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Home NATIONALMore youths take to reindeer herding
Mon, 11 Apr, 2016 12:33:05 AM
FTimes- STT Report, Apr 11
Second generation herder Aleksi Ulkuniemi. File Photo Lehtikuva.
Herding reindeer interests young people in the country. Every year a dozen young people pick up the profession.
Over a thousand of about 4,000 reindeer herders are under the age of thirty.
Tradition, pride and community are the things which support the occupation, said Reindeer Herders’ Association Executive Director Anne Ollila.
“Young people want to continue the culture and the way of life which they have grown to value. This year has seen a record number of reindeer herding students at the Sámi Education Institute: over thirty students,” said ollila.
One of the students is 21-year-old Aleksi Ulkuniemi from Kemijärvi who is set to graduate as a reindeer herder from the Sámi Education Institute at the end of April.
Ulkuniemi would not consider another profession. He is a second generation reindeer herder. Ulkuniemi bought the reindeer herd from his father three years ago.
Normally, reindeer husbandry forms only a part of the entrepreneur’s income. Many of the reindeer herders are involved in other businesses and may have salaried jobs as well.
The most important source of income in reindeer herding is selling reindeer meat. The subsidies account for less than 20 per cent of the income. 
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