal winner who has milked cows twice a day for 23 years will have devoted 33,580 hours to the actual milking process, or a total of almost four years. The first gold medals were presented in 1958 by The King's grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf. Find out more about the Swedish Dairy Association here.