Archive for A.I. Industry

Hanson Retires, Solverson and Hansen Accept New Roles

Solverson (L) Hansen (R)

After 28 years as laboratory manager for Accelerated Genetics and Select Sires at the Westby, Wis., laboratory, Roger Hanson retired in January 2018. In October of 2017, the cooperative dedicated the laboratory in his honor and it was renamed the Roger Hanson Laboratory. Select Sires thanks Hanson for his many years of dedicated service and is pleased to announce that Amanda Solverson (pictured left) and Leah Marie Hansen (right) have accepted Hanson’s management responsibilities as their own in their evolving roles at the Westby laboratory.

Solverson is a native to Westby, Wis. and graduated from Western Wisconsin Technical College in 2001 with a degree in agri-business science technology. With more than 16 years of experience working in the Hanson laboratory, she is well-equipped and excited to accept the new role of semen processing and packaging coordinator. She will supervise laboratory personnel in processing semen according to Select Sires’ standard operating procedures as well as CSS standards to maintain a quality product. Solverson will also collaborate with the staff in Westby to develop and coordinate semen collection schedules for conventional and sex-sorted product lines.

Hansen, of Blue River, Wis., joined the Hanson laboratory team after earning her bachelor of science degree in animal science from University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Since her hire in 2006, she has been the lead quality control technician, which will transition into her new role as quality control and quality assurance manager. In this role, Hansen will work to ensure that all Accelerated Genetics and Select Sires semen meet quality standards and is a product that yields excellent conception rates. She will conduct microscopic morphological examination of fresh semen to evaluate and determine semen quality. Following examination of semen quality, she will review collection frequency, dose rate and bull health and consult with appropriate personnel to see that semen production goals are on target. Additionally, she will oversee daily quality control data and maintain all laboratory equipment.

Mel DeJarnette, vice president of research and quality control for Select Sires, says, “Amanda and Leah Marie have more than 25 years of combined experience in semen processing, cryopreservation and quality control under the guidance and mentorship of former laboratory manager, Roger Hanson. These ladies are well-trained and well-prepared to accept Roger’s responsibilities as he embarks on a well-deserved retirement. We are very pleased they have accepted this challenge and we look forward to the growth and success of the Hanson production facility under their leadership.”


Dr. Mehdi Sargolzaei Appointed Semex Senior Geneticist

Semex is pleased to announce that Dr. Mehdi Sargolzaei was promoted to the position of Senior Geneticist at Semex, effective January 1, 2018.
Reporting to Dr. Michael Lohuis, Semex Vice President, Research & Innovation, Dr. Sargolzaei continues working with Semex’s Genetics Research Team, expanding his responsibilities to include genomics project management and platform development.
Dr. Sargolzaei is extremely familiar to the Semex family, having first joined Semex’s Research & Development Team at Boviteq in June 2009 as a Research Genomicist. In January 2014, he joined Semex’s Genetic Team as Research Genomicist.
“We are excited to have Dr. Sargolzaei take a leadership role in Semex’s genetic and genomic programs,” says Lohuis. “Mehdi brings a wealth of experience in genomic evaluations, imputation and software development that will enable Semex to provide an even greater array of products and services to the global cattle breeding industry.”
An accomplished geneticist with a Ph.D. in Animal Breeding & Genetics from Niigata University in Japan, an M.Sc. in Animal Breeding & Genetics from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, and a B.Sc. in Animal Science from Sistan & Baluchestan University, Iran, Sargolzaei’s extensive career began as a Research Assistant, National Animal Science Research Institute, Karaj, Iran. He later joined the University of Guelph, Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock in 2006 as a Research Associate. In this position, he developed several statistical methods and software tools, including “FImpute” and “snp1101”, aiming at analyzing large scale genomic data encountered in livestock populations. The driving force behind his software developments has been a keen interest in applying newer statistical methods and advanced programming techniques for analyzing big genomic data.
He has authored/coauthored 65 peer reviewed papers, 42 conference papers, 85 conference abstracts, 81 technical articles and served as an invited speaker and member of thesis examining committees, as well as qualifying committees. Additionally, he has resided on numerous industry boards and committees, as well as having received several honours and awards for his work.

GENEX reports progress, improved outlook for 2018

Member-elected delegates of GENEX attended the cooperative’s annual meeting Jan. 24 in Bloomington, Minnesota. The delegates – dairy and beef cattle producers from across the U.S. – gathered to reflect on the past year’s operational successes and financial results. Discussion also focused on the proposed merger of GENEX parent company Cooperative Resources International (CRI) with Koepon Holding BV, the parent company of Alta Genetics and Valley Ag Software.

GENEX chief operating officer Huub te Plate addressed  the co-op’s member-elected delegates at the Jan. 24  annual meeting, stating, “The proposed merger with  Koepon is a great opportunity for us to move forward  and make changes to be ahead of the curve. We can  manage change and not let change manage us.”
Huub te Plate, chief operating officer since August 2017, addressed the member-elected delegates of GENEX highlighting progress made during the 2016-2017 fiscal year. He noted the debut of several new products, programs and services. “A prime example is the Ideal Commercial Cow or ICC$ index for Jerseys. This index is innovation at work. We listened to the desires of our members and customers and took action.”

In collaboration with the CRI International Center for Biotechnology and AgSource, GENEX also released new proprietary health traits for dairy cattle. “Subclinical Ketosis, Metritis, Foot Health, Age at First Calving and Calf Survivability are measurable and heritable traits that have an economic value. These traits are unique to our ICC$ index. In the future, the list of traits like these will continue to grow.”

Te Plate also mentioned the addition of Jetstream Genetics to the cooperative’s sire portfolio, market acceptance of the new RumiLife® CAL24™ nutritional supplement and increased demand for the SCR Heatime® system.

Despite progress in new products and services, the 2017 GENEX financial results were below expectations. Te Plate states, “Domestic dairy marketing had a good year, breaking records for sales and beef unit sales continue to increase, but the strong dollar inhibited international sales during the first six months of the fiscal year. While international sales recovered in the second half of the year, the financial shortfall of the first half was too big to overcome.

“Additionally, the 2017 financials included a one-time write-down of our investment in semen sorting research through MOFA GLOBAL and paydown of debt. With this, however, the stage is set for a profitable 2018; we enter the year with an improved balance sheet.”

John Ruedinger, GENEX board president and dairy producer from Van Dyne, Wisconsin, addressed his fellow cooperative members regarding the proposed merger with Koepon Holding. “The most significant event this year was your board of directors’ unanimous vote to continue merger discussions with Koepon. Your board feels this merger is the most positive way for GENEX to continue to add value to members and customers.

“In the proposed merger, the business model preserves our cooperative principles; yet, it leads to synergies that enable higher innovation levels and better products and services. At the same time, the GENEX employee you are familiar with will still pull into your driveway and GENEX will continue to have members, delegates and a board of directors.”

Currently, the merger is in the business planning and due diligence phase. If these processes are successful and following management recommendations and board approvals, the formal merger will require the support of two-thirds of CRI voting delegates. The delegate vote is expected to take place in May. The merger could then formally occur by early to mid-summer.

In closing, Ruedinger shared what GENEX has become and what it will continue to represent in the future. “We have developed a reputation as an industry leader and innovator. We need to carry this reputation to the next generation of dairy and beef producers, domestically and internationally. In the 88-year history of predecessor cooperative innovation, and the short 25-year history of our parent company CRI, we will always have a cooperative business to be proud of, now and for future generations to come.”

President John Ruedinger shared with fellow GENEX members his pride in the cooperative, “Our  cooperative continually strives to lead the way with science-based cattle genetics and innovative  services producers can trust. Put more simply, GENEX is innovative excellence in animal genetics.  We need to carry this incredible reputation in leadership to the next generation of dairy and beef  producers, domestically and internationally.”
GENEX is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services. As a cooperative business, GENEX serves members and customers – dairy and beef cattle producers – across the world. GENEX is part of Cooperative Resources International. For more information, please visit

The sexed semen revolution starts here

Having double the amount of cells in every sexed semen straw means the Pratt family now has the confidence to use 4M on cows and heifers, safe in the knowledge conception rates will not be compromised. Traditionally, the Pratt family would have only used sexed semen on heifers, following concerns conception rates would drop off in less fertile cows on a more inconsistent diet.

However, that was at a time when they were reliant on using straws containing the usual two million sexed semen cells per straw. Since then, they have swapped to SexedULTRA 4M, in which every straw contains 4million sex-sorted sperm cells (see Q&A panel). As a result, conception rates have become more consistent, as James Pratt explains. “Until recently, we had mixed success with sexed semen,” he says. “We would have a run of nine in-calf heifers when we served 10, then five in-calf out of 10.

It was just a bit inconsistent. It did not seem as consistent as it does now.” James farms with his parents Alan and Edith and brother Richard at Studdah Farm, Bellerby, Leyburn. They run the Studdah herd of 130 pedigree Holsteins, yielding 9,811kg a cow a year at 4.31% fat and 3.19% protein. Cows calve year-round, with all replacements reared on farm.


Recently, the family decided to focus on producing more beef from the dairy herd in response to low milk and heifer prices. As a result, they were keen to breed replacements from their best animals and put the lower end to beef. To do so, they wanted to produce females from their top-end cows, as well as their heifers.

This was where 4M came in. James says: “There were trials to show SexedULTRA 4M had similar conception rates to rival conventional semen. So, if conception rates are similar, you have more chance to get heifers off your top cows and put beef on the bottom.” Now, about 50 cows are served to 4M and the remaining go to a three-sire British Blue semen straw; 50% of heifers are also served to 4M with the rest put to Aberdeen-Angus or used as embryo recipients. The best cows are selected based on classification data and the family’s knowledge, opting to breed for balanced type, quality udders, feet and legs, and positive milk, fat and protein.

In October, the business began genetically testing heifers with the view to using this knowledge to make more informed decisions on which heifers to breed replacements from, and to make faster genetic progress. This will help select embryo recipients when flushing cows to sexed semen.

The business is now achieving similar conception rates with sexed semen as they were with conventional. Cows are currently achieving 55% conception rate to first service with a 100-day in-calf rate of 68%. This figure includes beef semen and some overlap with using sexed semen straws with 2M cells. Of 10 heifers recently served to 4M, they achieved conception rates to first service of 80%.

The business also saw no effect on conception rates in cows during summer grazing. James says good conception rates from using the combination of 4M and the three-sire beef straw on cows has helped reduce calving interval from 395 days to 376 days between 2016 and 2017.

Select Sires Appoints Utt and Harstine to New Roles

Select Sires announces restructuring to the research program within the cooperative. Mel DeJarnette, Select Sires’ vice president of research and quality control explains, “As Select Sires grows, it is paramount that our investment in research mimics this growth. With the amount of data that we are harvesting from many research endeavors, there is a calling to use this data for the betterment of our industry.”

After four years as director of research, Dr. Matthew Utt will lead this charge as the newly appointed director of data innovation for Select Sires. “We look forward to Dr. Utt’s enthusiasm and technical expertise being applied to this new venture at Select Sires,” says Todd Kranz, chief development officer. “Our ability to identify and use data in all aspects of our business, including genetics, reproductive efficiencies and marketing will be critical to the future of our cooperative.”

In this capacity, Dr. Utt will collect and analyze data from various on-farm data management systems and develop tools and services for the benefit of Select Sires and their customer-owners. His efforts will focus on the development of reproductive solutions, genetic advancements and on-farm management tools that will provide innovative products to producers. Additionally, Dr. Utt will offer advanced technical support for the reproductive management of females in both the dairy and beef departments. 

Also appointed to a new position, Dr. Bo Harstine will lead the cooperative as the director of research. Previously a research and quality assurance associate at Select Sires, Dr. Harstine has many years of experience within the research department. After completing an undergraduate internship at Select Sires, he went on to earn master’s and doctorate degrees in animal science studying the endocrinology of puberty attainment in bulls. His roots in the dairy industry make him well-aware of the challenges that are facing dairy producers and the A.I. industry. 

“When Dr. Harstine was hired as a research associate in 2016, he already had many years of experience working closely with Select Sires’ research and semen processing teams,” explains DeJarnette. “In his time with Select Sires, he has excelled in his accomplishments and is now well prepared to accept the role of director of research.” 

In this new role, Dr. Harstine will work with Select Sires’ research teams to design various trials to improve semen collection, processing, preservation and overall quality. He will work with Select Sires’ Program for Fertility Advancement™ (PFA™) to implement field trials to collect and analyze data for fertility improvement. In addition to his laboratory research responsibilities, Dr. Harstine will collaborate with Select Reproductive Solutions® (SRS®) and Aggressive Reproductive Technologies™ (ART™) program personnel to implement the latest reproductive technologies and enhance genetic success. 


New General Manager at Select Sire Power

Select Sire Power announces Mark Carpenter as the next general manager of the cooperative. After 43 years with Select Sire Power and seven years serving as the general manager, Norman Vincel will retire on April 1, 2018.


Carpenter is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and earned a master of business administration in management and finance from Marywood University. Previously, he was employed by Penn Foster as a senior marketing and operations analyst. In 2014, Carpenter was recognized as a “Top 20 Under 40” by the Pennsylvania Business Journal.

Since October 2006, Carpenter has served Select Sire Power as director of finance and chief financial officer, overseeing and managing the financial operations of the cooperative.

“Mark’s diverse background and experiences will bring a fresh approach to Select Sire Power. These experiences combined with the knowledge Mark has gained within our cooperative will allow him to be an effective leader, innovator and champion for the success of Select Sire Power in serving its customer-owners,” says Vincel.

In addition to Carpenter’s financial responsibilities, he envisioned and managed the development of the Bulls-I electronic sales system. Development of this system has had far-reaching impact with several organizations throughout the Select Sires’ federation. The technology has revolutionized the resources available to Select Sires’ sales and service teams. Carpenter has also been instrumental in a company-wide branding initiative to promote the cooperative’s image and enhanced operations through process improvements that bridge tradition with innovation. Carpenter has been a leader for the Select Sire Power cooperative on a national level to increase value for its customer-owners and has represented the cooperative on a variety of Select Sires’ committees.


“I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to the Select Sire Power board of directors for the opportunity to serve our customer-owners and employees as general manager and chief executive,” says Carpenter.

Carpenter and his wife Tiffany live in Factoryville, Pa. with their two daughters, Paige and Madeline.


Select Sires’ Proven and Young Sire Jersey Offering Excels Across the Board

Select Sires’ Jersey lineup offers producers elite proven and young sires that excel in total performance, fertility and type. Following the results of the December sire summaries, Select Sires’ Jerseys ranked very well in the industry. Of the top 15 active proven non-JX sires for Jersey Performance Index (JPI), eight carry the 7JE stud code and four carry the 14JE stud code from the Accelerated Genetics product line.

Proven Sires
For sires without a JX prefix, 7JE5004 CHROME (+182) ranks third in the breed for JPI, while 7JE1331 VARICK (+519), and new graduate 7JE5011 MEGAPOWER (+519) join CHROME (+576) in the top 15 for Net Merit (NM$).

MEGAPOWER (+124) also ranks third for Combined Fat and Protein (CFP) among bulls without a JX prefix and transmits high Type (+1.6). From a cow family that delivers results, MEGAPOWER is a Megatron son from Excellent Hi-Kel Tbone Pfennig-ET (E-90%).

This excellent lineup of proven sires excels in health and fitness traits. 7JE1274 AXIS and CHROME rank among the top 10 for Somatic Cell Score (SCS) +2.76 and +2.77, respectively. When JX bulls are removed from the rankings, CHROME (+7.4), 7JE1038 VALENTINO (+6.6) and VARICK (+6.4) rank in the top 20 active sires for Productive Life (PL).

7JE1219 OLIVER-P (+2.4), 7JE1294 BARNABAS (+2.3), 7JE1354 TEXAS (+2.3) and CHROME (+2.2) hold top five spots for Type. TEXAS (+29.3) and CHROME (+28.9) also rank in the top ten for Jersey Udder Index (JUI).

Select Sires continues to be the leader in high-fertility sires having the most active proven sires greater than or equal to +100 JPI with an SCR greater than or equal to +1.0. Leading this group are sires like TEXAS (+3.6), 7JE1242 NITRO (+3.2), BARNABAS (+2.3) and 7JE1332 RENO (+1.9).

Super Samplers
For JPI leaders, look to 7JE1600 JX FOURNETTE {3} (+210), 507JE1569 AVON KLAY {3}-P (+205) and 507JE1604 JX MALDINI {4} (+204).

For CFP, Select Sires has high-ranking JX sires and non-JX sires. Highlights from this listing include 7JE1503 JX RONALDINHO {3} (+154), 7JE1607 JX HAWK {5} (+149), and JX MALDINI {4} (+142). Non-JX bull highlights include 7JE5069 CHEDDAR (+131) and 7JE1545 DREW (+128).

Sires like 7JE1528 DISCO and 7JE1547 DIEGO are standouts in health and fitness traits for non-JX sires. Both sires rank very well for PL at +9.9 and +8.1, respectively. DISCO also boasts elite Livability (LIV) at +2.6 and SCS at 2.79.

7JE5032 VICTORIOUS (+32.9), DISCO (+31.5) and 7JE1605 MR SWAGGER (+31.4) are among the breed’s best sires for JUI. VICTORIOUS and 7JE5020 STRIKER rank in the top 15 non-JX sires for Type, both with +2.0 PTAT.

Accelerated Genetics highlights
14JE673 JX AVON {2} (+226), 14JE652 JX MARLO {2} (+218) and 14JE648 JX LEONEL {3} (+218) lead the breed as the top three proven JPI sires. These three sires also lead in the NM$ rankings with JX MARLO {2} in the top spot at +773, JX AVON {2} in second at +728, followed by JX LEONEL {3} at +719.

Exciting young sires in the Accelerated Genetics product line, include high-JPI sires 14JE769 JX STONEY {3} (+210) and 14JE742 JX PRIAPUS {3} (+208). Among the top 20 sires for JUI are 14JE749 JX DENTINE {3} (+30.2), 14JE764 JX NAPOLEAN {3} (+29.0) and 14JE707 JX CAMPEONE {3} (+28.9).

For the complete list of Select Sires’ Jersey lineup, please visit or contact your Select Sires sales representative.

Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc. is North America’s largest A.I. organization and is comprised of nine farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

Jordan Siemers Joins Select Sires as Dairy Sire Analyst

Select Sires announces the hiring of Jordan Siemers as a dairy sire analyst. Siemers will work with Holstein breeders in western and mid-western regions of the U.S. and the eastern Canadian provinces and will be Select Sires lead sire analyst for Milking Shorthorn procurement. He begins his role in a part-time capacity pending his graduation later this year.

“Jordan’s background, education and involvement in the industry add a unique perspective to the sire department. We look forward to his next-generation thoughts in sire development to bring additional value to our existing team of sire personnel,” explains Jeff Ziegler, vice president of dairy cattle breeding.

Siemers has a lifetime of experience in the dairy industry, having grown up on his family’s dairy in Newton, Wis. Siemers Holsteins is synonymous with elite, home-bred genetics. Siemers has had great success in the show ring and has earned multiple Junior All-American honors. For several years, he has been the genomic and genetic manager for the herd and has been instrumental in developing elite bulls like 7HO12139 Siemers Mogul PETY (EX-90) and 7HO12951 Siemers Modesty HAIL-ET.

In addition to his leadership and genetic development experience on his home farm, Siemers has vast industry experience. In recent years, he interned with Butlerview Farms in Illinois, Land O’Lakes Inc. in Minnesota and Rancho Teresita Dairy in California. 

During his youth, Siemers was very successful in the Wisconsin Holstein Association and Holstein Association USA. He served on the National Junior Holstein Advisory Committee from 2014 to 2015 and was named a Distinguished Junior Member in 2016.

“Working for Select Sires is really a dream come true,” says Siemers. “From a young age, I can remember sitting down with my dad picking out bulls to use and asking many questions to all of the Select Sires representatives that pulled into the farm. I am really looking forward to working with the collective Select Sires team.” 

Siemers is on schedule to graduate from Cornell University in May of 2018 with a bachelor of science degree in animal science. At Cornell, he is an active brother of Alpha Gamma Rho and contributing member of the Cornell Dairy Science Club. This past fall, Siemers placed sixth overall and third in reasons in the National Intercollegiate Dairy Judging contest at World Dairy Expo. 


ABS & LIC Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement

ABS Offering Expanded Opportunity for Student & Graduate Internship

ABS Global Inc. (ABS), a division of Genus plc (GNS:LSE), a global pioneer in animal genetics, today announces an exclusive distribution agreement with New Zealand farmer-owned cooperative, Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), the worldwide provider of elite pasture-based dairy genetics. ABS will now supply and market these grassland genetics in the United States starting in January 2018.

Nate Zwald, ABS COO comments, “The addition of LIC’s pasture-based genetics to ABS adds to our industry-leading position with our Holstein, Jersey and HYVIG programs, and shows our commitment to delivering the type of animals that our clients desire. We are excited about the new herds that our agreement with LIC and their product lineup attracts, and are looking forward to servicing them through the familiar LIC representation, and the broader ABS team.”

“ABS has shown a long history of commitment to the success of dairy producers, and make for a logical partner for LIC because of their extensive marketing network throughout the U.S., and our mutual desire to help producers define their genetic goals and make genetic progress toward those goals,” said Trina Dunning, LIC International Manager.

LIC’s current representative in the United States, Wayne Meyers will continue to service U.S. customers through ABS. “Wayne Meyers and LIC have helped their customers reach their goals for years through their genetics and solutions, which aligns with our goals at ABS to help our customers profit from genetic progress through our commitments to technology and genetic selection,” said Andy Zich, North American Marketing and Communications Manager for ABS.

Herds utilizing pasture-based dairy genetics or considering using the program can now look to ABS as the source in the United States. Contact Wayne Meyers at 810-531-3125 or for more information about LIC genetics.


Engender Technologies has $2.8b market in its sights

Engender Technologies, the agricultural technology company spun out of the University of Auckland, is moving to scale up its sex-selection product for the dairy industry to full commercialisation in the next 18 months and is targeting the US$2 billion ($2.8b) dairy artificial insemination industry.

Co-founded by the University of Auckland and seed investment company Pacific Channel in 2011, Engender has secured option-to-license agreements for its technology with three of the world’s largest artificial insemination companies, has successfully concluded laboratory trials and is preparing for scaling commercialisation, the Auckland-based company said.

In August, the company’s first key patent was allowed in the US and its patent attorneys have confidence that it will be granted in its other key markets, it said.

Engender is hoping to capitalise on demand for technology which can control whether calves are born male or female, enabling dairy farmers to focus their production on higher-value milking cows.

In the US, it will compete with the dominant market player Inguran, which claims it can deliver heifer calves in about 90 per cent of pregnancies, according to a Bloomberg report.

Engender claims its technology is gentle on cells – which helps preserve the sperm’s fertility and results in higher conception rates – and can be brought to market with low capital and low operating costs.

The company said having control over whether a calf will be born a male or female is “extremely attractive” to artificial insemination businesses and dairy farmers as elite female calves bred for their dairying characteristics can be slotted into the production scheme, while male calves are of less use to dairy farmers.

“Access to a low-cost sex selection technology for dairy would enable farmers to breed off the top half of their herd to double the current rate of genetic gain,” said Engender founding scientist Professor Cather Simpson.

“There is an unmet need in the international animal breeding industry for an affordable and effective sperm sex sorting product, notably in the dairy sector,” the company said.

Engender said it is preparing a further 11 patent applications related to individual aspects of its technology.

The company said its patents will assist in future discussions with potential licensees, significant investors or acquirers.

Sex-determined semen for breeding remains relatively new and accounts for only 3 per cent of a global market, according to Bloomberg.


Source: NZ Herald

GENEX Brand Goes Global

GENEX will begin marketing dairy and beef cattle genetics across the globe under one brand name.

Previously the organization’s cattle genetics were marketed under the GENEX brand name within the USA and Canada, while the same products were distributed globally by Cooperative Resources International (CRI) – the parent company of GENEX.

“As we begin this global branding initiative, for the first time all dairy and beef producers around the globe will know and refer to this organization as GENEX. This change to one uniform global brand will enable us to better serve all our customers, incorporating our value-added programs and communications across borders,” explains Huub te Plate, who oversaw CRI international marketing for more than 15 years before being named GENEX chief operating officer in August 2017.

“In this transition, our customers outside the USA and Canada – whether purchasing our products from a GENEX-owned entity or our network of distributors in more than 65 countries – will continue to receive the same high-quality semen from both a fertility and genetic perspective that they have thus far from CRI,” adds te Plate. “The GENEX product continues to be produced according to the same stringent standards by the same professional and experienced staff.”

This transition to one brand will create synergies as producers all over the world will be served by one organization with one overall purpose: GENEX is the trusted provider of world‑class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services to members and customers.

This transition is the next step in the GENEX brand evolution which also included rebranding and the unveiling of a new logo in December 2016.

Engender moves to commercialisation of genetic dairy tech

Engender Technologies, the agricultural technology company spun out of Auckland University, is moving to scale up its sex-selection product for the dairy industry to full commercialisation in the next 18 months and is targeting the US$2 billion dairy artificial insemination industry.

Co-founded by the University of Auckland and seed investment company Pacific Channel in 2011, Engender has secured option-to-license agreements for its technology with three of the world’s largest artificial insemination companies, has successfully concluded laboratory trials and is preparing for scaling commercialization, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. In August, the company’s first key patent was allowed in the US and its patent attorneys have confidence that it will be granted in its other key markets, it said.

Engender is hoping to capitalise on demand for technology which can control whether calves are born male or female, enabling dairy farmers to focus their production on higher-value milking cows. In the US, it will compete with the dominant market player Inguran, which claims it can deliver heifer calves in about 90 percent of pregnancies, according to a Bloomberg report. Engender claims its technology is gentle on the cells which helps preserve the sperm’s fertility resulting in higher conception rates, and it can be brought to market with low capital and low operating costs.

The company said having control over whether a calf will be born a male or female is “extremely attractive” to artificial insemination businesses and dairy farmers as elite female calves bred for their dairying characteristics can be slotted into the production scheme, while male calves offer less utility to dairy farmers.

“Access to a low-cost sex selection technology for dairy would enable farmers to breed off the top half of their herd to double the current rate of genetic gain,” said Engender founding scientist Professor Cather Simpson.

“There is an unmet need in the international animal breeding industry for an affordable and effective sperm sex sorting product, notable in the dairy sector,” the company said.

Engender said it is preparing a further 11 patent applications related to individual aspects of its technology.

The company said its patents will assist in future discussions with potential licensees, significant investors or acquirers.

Sex-determined semen for breeding remains relatively new and accounts for only 3 percent of a global market, according to Bloomberg.


Source: Scoop

Select Sire Power scholarship

Scholarship opportunities total $15,000 in 2018

Select Sire Power will award $15,000 to students in 2018. Students who have completed their first full year of college in an agricultural study are encouraged to apply for the Wayne Dudley Scholarship program. The scholarship program provides additional return to the cooperative’s member-owners by supporting the next generation of young people desiring to study and work in the agricultural industry. Scholarship forms are available beginning November 27, 2017 at, by calling (540) 483-5123, or by emailing Kirk Sattazahn at Completed scholarship applications are due January 31, 2018.

The Wayne Dudley Scholarship program provides financial support to eligible college undergraduates in agriculture majors. Select Sire Power, Inc. board of directors has made a commitment to providing money to support this scholarship program on an ongoing annual basis. In 2018, one recipient will receive $3,000. Several other students will receive scholarships of $750-$1,000 in value. Since the year 2000, Select Sire Power has given over $150,000 to deserving future farmers and young agricultural leaders in the Select Sire Power sales area.


Westgen announces the winners of the 2017 Education Awards

WestGen is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 WestGen Education Awards. Each of these selected students will receive $2,000 to assist them with their post-secondary agriculture studies. The selection committee was extremely pleased with the quality of applicants this year, and encourages remaining applicantsto apply again next year if they remain in a qualifying post-secondary educational endeavor. Here is a brief synopsis of our 2017 winners:

Angela Grob of Quesnel, British Columbia is in her 1st year of studies at the University of Saskatchewan in the Bachelor of Animal Science program. She has been active in her families mixed operation farm of dairy, cow-calf and farrow-finish
swine. Angela’s goal is to enter the Veterinary Medicine program and focus her studies on production animals including dairy and beef cattle.

Lars Iversen of Olds, Alberta is in his 3rd year of studies in the Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness program at the University of Saskatchewan. Lars in interested is passionate of milking functional and well pedigreed animals. He as an interest in the economics and business side of agricultural and hopes to bring these skills back to his family dairy farm once her finishes his studies.

Nicki Meier of Abbotsford, British Columbia is a 1st year student in the Animal Science Technology program at Lakeland College. Growing up her parent’s dairy farm, gave her a love of the dairy industry at a young age. Nicki has been a long-time member of the Sumas Holstein Club and will be joining the Student Managed Farm team next year. Nicki is looking forward to returning to her family’s operation with her new knowledge once she has completed her studies and creating a more efficient dairy operation.

Rachel Boonstoppel of Grunthal, Manitoba is a 2nd year Animal Science Technology student at Lakeland College. Angela is planning on expanding her dairy studies with an Ag-Business Diploma once she has completed this program. She is looking forward to a work-study tour of New Zealand before she returns to her family’s herd where she will work to improve the genetics of their dairy. Her goal is to own her own dairy farm in the future.

WestGen is extremely proud of all four winners of this award. Supporting youth and the development of the Western Canadian cattle industry are mandates of the WestGen Endowment Fund, and the Education awards are a means by which to ensure the future caliber of our western Canadian bovine sector remains strong. We will follow with pride their growth and development in the future.

About WestGen
WestGen has been in business for 73 years and is Western Canada’s Leader in Genetics and Reproduction. Their new Abbotsford location serves as home for both their members, and their growing subsidiary companies: Cryogen Liquid Nitrogen Solutions and Boviteq West. To learn more visit Westgen or call us at 604.426.1944.

Nutramix signs major cattle semen deal in the Caribbean

Nutramix signs major cattle semen distribution deal with US firm

Nutramix has inked a deal with American firm Select Sires under which the Jamaican company will distribute highly fertile, superior genetics for cattle across the island and the throughout the Caribbean.

Yesterday, Nutramix pointed out that while it started distribution of genetic semen from Select Sires on a small scale locally in June 2016, the deal that was recently signed comes into effect this month, offering a wide range of breeds and sires to customers.

“Select Sires is recognised worldwide as one of, if not the leading supplier of top quality genetics for cattle,” Dr Gabrielle Young, livestock and support manager at Nutramix, said. “Partnering with a company with this reputation signifies the high quality and standards that Nutramix already exemplifies. Through the distribution network that Nutramix already controls within the Caribbean with feed, we can add superior quality genetics for cattle that is badly lacking in the Caribbean.”

Dr Young explained that the popular breeds for dairy and beef are Jersey, Holstein, and Brown Swiss for dairy, and Black and Red Angus, Brahman, and Simental for beef.

If farmers wish to cross breed cattle, there is semen available of other breeds as well, she noted.

Yesterday, Nutramix pointed out in a news release that farmers of any size can benefit from the use of the improved genetics; however, they must have access to an inseminator.

Dr Young explained that farmers have the option of doing pure breeding or cross-breeding. Pure breeding, she explained, is taking the semen of a bull of the same breed as the cow and producing offspring of the same breed.

“For example, a Jersey cow is bred using Jersey bull semen to produce a pure-bred Jersey offspring. Cross-breeding is taking semen of a different breed to the cow to produce a crossed bred offspring. A Red poll cow is inseminated with Brahman semen to produce a crossed Red poll /Brahman offspring. Crossed breed animals often benefit from hybrid vigour, which means the best traits of both parents are combined in the offspring to produce a superior animal,” Dr Young said.

“Sexed semen,” she continued, “is semen that has been sorted and gives [a] minimum 90 per cent assurance for a specific sex of offspring. In the dairy industry farmers would prefer female calves as replacement heifers. Sexed semen allows farmers to quickly multiply the best genetics within their herd.”

She explained that a straw of sexed semen can cost three times the price of regular non-sexed semen. However, she advised that price should not be the only consideration as the technology will allow for the rapid expansion of the dairy industry in Jamaica, which is urgently needed.

“Good-quality heifers are needed immediately to contribute to the increased demand for local fresh milk. Sexed semen insures that farmers do not have to wait nine months to determine if they will get a heifer or bull calf. They know that at the end of the nine months they will get a heifer calf of good quality,” Dr Young said.

Nutramix outlined that regular semen straws cost from $800 to $2,000 per straw, while sexed semen can range from $6,000 to $8,000 per straw with a guarantee of minimum 90 per cent of the desired sex chosen.

“Cost per straw is highly dependent on the desired traits of the bulls. Select Sires retain bulls with improved production traits, including increased milk production, calving ease and increased average daily gains. The better the bull, the higher the price of the semen,” Nutramix stated, adding that the semen is being distributed from its main office at Newport East in Kingston.

“Cattle semen is particular and needs to be stored under certain conditions (liquid nitrogen),” Dr Young explained. “We have four inseminators that travel islandwide, but would need many more inseminators to effectively cover the island. Early next year we are hosting a workshop in conjunction with Select Sires to train an additional 15 persons in the insemination of cattle. We believe that all cattle farmers should be trained or have someone on their farm trained in this technology for them to see the true benefit of improved genetics.”

The company said that the feedback it has received from farmers using the semen has been extremely positive.

It also said that as part of its dedication to the Drink Real Milk project implemented in early 2016, there has been a noticeable increase in milk production in the local economy.

“Considering the availability of the Nutramix-distributed Kalvolac milk replacer and Nutravit vitamin pack, as well as farmers utilising artificial insemination, it is hoped that more farmers will join the mission to continue the revitalisation of our local dairy industry,” the company stated.


Source: Jamaica Observer

Sex Is Big Business in Dairy Farming and the Focus of Legal Battles

Sex is big business in dairy farming, which is why a battle is brewing in the U.S. over new technologies designed to make sure only milk-producing cows are born. 

Most of America’s 9.4 million dairy cows were bred using artificial insemination from bulls with specific genetic traits, but there’s still a coin-flip randomness about the sex of the offspring. So, more farmers are paying a premium for semen that contains only the X chromosomes for females. It’s a small but growing business dominated by one company, Inguran LLC in Navasota, Texas.

Engender Technologies cell sorting chip prototype

Photographer: Peter Hosking/Engender Technologies

Over the years, dairies improved breeding to boost milk output using fewer cows. Sex-specific semen is a recent innovation, and it’s so promising that New Zealand’s Engender Technologies plans to sell its own version of the product in the U.S. Companies also are fighting in court over patents for the technique. Farmers welcome more competition because sex-sorted semen vials can cost $30 for a typical dose, about double those that can’t guarantee a female calf.

“We have no choice but to pay,” said Russ Warmka, owner of a dairy farm in Fox Lake, Wisconsin, that milks 500 cows a day and uses sex-sorting semen on his heifers. “We spend our entire lives as farmers trying to breed a better cow. If we know we’ll get a heifer calf, we can spend a lot more on that semen.”

That’s because a young female that will eventually produce milk for four to six years is far more valuable to a dairy than a steer that gets shipped to a beef-processing plant, said Albert De Vries, a professor of animal sciences at the University of Florida in Gainesville. At an auction Nov. 28 in Springfield, Missouri, baby heifers sold for as much as $350 each, while bulls sold for as little as $50, according to the Springfield Livestock Marketing Center.

Dairy farmers use artificial insemination to impregnate heifers shortly after their first year, and nine months later, a calf is born. After that, the cow produces milk for 10 months. Typically, she will give birth two to four times during her time on the dairy, before output drops and she is sold for slaughter.

More Milk

On average, U.S. cows produced a record 1,910 pounds of milk a month in the past year, up about 14 percent from a decade ago, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. That’s allowed farmers to expand output while shrinking their herds.

Still, sex-determined semen for breeding remains relatively new and accounts for only 3 percent of a global market, so there’s plenty of room for growth, as long as farmers can be convinced the extra investment will pay off.

“When you look at the dairy industry, this is a fundamental problem that hasn’t yet been widely resolved,” said Brent Ogilvie, managing director at Auckland-based Engender, which is largely funded by investors in New Zealand, the world’s largest dairy exporter. “Sex is the most-important genetic trait. Farming is all about genetics, and most farmers don’t have control over the sex of their herd.”

In the U.S., the market is dominated by Inguran. Its Sexing Technologies unit provides the sorted semen which is marketed through the STgenetics unit. Inguran has patents on improvements to a technology first developed by a USDA researcher more than two decades ago. Using the cell-sorting science of flow cytometry, the company says it can deliver heifer calves in about 90 percent of pregnancies, which is a big increase on the 50-50 chances of conventional semen.

Laser Beam

In flow cytometry, sperm cells move single file past a laser beam at about 50 miles an hour, with special detection machines making about 180,000 measurements per second, said George Seidel, a professor at Colorado State University who worked to apply the technology to dairy farms in the 1990s.

Inguran uses a fluorescent dye to cells that reacts differently on female X chromosomes than male Y chromosomes. The amount of fluorescence is measured and then an electrical charge is applied, which deflects the cells into different containers. The sorted semen is then sold in vials known as straws.

The technique has some obstacles. More mature cows don’t always get pregnant, so farmers tend to use it only on virgin heifers, which conceive more easily, said Matt Gould, Philadelphia-based analyst for the Dairy & Food Market Analyst newsletter. 

Fertility rates matter because a cow only has one opportunity to get pregnant each month, and the animals will produce less milk if too many months go by. Farmers are so concerned about getting cows pregnant at the right time that some have started attaching pedometers to them, according to Gould. When cows are fertile, they wander around looking for a mate, and the number of steps they take increases.

Inguran’s conception rates are now comparable to those of conventional semen vials, according to Jim Hiney, the company’s marketing manager.

Engender, which hopes to start selling sex-sorted semen in the U.S. within two years, says its product has a higher pregnancy rate because their sorting process is gentler. It uses photons, or pulses of light, to physically nudge sperm cells into specific channels. The company also says its product will be cheaper and easier to supply.

Of the 175 million semen straws sold globally each year, only about 5 million are sex-selected, and 2 million of those are in the U.S., according to Ogilvie at Engender.

Legal Battles

While Engender targets Inguran customers, some U.S. companies are eyeing its technology. Genus Plc’s ABS Global of Wisconsin, a stud company that wants to enter the sex-sorting business, persuaded the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to rule two patents invalid. An appeals court is reviewing that decision. Inguran filed suit in June accusing ABS of infringing patents and stealing trade secrets.

The same court is considering whether to revive antitrust claims brought by another firm, Trans Ova Genetics LC, which says many of Inguran’s patents are simply combining known ideas. Trans Ova accused Inguran of burying the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in paperwork so examiners wouldn’t spot information that showed the applications didn’t cover new inventions. Inguran said it developed ways to preserve the cells, improve the sorting process and produce sexed embryos.

“There will be millions of dollars in intellectual-property battles, no matter the merits of who or whatever,” because some of the patents are written so broadly, Colorado State’s Seidel said.

Source: Bloomberg

Select Sires is Home to Half of the Industry’s Top 100 GTPI® Sires

Following the December 2017 sire summary rankings, Select Sires continues to have the largest and most elite offering of genomic young sires in the industry. Holstein Association USA’s Genomic Young Bulls list reports that 50 of the top 100 and 25 of the top 50 young sires call Select Sires home. Leading the Holstein breed for GTPI® include 7HO12997 TARRINO (+2899), 7HO13598 PINNACLE (+2888) and 7HO13907 JARED (+2887) in the top 10.

Select Sires’ young sire lineup also represents 43 of the industry’s top 100 Net Merit (NM$) sires. There are more than 20 young sires with the 7HO stud code that transmit more than 950 NM$. Top sires, include: 7HO13771 KENNEDY (+1,048), PINNACLE (+1,007), 7HO13741 FOLKLORE (+999) and 7HO12788 FRAZZLED (+995).

Fertility without Compromise
Without a pregnancy, elite genetics have no impact. Select Sires continues to emphasize the value of highly fertile semen so that customer-owners can reap the benefits. The December 2017 lineup offers 63 genetically elite young sires that have Sire Conception Rates (SCR) at or above +2.0. Among this grouping of sires, are 7HO12600 MODESTY (+2827 GTPI, +2.4 SCR), 7HO13624 SUPREME (+2824 GTPI, +3.8 SCR), 7HO13250 JEDI (+2810 GTPI, +2.4 SCR) and FRAZZLED (+2797 GTPI, +2.0 SCR).

Wellness leaders
Select Sires has designated the highest Wellness Trait Index (WT$) sires as WellnessPRO sires. This index focuses on six wellness traits (mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, displaced abomasum and ketosis) and includes an economic value for Polled test results. 7HO12556 PAGEONE ranks very well in the industry for WT$ at +319.

Dairy Wellness Profit Index (DWP$) is an industry-wide index that combines production, fertility, type, longevity and wellness traits. Fifty-four of the industry’s top 100 DWP$ sires are offered through Select Sires’ lineup. Highlights from this lineup include 7HO13715 RAPTOR (+1,253 DWP$), 7HO13737 EINSTEIN (+1,243 DWP$), 7HO14046 TOTALLY (+1,227 DWP$), 7HO13866 RIO (+1,222) and FRAZZLED (+1,222).

Fitness highlights
7HO13559 SNAZZY is the breed’s No. 1 ranked sire for Productive Life at +12.7 and is tied at No. 2 for Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) at +7.1. 7HO12979 JOLOKIA ties with SNAZZY for DPR (+7.1) and ranks No. 3 for Cow Conception Rate (+8.3). Both SNAZZY and JOLOKIA are 7HO12533 HOTSHOT sons.

Type sires standout
Showcase Selections sires are among the top Type sires on the active genomic listing. 7HO13730 UNDENIED ranks third in the breed at +4.19 PTAT. Also holding top spots for Type are 7HO12922 DELIGHT at +4.18, 250HO12961 DOC at +4.01, 7HO13839 TATOO at +3.98, 250HO12589 JACOBY at +3.90 and 7HO12921 WILSON at +3.87.

Dominating lineup
For the best young sires for GTPI and NM$, combined with breed-leading fertility, look to Select Sires. Of the 36 active Holstein young sires that are +850 NM$ or higher and +1.0 SCR or greater, 20 are available from Select Sires. Highlights from this group include 250HO13267 DUKE (+881 NM$, +2771 GTPI, +3.0 SCR), 7HO13302 MEGAMAN (+918 NM$, +2748 GTPI, +2.6 SCR) and 7HO13504 JAGUAR (+921 NM$, +2764 GTPI, +3.5 SCR).

To view Select Sires’ complete Holstein lineup, visit or contact your local Select Sires sales representative.

Select Sires Dominates with Elite, Proven High-Reliability Sires

Rankings from the December 2017 sire summaries show that Select Sires’ proven Holstein lineup dominates the industry in all areas of genetic emphasis. Twenty of the top 50 and 42 of the top 100 TPI® sires on Holstein Association USA’s Top TPI Bulls list are offered by Select Sires. Additionally, Select Sires leads the industry in highly reliable genetics. Holstein Association reports that 23 of the top 50 sires with 97 percent reliabilities for Milk and Type are Select bulls. 7HO12165 MONTROSS (+2772 GTPI) and 7HO12266 YODER (+2750 GTPI) hold top 10 spots on the Top 100 TPI list and are among the top five on the high reliability listing.

With 30 of the industry’s top 100 proven Net Merit (NM$) sires, Select Sires’ product lines offer more elite NM$ sires than any other A.I. organization. While the industry average for active proven sires is +383 NM$, Select Sires’ active lineup far exceeds this at +595 NM$. High ranking NM$ sires include YODER (+905), MONTROSS (+883), 7HO11351 SUPERSIRE (+872), 7HO11946 MIDNIGHT (+830) and 7HO12256 MAGUIRE (+824).

In Canada, ten of the top 25 LPI sires are “7HO” or “250HO” sires and include 7HO12014 DAVINCI (+3202), 250HO1043 AIKMAN (+3189), 250HO1009 BREWMASTER (+3182), 250HO12301 RAVECUT (+3175) and 7HO12111 DRAGONHEART (+3162). MONTROSS and DRAGONHEART are among the top 10 sires for Pro$ at +2594 and +2471, respectively.

Production and components
MONTROSS (+3,024), 7HO11621 MAYFLOWER (+2,653) and 7HO12418 SPARK (+2,427) hold top 10 spots for Milk. In total, Select Sires has 16 sires that transmit +1,500 Milk or more and are positive for Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR).

Select Sires offers 28 sires at or above +120 Combined Fat and Protein (CFP). Leading for CFP is 7HO12255 PETERPAN (+188), MONTROSS (+172) and MAGUIRE (+171). Topping the industry as the No.1 Fat sires are MAGUIRE and PETERPAN at +112 while MONTROSS ranks second for Protein at +89.

Wellness index highlights
Select Sires has designated the highest Wellness Trait Index (WT$) sires as WellnessPRO. This index focuses on six wellness traits (mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, displaced abomasum and ketosis) and includes an economic value for Polled test results. The top “7HO” WT$ sires include new graduate 7HO12357 PENLEY (+269), along with lineup sires 7HO12183 LIGHTS OUT (+235), 7HO11833 RENNIE (+201), 7HO10920 GOLD CHIP (+164) and 7HO11708 ROOKIE (+158).

The Dairy Wellness Profit Index (DWP$) is an industry-wide index that combines production, fertility, type, longevity and wellness traits. Select leads with 59 of the top 100 DWP$ sires on Holstein Association USA’s listing. PENLEY is the No. 2 sire at +1,039 DWP$ and is joined at the top by ROOKIE at +1,022.

Fertility leaders
Select Sires is excited to be an industry leader in superior genetics that not only transmit outstanding production, Type and Wellness traits, but also lead in Sire Conception Rate (SCR) and provide farmers with the best return on their genetic investments. Select’s lineup includes 52 active proven sires at or above +1.0 for SCR. Select Sires’ fertility leaders include 7HO12248 SUPERIOR (+3.8), 7HO10506 G W ATWOOD (+3.3), YODER (+3.1), 7HO12115 DECEIVER (+3.0) and 7HO12095 MALLINGER (+2.9).

Fitness frontrunners
7HO13093 DAMARIS (+9.6) and PENLEY (+9.1) rank very high in the breed for Productive Life (PL). In total, seven of the top 25 active proven sires for PL are from the Select Sires lineup. PENLEY also ranks No. 1 for Somatic Cell Score (SCS) (+2.33).

For DPR, Cow Conception Rate (CCR) and Heifer Conception Rate (HCR), 7HO12126 FLORES (+6.6, +8.4, +4.8), 7HO11169 PETRONE (+6.2, +7.9, +5.1) and MIDNIGHT (+5.6, +7.7, +4.4) rank among the breed’s top 10. 7HO11395 MYSTIC is also a top-10 sire for DPR (+6.0) and CCR (+7.7) with a positive HCR (+3.7).

Dominating the type rankings
Showcase Selections sires hold three of the top seven spots for Type in the industry’s active proven lineup, including 7HO12353 BEEMER (+3.68), G W ATWOOD (+3.62) and 7HO11596 DEIANT (+3.35). Additional sires over +3.0 for Type include new graduate 7HO12395 SATURN (+3.26), 7HO12198 KINGBOY (+3.25) and 7HO11477 MCCUTCHEN (+3.19). “7HO” sires that rank in the top 20 for Udder Composite (UDC) include 7HO11314 MOGUL (+3.09) and SATURN (+3.08). 7HO11915 MULTIPLY ranks among the breed’s top 10 sires for Feet and Leg Composite (FLC) at +2.84.

To view Select Sires’ complete Holstein lineup, visit or contact your local Select Sires sales representative.

Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc., is North America’s largest A.I. organization and is comprised of nine farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

Select Sires Offers Industry-Leading Sires in the High-Components Breeds

Genetic results from the December sire summaries showed great development and additions to Select Sires’ high-components breeds lineups. Customer-owners will be excited to see that Select Sires’ proven and genomic young sire offerings rank very well in their respective breeds.

Ayrshire sires transmit great fitness and type

Proven sires 7AY93 BERKELY and 7AY108 RANEY excel across the breed in fitness traits. Showcase SelectionsTM sire, BERKELY ranks No. 1 in the breed for Heifer Conception Rate (HCR) (+4.1) and No. 3 for Cow Conception Rate (CCR) (+1.6). RANEY, a Calimero son, is No. 3 for Productive Life (PL) (+1.5), No. 4 for CCR (+1.5) and HCR (+2.5) and No. 5 for Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) (+0.5). Available in gender SELECTedTM semen, RANEY stands ready to fill your heifer pens and is an excellent choice for all the 7AY84 BURDETTE daughters out there.

Super SamplersTM 7AY111 REAGAN and 7AY118 CHAMP rank first and second among young sires for Type at +1.6 and +1.5, respectively. These two Showcase Selections sires come from well-known cow families with impressive show winnings. CHAMP is a son from previous World Dairy Expo grand champion Cedarcut Burdette Clove Colata (EX-93-EX-MS).

ADVISOR joins Brown Swiss lineup

The Brown Swiss lineup at Select Sires is strengthened by the addition of 7BS871 ADVISOR. A Brookings son from Blessing Vigor Alessa-ET “E90 E90MS”, ADVISOR ranks No. 1 in the industry for Cheese Merit (CM$) (+608), Grazing Merit (GM$) (+515), Net Merit (NM$) (+567), percent Protein (+0.09) and PL (+7.7). ADVISOR is also the breed’s No. 2 sire for GPPR (+181).

7BS852 BOSEPHUS and 7BS863 SEAMAN continue to sire high-producing cows and transmit appealing type traits. December sire summaries rank both BOSEPHUS and SEAMAN third in the industry for Type (+1.2). 7BS826 AUGUST (+2.5), BOSEPHUS (+2.5), SEAMAN (+1.4) and ADVISOR (+1.3) are among the breed’s best for Sire Conception Rate (SCR), all ranking in the top 10.

Super Samplers 7BS894 SMOOTH and 7BS889 HILTON are both standouts in the breed for indexes. SMOOTH ranks No. 2 for NM$ (+580) and CM$ (+619) and has a high GPPR value (+191). HILTON ranks No. 3 for NM$ (+577) and CM$ (+599) and No. 4 for GPPR (+208).

Exciting additions and developments in the Guernsey lineup

7GU458 JAGUAR joins the proven Guernsey sires at Select Sires. In his debut to the proven lineup, JAGUAR ranks well for a variety of Type traits, including Udder Composite (UDC) (+1.5), Type (+1.8) and Foot and Leg Composite (FLC) (+1.6). This elite Type sire brings a unique pedigree and outcross opportunities to the lineup. JAGUAR is a Conqueror son from an Excellent (93-EX-93-MS) 7GU360 TILLER daughter.

7GU446 NOVAK continues his reign as the No. 1 sire for CM$ (+376), NM$ (+374) and Fluid Merit (FM$) (+370). He also transmits outstanding fitness traits and ranks in the top five for DPR (+1.1), Livability (LIV) (+2.4) and PL (+2.8).

In terms of young genomic sires, Select Sires continues to grow and strengthen the lineup with sires that transmit favorable production and Type traits. Ranking No. 1 among young sires for Milk (+624), Fat (+47) and Protein (+23), 7GU473 BEAU transmits great production traits, while 7GU472 CHARMING leads the breed for Type (+1.7) and is followed closely in second by 7GU468 LADYS MAN (+1.6) and 7GU471 RANDALL (+1.6).

PATRIOT dominates

7MS356 PATRIOT stands strong as the No.1 sire for Milk (+573) and LIV (+1.9) and the No. 2 sire for CM$ (+140), NM$ (+142), FM$ (+147), Protein (+16), Fat (+8) and total performance (+63 PPR). As a member of Select Sires’ Showcase Selections lineup, PATRIOT has sired many show-winning heifers. He transmits a perfect combination of production and Type traits.

For the complete list of Select Sires’ high-components breeds lineup, please visit or contact your local Select Sires sales representative.


Alta Genetics and GENEX parent companies KOEPON & CRI to merge

The boards of directors of Koepon Holding BV and Cooperative Resources International (CRI) have reached agreement on a plan to merge their organizations. The agreement is non-binding, and subject to due diligence and other customary conditions, including receipt of requisite governmental and other consents and approvals. Once completed, final agreement will be conditional upon approval by both boards of directors as well as the delegates of CRI. If successful, the organizations plan to formalize the merger by mid-2018.

Both Koepon and CRI, through Alta Genetics and GENEX, are global providers of bovine genetics and related services. Similarly, Koepon and CRI subsidiaries, Valley Ag Software and AgSource, provide herd management and information services to dairy producers. Koepon and CRI also have other businesses centered around services and products for agricultural producers. Koepon is privately owned, and CRI is  cooperatively-owned by its farmer-members. CRI cooperative operations will be maintained as part of the merged entity. The new organization will be incorporated and headquartered in Wisconsin.

About CRI:

CRI (, a member-owned holding cooperative headquartered in Shawano, Wisconsin, is the global leader in delivering excellence, innovation and value to members and customers. This mission proclaims CRI’s position in the agriculture industry and commitment to those linked to the land through plant and animal production. CRI serves members and customers through diverse business segments: AgSource provides agricultural testing and informational services that transform meaningful data into innovative solutions; GENEX is a trusted provider of innovative excellence in cattle genetics; and MOFA GLOBAL develops superior quality assisted reproductive technologies. Employees from all segments live the values of innovation, integrity, leadership, quality and stewardship.

About Koepon Holding:

With strong roots in dairy farming through Pon family ownership, Koepon Holding ( today is a vibrant combination of enterprises focused on creating value for beef and dairy producers worldwide.  Through leading genetic improvement programs and reproductive services (Alta Genetics), insight rich dairy management software (Valley Ag Software), and premium calf nutrition products (SCCL), Koepon positively impacts the performance and results of beef and dairy producers.  The company is fueled by the passion and pride of a worldwide team of talented and energetic people who focus daily on creating value and delivering results for their client partners.

For more information contact Cees Hartmans, CEO Koepon at or Keith Heikes, CEO CRI at

Select Sires Graduates Exciting Group of Diverse Sires to Proven Lineups

The December sire summaries resulted in several impressive additions to Select Sires’ product lines. This class of graduates offers a nice diversity of new sire stacks and specialists for various market segments. Continue reading for lineup additions in Holstein, Brown Swiss, Guernsey and Jersey sires. 

Holstein Graduates

The much anticipated 7HO12344 RAGER-RED joins Select Sires’ lineup as the Red & White breed’s No. 1 proven sire for GTPI® and NM$. He is a Relief-P son backed by a Very Good (88) 7HO10606 OBSERVER dam and an Excellent (90-EX-MS) 7HO7872 ADVENT-RED grandam. RAGER-RED carries a Superior Settler designation and transmits appealing Type (+2.14) with powerhouse production (+1,400 Milk) numbers.

7HO12357 PENLEY is a fitness and wellness trait specialist that is siring trouble-free cows with great production records. PENLEY is among the best for Somatic Cell Score (SCS) (2.33), Productive Life (PL) (+9.1), Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) (+2.4) and Dairy Wellness Profit Index (DWP$ ) (+1,039). This 7HO11618 PLATINUM son is an outcross sire designed to meet the needs of today’s breeding programs.

Previously a popular Super Sampler, 7HO12236 BAYONET graduates into the proven lineup with an extremely balanced linear profile. With +1.70 PTAT and +1.90 UDC, this 7HO11525 DONATELLO son is siring high-producing cows with very high and wide rear udders.

Type-giant 7HO12395 SATURN is one of only five proven sires in the breed over +2300 GTPI and greater than +3.00 PTAT. Improve udders with his breed-leading UDC of +3.08 and +3.23 Rear Udder Height. This bull is bred for longevity with his Very Good (88) Clark dam fresh again and working on her fifth lactation.

High-Component Sires

7BS871 ADVISOR graduates to Select’s active proven Brown Swiss lineup. He is an extreme health trait specialist (+7.7 PL and +1.8 DPR) and component specialist (+.09%P and +.12%F). Graduating to Select Sires’ Guernsey lineup is 7GU458 JAGUAR, an elite Type (+1.8) bull that sires cows with sensational udders (+1.5 UDC) and correct feet and legs (+1.6 FLC). Joining the proven Jersey ranks is 7JE5011 MEGAPOWER, an A2A2, high Type (+1.6) Megatron son from a cow family that delivers results.

GenerVations Graduates

250HO1131 SALT joins the GenerVations proven lineup as an all-around complete sire with favorable Calving Ease (6.2 SCE), high fertility (+1.3 DPR) and attractive Type traits (+2.29 PTAT, +2.82 UDC). He is +2518 GTPI and ranks among the top 20 GLPI sires in Canada. A 7HO11314 MOGUL son from Delaberge Planet Louisa (VG-88-VG-MS), SALT’s pedigree ensures success.

Accelerated Genetics Graduates

Two Holsteins and one Jersey sire join the Accelerated Genetics lineup. One of the lineup’s most recognizable bulls, 14HO7461 CRANK-IT, graduates to the proven ranks with an ultra-low SCS (2.63) and crowd-pleasing Type (+2.37). He’s a 7HO11477 MCCUTCHEN son from a Very Good (87) Iota from a (EX-92-3E-EX-MS-GMD-DOM) Toystory with a lifetime milk record of 295,000 pounds. 14HO7426 EQUINOX offers a MOGUL-free pedigree and is guaranteed to improve health and fitness traits, while siring moderate-framed cattle. With a +5.6 PL, 14JE670 LEMONHEAD sires long-lasting cows while improving health traits and components (+.17%F). He is the industry’s first proven Samson son from a Very Good (88%) Renegade dam.

For more details about Select Sires’ new graduates lineup, visit or contact your Select Sires sales representative.

Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc., is North America’s largest A.I. organization and is comprised of nine farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

CRV Lineups Offer Genetics Proven To Build Efficient, Healthier, And More Profitable Cows

CRV USA is excited to release strong lineups for both the Holstein and Jersey breeds—delivering on our promise to help producers build better cows for a better life. For several years, CRV USA has helped customers truly focus on ways to make their operation more profitable: building healthier herds, driving efficient production, and producing premium milk. That focus continues today and is further underscored with the release of a new CRV proprietary HerdBuilder trait—Milk Urea Nitrogen.


MUN (Milk Urea Nitrogen) is a term that we hear constantly in the nutrition and milk production world, but did you know that MUN also has a large genetic component? MUN measures the amount of urea nitrogen in the milk, and therefore can be used to determine how efficiently a cow synthesizes protein. This new and exciting breeding value can have an impact on crude protein utilization and the amount of nitrogen excreted to the environment. The heritability of MUN is 65%, greater than Fat or Protein Percent.

  • 097HO41459 LEVATOR is the absolute lineup leader for Milk Urea Nitrogen. With a value of -3.68 this bull guarantees to lower the MUN content in your milk. Combined with a value of 11 for Better Life Efficiency LEVATOR is an efficiency champion.
  • 097HO41743 HARLEY is a second sire ensuring extremely efficient daughters. With a MUN value of -0.10 and excellent conformation, this sire surely won’t disappoint


Using Better Life Efficiency, CRV continues to help producers breed more efficient and profitable herds. The CRV lineup averages an extreme 10% for Better Life Efficiency—moderating stature, improving feed to milk conversion, and increasing longevity.

  • New bull 097HO41885 MASON is the new lineup leader for Better Life Efficiency at 17%. He uses his +2357 value for PTA Milk to build a foundation for your herd. Combining this with is low stature of +0.36 and Lactation Persistency of 111 MASON is a sire of extremely efficient daughters.
  • 097HO41744 LIGERO is another exceptional option for Efficiency coming in at 16% for BLE. He is a fantastic bull for fat at +90 pounds to go along with very moderate frame size at +0.15 Stature. Daughters will also be Efficient in the parlor with a Milking Speed value of 105.
  • 097HO41651 FORWARD continues to excel in BLE at 13%. This AltaSpring son definitely moves your breeding program forward with his 146 pounds of CFP, high fat and protein percentages, Lactation Persistency of 108 and low Body Weight Composite of +0.06.


Using Better Life Health, CRV continues to help customers breed healthier, fertile, and longer lasting cows. The CRV lineup for Better Life Health is better than ever at 5% —reducing mastitis, preventing lameness, and improving fertility.

  • New addition 097HO41855 EXCLUSIVE is a one of a kind package for health traits with a Better Life Health score of 7%. He is 4.8 SCE and +4.9 DPR to go along with a Hoof Health score of 104.
  • A Jersey leader for health is proven bull 097JE00050 BARKSDALE with a score of 15% for Better Life Health. He has one of the most outstanding values for Productive Life in the Jersey breed at 10.1 and extremely healthy udders with a Somatic Cell Score of 2.63.
  • New Jersey bull, 097JE00165 SULLY, is another great option for healthier herds. He is +1.0 for DPR and excels in Livability at +2.2.



Using milk component and CRV proprietary HerdBuilder traits, we continue to help dairy farmers breed cows that produce more valuable milk. In uncertain milk market trends, CRV can help farmers make their milk more valuable and increase their milk checks without growing your herds.

  • Dutch Holstein and new release, 097HO41760 EMPIRE excels in his Premium Milk traits. He is +0.35% Fat and +0.17% Protein. He has a tremendous NVI value of 350, and is also an A2A2 Beta Casein sire.
  • 097HO41830 AUDIBLE, is the Holstein leader on the CRV lineup for CFP at 170 pounds. He is 106 pounds of Fat with a Fat Percentage of +0.16% and is $922 Net Merit. He is doing this all from a moderate sized cow with his 0.49 value for stature.
  • 097JE00157 CHRISTTY-P is both a great option for Premium Milk and polled genetics. This polled Jersey sire is +0.10% Fat and +0.07% Protein. In addition to being an A2A2 Beta Casein sire, he is also an udder improver at +23.9 JUI.


Source: CRV

CRV Offers Red Breed Sire Directory for Fleckvieh, MRY and Red Holstein

CRV USA is excited to release strong lineups for the Fleckvieh, MRY and Red Holstein breeds—delivering on our promise to help producers build better cows for a better life. For several years, CRV USA has helped customers truly focus on ways to make their operation more profitable: building healthier herds, driving efficient production, and producing premium milk. That focus continues today and the rise in popularity of the red breeds has not escaped the attention of CRV USA. CRV USA is therefore extremely excited to offer a Red Breed Sire Directory.

  • Fleckvieh bull WALK 097FL80493 headlines the lineup at an outstanding 140 TMI with 1008 kgs Milk. His high udder conformation and health means his daughters will produce well for several lactations.
  • New release Fleckvieh bull VERTIGO 97FL59510 will work well in crossbreeding situations as our leader for udder conformation at 129. This A2A2 bull has great calving ease and daughter fertility to ensure the health of his next generation.
  • MAHUTA P 097FL59680 is a polled Fleckvieh bull that brings in a tremendous amount of milk and a great linear profile. With great slope to the rump and strong feet and legs the daughters will be fertile and long lasting.
  • Newly daughter proven Fleckvieh bull DAX 097FL71420 pairs being A2A2 with strong production and component percentages. Great udders and easy calving makes DAX a great fit for any operation and can be used with daughter proven confidence.
  • MRY bull HARM 097MI41831 is a leading Rivaal son with outstanding component percentages at 0.30% Fat and 0.01% Protein, paired with below average somatic cell counts and well attached udders.

CRV USA also has a wide variety of Red, Red Carrier, and Polled sires from our breeding programs in Holland. These sires all represent the desire to increase components and breed efficient cows while allowing producers to take advantage of red and polled genes. One example of this is PERPLEX RED PP 097HO41419 who is 1281 kgs milk and over two points on udder composite. Those values paired with being homozygous polled allows him to fit in a variety of breeding goals.

To learn more about our Fleckvieh, MRY and Red Holstein lineup and how CRV can help you build BETTER COWS FOR A BETTER LIFE, check out our new red breed directory and the links below or contact a CRV Genetic Consultant today at 1-855-CRV-COWS.

  • December 2017 CRV USA Red Breed Directory

About CRV

CRV is a leading, customer focused cattle improvement organization fully committed to adding value for our farmers. With facilities in the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, Luxembourg, South Africa, Brazil, the United States, the Czech Republic and Spain, CRV sells semen in more than 60 countries. CRV’s U.S. office in Madison, Wisconsin, was established in 2009, and our team delivers solutions that support farmers in building more profitable and efficient herds.


Source: Hoards

GENEX launches ICC$ index for Jerseys

The index includes two new proprietary traits.

With the December sire summary, GENEX releases the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index for Jersey cattle along with two new proprietary traits. The data-driven ICC$ index focuses on areas Jersey cattle producers rank as most important to their operations.“Development of this ICC$ index for Jerseys was driven by our members and customers demanding a comprehensive index that specifically looked at genetic selection for their commercial operations,” explains Huub te Plate, GENEX Chief Operating Officer.

GENEX formulated the index utilizing data points from multiple sources; the data sources mirror those of the ICC$ index for Holsteins, which was released in 2014. Data sources include the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding, the Canadian Dairy Network and the Cooperative Resources International (CRI) dairy research database, which consists of GENEX and AgSource Dairy data. The index was collaboratively calculated with the CRI International Center for Biotechnology.

The ICC$ index for Jerseys is comprised of three sub-indexes: Cheese Maximizer, Sustainability and Fertility. Producers can easily customize their genetic selection by first selecting for the ICC$ index and then narrowing their emphasis to a specific sub-index.

Also released are two proprietary traits for Jersey cattle: Age at First Calving (AAFC) and Calf Survivability (CSRV). These traits, calculated by GENEX, are the first of their kind in the industry and are included in the ICC$ index for Jerseys. AAFC highlights the importance of daughter fertility within the breed; heifers calving in early equals bottom-line profit. CSRV brings awareness to genetics that breed hardiness and survivability into newborn calves.

“It was listening to our customers’ needs and wants that inspired us to develop an index and traits that would help them better their herds,” states te Plate. “These developments are further illustrations of our commitment to providing customers with innovative excellence and science-based cattle genetics.”

The ICC$ index, AAFC and CSRV values are available on all GENEX Jersey sires and included in the sire catalog.


New Generation Genetics Bulls Lead the Way Following the Genetic Evaluations in December

Following the release of the December 2017 genetic evaluations, bulls from New Generation Genetics proven and genomic bulls ranked at or near the top for Milk, Components, Type, Udder Composite, Mobility, Fertility, DPR, Productive Life, NM$, PPR, & Profit.

54BS509 Shiloh Brookings CADENCE ET *TM continues to shine as the #1 PPR proven bull and #1 for Protein. His proof increased once again and is +1.1 type +1.37 UDC 203 PPR +1335m +52f +.00% +47p +.01% +5.8 Productive Life 2.82 SCS $528 NM$ +1.0 SCR and great calving ease at 4.4%.

54BS539 Jo-Dee Nemo RICHARD *TM from the Champions Collection Sire now graduates as a daughter proven sire. With leading production and type, he is the #2 Type proven bull and the #3 Milk proven bull. Richard’s proof is at +1326m, +1.25 UDC, and +1.3 Type.

54BS482 Voelkers TD CARTER *TM continues to add more new daughters and is the #1 Proven Type plus being the #5 Proven Milk bull. Carter’s type proof continues at +1.4 type, +1.18 UDC, +0.7 Mobility, +0.7 FU, +1.1 UD +1.2 RUW and +1.0 RUH. Carter’s production proof increased to +1144m +37f +27p +2.0 Productive Life and 126 PPR.

54BS526 Hilltop Acres CT DAVENPORT ET *TM continues his success with high type and udder composite. He has breed leading DPR, calving ease and production. His proof is +1.0 type +1.34 UDC 129 PPR $331 NMS$ +592m +4.2 PL 4.3% Calving ease and the #1 DPR bull at +2.2.

54BS573 Kulp-Terra LUCKY CARL ET *TM is new #1 G-PPR bull in the breed. He is from the same family as CARTER and is the #1 G-Protein & Fat bull. His proof is at +1687m +71f +.01% +58p +.00% +1.1 Type with a huge PPR at 239.

54BS581 RASTA *TM is a new addition to our Champions Collection lineup and is tied as the #3 Type genomic bull at +1.4 type. He has one of the fullest pedigrees and is out of a full sister to RICHARD. In addition to type, he has a +1.51 UDC.

With the addition of 54BS581 RASTA, the CHAMPIONS COLLECTION elite sire lineup includes 54BS539 RICHARD, 54BS568 FAST & FURIOUS, 54BS521 KINGSMAN, 54BS548 WINNING FORMULA and 54BS567 WATCHOUT.


Westgen celebrates barn opening in Abbotsford

November 26, 2017 marked the celebration of WestGen’s new barn in Abbotsford.
The rain held off and with it being a Saturday affair, families came out in numbers to see the recently inaugurated WestGen barns.

In attendance was Mayor Henry Braun of the City of Abbotsford; as well as both current WestGen staff and Board members; the construction crew and sub-contractors who worked tirelessly to complete on the barn, Abbotsford Veterinary Clinic and Agwest Veterinary Group and local press.

Hundreds of farm families took part to take a peek on this perfect fall day, to pay witness to the ribbon cutting and to tour the new facilities. There was food, IVF demonstrations, 70 cows and heifers and a number of exhibits.

“Our former barns now well over 60 years old, were built at a time when Langley was primarily a farming community. As the city grew around us, and many farmers moved further eastward into the valley, it was time for WestGen to reinvest in its future and move with them.

Abbotsford is in the heart of the BC dairy industry and is an ideal location from which to serve our customers in Western Canada. This barn was designed not only to gain efficiencies, but also to be used as an educational centre for our members and owners to use for generations to come. WestGen is a farmer-owned organization, and this is their building,” said WestGen CEO, Chris Parry.

With this second phase of WestGen’s move to Abbotsford now complete, the company is excited to begin the next chapter in their history.


About WestGen

WestGen has been in business for 73 years and is Western Canada’s Leader in Genetics and Reproduction. Their building and new barn serves as a home for both their members, and their growing subsidiary companies: Cryogen Liquid Nitrogen Solutions and Boviteq West. To learn more visit Westgen or call us at 604.426.1944.

Photo’s provided by Westgen


Select Sires GenerVations Appoints Stewart Ontario Sales Manager

Select Sires GenerVations is pleased to announce the addition of Lyndon Stewart as Ontario Regional Manager. Stewart will be responsible for delivering strong genetic and product sales support to Select Sires GenerVations’ valued customer owners across the province.

Growing up, and his impressive 25-year career path in the agriculture industry has allowed Stewart to truly understand the needs of today’s modern producer. An advocate of lifelong learning, Stewart has bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees  from the University of Guelph; is a 2013 alumnus of the Harvard Business School; and achieved his chartered director designation through McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business in 2015.

Stewart credits his passion for leadership and learning to a lifetime of involvement in 4-H as a member, volunteer, employee, trustee and director at local, provincial and national levels. An advocate for the future of our industry, Stewart is excited to be a part of the continued success of Select Sires GenerVations’ customer owners. 

Bill Young, general manager of Select Sires GenerVations noted, “We are excited to have Lyndon join our team. His passion, dedication and knowledge of the dairy industry in Canada are second to none. We are looking forward to having him lead our Ontario team to continue delivering the elite products and services our customer owners have come to rely on.”

Stewart, his partner Amy, and his children Vanessa and Carson reside in Guelph Ontario.

Based in Kemptville, Ontario, Select Sires GenerVations is Canada’s fastest growing A.I. organization. It provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying livestock breeders with the best genetics available at a reasonable price.


Select Sires Appoints Kerndt ART Program Manager, Announces Sire Department

Select Sires Inc., has appointed Mark Kerndt to the role of Aggressive Reproductive Technologies™ (ART™) program manager. “Mark has a broad background and skill set that will be very useful in his new role,” says Jeff Ziegler, vice president dairy cattle breeding for Select Sires. “Most recently, Mark has shown excellent technical and negotiation skills as a Holstein sire analyst for Select Sires. Some of our most highly sought after genomic sires have been developed under Mark’s watch,” Ziegler continues.

Kerndt graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science. While there he was an active member of the dairy judging team and was the high individual in oral reasons at the 1982 National Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest. After graduation, he spent 16 years as part owner and operator of Kerndtway Holsteins, Waukon, Iowa, and was recognized with the Iowa Outstanding Young Holstein Breeder award in 1996. The Kerndtway prefix can be found in the pedigrees of 7HO12228 Kerndtway KINGPIN-ET (EX-92) and 7HO12229 Kerndtway ERASER P-ET (EX-90). Kerndt then worked for the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation and Regancrest Holsteins before owning and operating Premier Genetics until 2010. Kerndt also served as director of marketing for Prairie State/Select Sires for five years before being hired as a Holstein sire analyst at Select Sires.

Select Sires also announced a title change for Kevin Jorgensen, Waupun, Wis., and Rick VerBeek, Tunkhannock, Pa., to senior Holstein sire analysts. “Both men have developed tenure and a high degree of respect throughout the industry with their honesty, knowledge and creativity for successful genetic development,” tells Ziegler. “They will be instrumental in helping coach and mold a new member of the sire team as we seek a replacement for Kerndt’s position.” For information about the opening for a dairy sire analyst, visit the careers section of Select Sires’ website at

Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc., is North America’s largest A.I. organization and is comprised of nine farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

Sara Kitchen Joins Select Sires as Communications Specialist

Select Sires Inc. has hired Sara Kitchen as communications specialist. In this role, she will manage the writing and production of Select Sires’ customer newsletter, Selections; coordinate all press releases; and work closely with the sales and marketing team to promote Select Sires’ many programs and services. Kitchen, a native of Pennsylvania, will join the corporate communications team on November 15.

“Sara’s experiences and specialized talents make her a valuable addition to the corporate communications team. Her passion and commitment to customer success aligns with our mission as a customer-owned cooperative. We are excited to welcome her as a member of our team,” stated Shirley Kaltenbach, director of communications for Select Sires.

Kitchen join’s Select Sires’ corporate team with a wealth of experience. She spent two years as communications specialist for Select Sire Power where she coordinated internal and external communications efforts. She is a 2015 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science and a minor in Agricultural Communications. During her time at the university, she was an active member of the Penn State Dairy Science Club and contributed and designed the 2015 club yearbook. She worked with Penn State Center for Professional Personnel Development and Center for Dairy Excellence to expand curriculum for dairy education in the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Program and developed and implemented social media plans to promote and encourage industry involvement in the program. She has also taken active roles in the Pennsylvania Holstein Association and Holstein USA. She currently assists with the Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge as publicity and public relation co-chair and serves on the Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge Alumni Committee.

Before joining the staff of Select Sire Power, Kitchen honed her craft with internships at Filament Marketing and the Center for Dairy Excellence. She also served as a freelance journalist for Progressive Dairyman magazine and was a member of the AgChoice Farm Credit Social Media Corps for the Northeast Regional Dairy Challenge.

“I grew up on a registered Holstein and Red & White dairy farm that used Select Sires’ genetics and took great pride in the quality of cattle that resulted from those matings. Through my communications work and interactions with member-owners at Select Sire Power, I developed a passion for Select Sires genetics, programs and services. I am extremely excited to join the communications department at Select Sires Inc. and to continue promoting the Select Sires brand,” says Kitchen.

Summer Internships Available at Select Sires

Select Sires Inc., has announced plans to offer five summer internships at its headquarters facility in Plain City, Ohio, during the summer of 2018. Positions are available within the following departments: sales and marketing, communications, semen processing, information systems and veterinary, with applications due by January 1, 2018.
“Both practical work experience within the industry and networking are extremely important in helping college students prepare for full-time employment upon graduation,” says Dave Thorbahn, Select Sires president and C.E.O. “That’s why Select Sires offers hands-on internship opportunities each year. These internships help introduce students to the industry side of agriculture, while they contribute to the day-to-day operation of the Select Sires federation.”
College students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dairy science, animal science, agricultural economics, agricultural communications or related agricultural fields as well as information systems may apply for these internships. Preference is for candidates to be in their junior or senior year of college, but underclassmen will be considered. Interns must be willing to relocate to Ohio for the summer and available to work full-time for 12 consecutive weeks.
For more information about these internships or to submit a resume for consideration, visit here.

New Select Sires Employees Participate in Orientation and Sales Training

Twenty-six professional A.I. technicians, sales representatives, Select Mating Service® (SMS®) genetic consultants, Select Reproductive Solutions® (SRS®) specialists, communications coordinators and administrative personnel took part in Select Sires’ employee orientation held October 24 and 25 at the Select Sires headquarters in Plain City, Ohio. Employees from eight member cooperatives, Select Sires GenerVations and Select Sires Inc., were present for the two-day event where they received superior education to better serve Select Sires’ customers. Following orientation, a majority of the attendees participated in an additional two days of extensive sales training.

“Orientation gives our employees the opportunity to visit the headquarters facilities, view our industry-renowned sires and connect with other employees from across the federation,” said Lyle Kruse, vice president of U.S. market development for Select Sires. “It is evident that our company is growing, and I’m excited about the future of Select Sires with the addition of enthusiastic and professional individuals like this orientation group. I have no doubt about their ability to provide our customer-owners with outstanding service.”

The participants were presented with in-depth information about Select Sires’ programs including the Program for Genetic Advancement™ (PGA™), SRS, SMS, StrataGEN®, Aggressive Reproductive Technologies™ (ART™), CowManager®, Breeding to FeedingSM and the Program for Fertility Advancement™ (PFA™). Instruction on the topics of reproductive solutions, fertility research, beef and dairy sire programs, cattle evaluation, herd management products and Select Sires’ gender SELECTed™ process was given. Participants were treated to a detailed tour of Select Sires’ headquarter facilities.

Orientation and sales training participants included: Mario Limon, Tulare, Calif., from All West/Select Sires; Eli Caldera, Stephenville, Texas and Chase Dunlap, West Farmington, Ohio from COBA/Select Sires Inc.; Jim Galstad, Westby, Wis., and Ryan Weigel, Platteville, Wis., employees of East Central/Select Sires; Cindy Evers, Lake City, Minn., Kourtney Meister, Brownton, Minn., and Jamie Woodard, Winona, Minn., representing Minnesota Select Sires Co-op Inc.; Andrea Pagenkopf, Fremont, Wis., Makeil Schmalfeldt, Athens, Wis., and Tim Schmidt, Warren, Ind., from NorthStar Cooperative; Andy Anderson, Emmett, Idaho, and Nicole DeMars, Pollock, S.D., of Select Sires MidAmerica Inc.; Brett Haines, Union Bridge, Md., John Jacobs, Greenwood, N.Y., Sean Johnson, Glenville, Pa., Jacob Richardson, York, Pa., Jeff Van Patten, Preble, N.Y., and Eli Williard, Lebanon, Pa., all employees of Select Sire Power Inc.; Bob Palmore, Hardyville, Ky., representing Southeast Select Sires Inc.; Normand Favreau, Acton Vale, PQ from Select Sires GenerVations Inc.; and Morgan Cook, Grove City, Ohio, Inez Finley, Marysville, Ohio, Angie Lindloff, Reedsburg, Wis., Jill Strangstalien, Westby, Wis., and Kayla Wright, Baraboo, Wis., all employees of Select Sires Inc.


Jetstream Genetics Releases Two New Sires From Respected Cow Families

Jetstream Genetics is excited to announce the release of two new Jetset Priority Genomic Sires at the top of their lineup. Cow families are a staple at Jetstream and two prominent families, Shottle May and Gold-N- Oaks Marbella, back these leading GTPI sires. The new sires deliver profitable genetics through a combination of health, production and type traits.

734HO00082 MONSTER (Jedi x Bombero): This new-release sire has no contract restrictions and offers +2789 GTPI, +2506 Milk and +2.24 PTAT. At +807 NM$, +84 Fat and +81 Protein, it won’t take bravery to add MONSTER to your mating list. His +1.2 DPR and +7.3 PL will produce healthy offspring backed by loads of production. MONSTER is Jedi x VG87 Bombero x Predestine x Snowman x EX DOM Planet Manitoba x EX DOM Shottle May x EX Oman. MONSTER semen is readily available and qualifies for all international markets.

734HO00083 MASTERMIND (Montana x Supersire): The Gold-N- Oaks Marbella cow family provides the genius behind MASTERMIND. Breeders love profits from production and MASTERMIND delivers with +2055 Milk, +71 Protein and +93 Fat. Those numbers combine to offer +906 NM$ and +2768 GTPI. Low SCS at +2.75 and longevity with +7.5 PL make this sire safe for the heifer barn too at +7.4% SCE.MASTERMIND is Montana x VG86 Supersire x VG88 Bookem x VG88 MOM x VG89 GMD DOM Shottle x EX94 2E Morty x VG87 GMD DOM Marshall
x EX92 Bosco x VG88 Duster. MASTERMIND semen is readily available and qualifies for all international markets.

Jetstream Genetics Inc. features deep-pedigreed cow families, high numbers, extreme type, extreme production, Red, Polled, and the best sires combining these attributes through the technology of genomics. In a rapidly changing and evolving AI marketplace, Jetstream secures the most sought-after genetics and offers competitive and favorable contracts for customers —allowing them their greatest return. Jetstream Genetics is the catalyst in moving genetics forward.

For more information, visit Jetstream Genetics or call 1.855.4JETSTREAM (855-453-8787).

Select Sires – Sire Tour 2017

In a Bullvine video exclusive join Select Sires Genomics Program Manager Jeff Ziegler, as he tours us through some of the top proven sires at Select Sires. Including MOGUL, SUPERSIRE, MONTROSS, & JEDI. See these amazing bulls as the parade around the Kellgren Center.




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Select Sires Honors Ripley and Hanson for Industry Contributions

During a ceremony held October 2, 2017, Select Sires Inc., dedicated their Westby, Wis., production facility as the Roger L. Ripley Production Facility in honor of retired Accelerated Genetics President and Chief Executive Officer, Roger L. Ripley. On the same day, the Roger Hanson Laboratory was also dedicated to honor Hanson who served Accelerated Genetics as vice president of production and laboratory manager for nearly 26 years and the industry for more than 40 years.

Roger Ripley

Roger Ripley served Accelerated Genetics cooperative as president and chief executive officer for more than 24 years (1984-2008). His innovative and visionary leadership elevated the cooperative to become a respected global force in the genetics industry.

After graduating from South Dakota State University with a bachelor’s of science in Dairy Science and a master’s of science in Advanced Animal Breeding, he focused on a career in the dairy genetics industry. Ripley joined Accelerated Genetics (Tri-State Breeders Cooperative) in 1970 and through the course of his 32-year tenure, served as regional marketing manager in Minnesota and Iowa, sire analyst, sire procurement manager, vice president of genetics and finally, president and chief executive officer starting in 1984.

Ripley was instrumental in the formation of Genetic Visions Inc. This wholly-owned subsidiary of Accelerated Genetics served as the research arm of the cooperative and opened the world to genetic marker research identifying genes influencing production traits, gestation length, animal health and viability in cattle. This research was at the forefront of the commercial adoption of genomic testing.

Ripley also saw the value of partnering with other cooperatives. This was made evident in the joint purchase of World Wide Sires Ltd., by Accelerated Genetics and Select Sires Inc. The synergistic approach to serving international customers allowed the sale of elite genetic product all over the world.

Ripley’s leadership skills and industry knowledge extend industry-wide. He has served as the NAAB chair; president and vice president of the World Dairy Expo board of directors; and served on the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching and the University of Wisconsin Department of Dairy Science advisory committee. In 1999, he was recognized as World Dairy Expo’s Industry Person of the Year. He is revered as a man of great commitment and vision and is a true leader in the dairy industry.

Select Sires President and CEO, David Thorbahn, stated, “Ripley is one of the foremost and successful leaders in the cattle breeding industry. He guided Accelerated Genetics to be a major player in the bovine A.I. industry while pioneering industry innovations. Moreover, he will be remembered by those he worked with as one who cared more for the people of the business than the success he achieved!”

Roger Hanson

For nearly 40 years, Roger Hanson’s continuous education and early adoption of scientific processes enhanced the quality of sire semen production and aided in global genetic advancement.

Hanson graduated from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 1971. He furthered his education at the University of Minnesota, where in 1976, he received a master’s of science degree in Reproductive Physiology mentored by Dr. Ed Graham.

That same year, Hanson began his life-long A.I. career with Curtiss Breeding Service as quality control technician. He took on the role of laboratory manager for Carnation Breeding Service, later known as Landmark Genetics, from 1982 through 1990. Hanson stepped up to the role of vice president of production at Accelerated Genetics in 1990, overseeing management of the sire herd, as well as semen production and global distribution for the majority of his career. A leader both in the genetics industry as well as community, Hanson served on the NAAB Technical Committee from 1990 until 2017, most recently as chairman. He was an industry advisor for the Western Technical College Agribusiness Program and a member of the Vernon County Cooperative Association, representing Accelerated Genetics.

Hanson was instrumental in mentoring managers in each facet of the production facility with the goal to create high-quality bovine semen. In addition, he served as a role model to many lab, distribution and herd managers. He was the ultimate Accelerated Genetics ambassador and provided a warm welcome to facility visitors from many countries. Known for his diplomacy, dedication and sense of community, Hanson demonstrated the importance integrity plays in the genetics industry and the people it serves.

“Roger Hanson is a respected and selfless man who delayed his retirement to make sure the joining of forces between Accelerated Genetics lab staff and Select Sires Inc., lab staff was executed correctly and that the highest quality product continued,” said Thorbahn. He accepted the role of interim manager of Westby production facilities while a long-term manager could be found. His tenure of success, commitment and dedication has earned him our respect and admiration.”


Select Sires adds Brown as Facilities Operations Manager

Select Sires Inc., is excited to announce the addition of Dr. David Brown as facilities operations manager for the Roger L. Ripley Production Center in Westby, Wis. Brown will oversee all day-to-day operations at the facility.


Brown is a graduate of Iowa State University with degrees in Zoology (B.S.) and Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). After an 18-year career as a self-employed veterinarian, Brown joined the Accelerated Genetics team as staff veterinarian in January of 2008. During his time there, Brown was responsible for the semen export documentation team, semen export qualifications, compliance with USDA/APHIS export regulations, as well as health testing and welfare of 700 CSS qualified bulls housed at the Westby facility.

Since 2015, Brown was vice president of veterinary services and education for Genex, Shawano, Wis. In this role, he had veterinary oversite of the Shawano production facility as well as responsibilities for their Ithaca, N.Y.; Tiffin, Ohio; Strafford, Mo.; Mitchell, S.D. and Billings, Mont., production sites. During his time at Genex, he also traveled to Russia three times and China twelve times as an international consultant.

“I’m extremely pleased to be back in Westby, Wis., with most of the old team, along with some excellent new additions. Accelerated Genetics joining forces with Select Sires is the best thing that could have happened for the Westby production group. The Westby production team is a talented, experienced group with a lot to offer, and I am excited to see the investments being made to the facilities by Select Sires. I am sure that we can repay that trust by being one of the most efficient, highest-quality teams in the company. It is great to be back home,” says Brown.

“To say that Dr. Brown was well received by the employees at our Roger L. Ripley Production Center in Westby would be an understatement. He was obviously remembered fondly for his seven years of service and was missed by the staff,” tells Dr. Tony Good, vice president of production operations for Select Sires.

Brown is a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA). In his down time, he serves as a home Bible study teacher and is a member of the United States Cycling Federation. He and his wife, Jodie, have one son, Stephen.

CowManager Celebrates Five Years in the Ear in the U.S. and Canada

CowManager® has been on the market since 2012 and has been at the forefront of cutting-edge cow-monitoring ear technology during that time.

CowManager CEO, Teo Griffioen, and his passionate team are always searching for innovation. Most team members have a background in dairy farming and therefore a desire to improve the livelihood and profitability of dairy producers. CowManager provides accurate, real-time information on fertility, health and nutrition. These measures are based on temperature, activity, rumination, eating and resting time. “To improve the welfare of dairy producers and cows, our desire was to create a system that is easy to install, maintain and understand by using graphics which are directly sent to your computer and smartphone. It simply works,” says Gerard Griffioen, owner of the family dairy and research farm, Baron van Wassenaerhoeve, and founder of CowManager. “In 2012 we started exploring the U.S. market. Since then our market reach has grown rapidly. Now, nine out of 10 cows with ear sensors, wear CowManager sensors.”

Sander and Amy Penterman, Dutch Dairy, Thorp, Wisc., were the first to install CowManager in the U.S. “In the past five years the CowManager technology has really taken a step up. It’s the first thing I look at in the morning. The results for our farm have been very positive. The use of synchronization protocols for breeding has been reduced by 90 percent and pregnancy rate is currently 29 percent. We have also seen labor savings in animal care and reduced animal health costs. If I’m not on the dairy, I’m able to monitor the cows through my phone. We rely on CowManager daily and are very satisfied with the system,” tells Sander Penterman.

“If only cows could speak!” This wish from Conny van Bedaf of VanBedaf Dairy, N.D., came true when they decided to purchase CowManager for their dairy. “I was very reluctant when the first computerized ‘cow translators’ came out, but have to admit: CowManager really works! The sensor observes the cow 24/7, non-stop, there is no way we will ever be able to do that. I still believe cattle farmers are the best in sensing a cow’s needs, but monitoring systems can help us to give better, faster, more efficient and selective care.” 

To celebrate its fifth anniversary and the success of dairy producers with the system in the U.S. and Canada, CowManager is offering a 5 percent discount on all hardware (ear sensors, routers and coordinators). In addition, Select Sires is offering a herd reproduction and health review with a professional Select Reproductive Solutions® specialist. 

About CowManager
Modern dairy producers need innovative solutions and insights to overcome the challenges their herds face. CowManager supports dairy producers with a simple-to-install and easy-to-use ear sensor system. Everything CowManager does is focused on the producer’s success. The system is used for research at 25 universities worldwide. Today, thousands of dairy producers in more than 30 countries rely on CowManager to monitor the activity, health and wellbeing of their cows. 

CowManager is headquartered in Harmelen, Netherlands, and works in partnership with Select Sires in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit 

Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc., is North America’s largest A.I. organization and is comprised of 10 farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

Select Sires Releases “Impact Sires of the Breed” Artwork

Select Sires unveiled a new “Impact Sires of the Breed” artwork to attendees of their National Sales Conference in Columbus, Ohio earlier this month.

The newest edition represents the Holstein breed’s greatest impact sires from this decade, including ten most influential daughter-proven sires and the two most dominating genomic sires for elite ranking sons and daughters. The new print features: 7HO11314 MOGUL, 7HO12165 MONTROSS, 7HO11351 SUPERSIRE, 7HO12600 MODESTY, 7HO13250 JEDI, 7HO10721 BOOKEM, 7HO11477 MCCUTCHEN, 7HO12198 KINGBOY, 7HO10506 G W ATWOOD, 7HO10920 GOLD CHIP, 7HO9264 DEMPSEY and 7HO10524 ROBUST.

“These great sires represent the best genetics in the breed today and offer our customers genetics that are a cut above the competition,” says Charlie Will, Holstein sire analyst at Select Sires.
“ROBUST is located in a prominent spot, reflecting his dominance in today’s pedigrees. The artwork depicts not one, not two, but three generations of great impact sires,” Will continues. MOGUL heads two of the three, with his son MONTROSS, and his grandson, JEDI. MOGUL’s other grandson, MODESTY, is the new generation genomic impact sire. Also making a three peat is BOOKEM, his son MCCUTCHEN and grandson, KINGBOY. Rounding out the artwork with three of the breeds greatest type sires of their time is G W ATWOOD, DEMPSEY and GOLD CHIP. 

Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc., is North America’s largest A.I. organization and is comprised of 10 farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

Genus plc Introduces Genus IntelliGen™ Technologies

Genus plc, a global pioneer in animal genetics, today launches Genus IntelliGen™ Technologies, a new technology unit within the Genus organization. IntelliGen Technologies, formerly known as Genus Sexed Semen, is the global brand behind the technology that enabled ABS Global to launch Sexcel™ Sexed Genetics in September.“The introduction of IntelliGen Technologies is in strong alignment with the Genus mission of pioneering animal genetic improvement to help nourish the world,” said Karim Bitar, Genus plc CEO. “The availability of IntelliGen Technologies to the bovine market has the potential to transition the industry globally.”

The IntelliGen Technologies process to develop sexed bovine genetics does not subject cells to the high pressures, electric currents and shear forces used in other sexed semen processes. The result is a product that helps customers maximize their profitability and reach their end goals in a fast and efficient manner.

For example, the launch of Sexcel in India last month now helps dairy farmers add more females to their herd and increase the supply of high quality and safe milk. Bull calves, while unwanted by the producer, are considered sacred in the Hindu religion and therefore cannot be sent for slaughter. This results in an overpopulation of unwanted bovines and economic hardship on producers.

“Our technology was carefully designed to offer a unique and innovative solution,” said Jesús Martínez, IntelliGen Technologies Global Director. “This type of innovation will ultimately help farmers provide milk to their children and their country.”


Genus IntelliGen™ Technologies Partners with Geno – Leading Norwegian Genetics Breeder

Genus IntelliGen™ Technologies, a unit of Genus plc, a global pioneer in animal genetics, announces a technology transfer and license agreement of its proprietary sexed genetics technology to Geno, the leading Norwegian bovine genetics producer. Geno will produce sexed Norwegian Red genetics in Norway using Genus’ innovative genetics sexing technology. Geno has had an exclusive partnership with ABS Global (Genus’ bovine genetics division) for several years to market Norwegian Red genetics, the main dairy breed in Norway, across key global markets.

“Geno is a key partner in the industry and we have been working with them for a number of years,” said Jesús Martínez, IntelliGen Technologies Global Director. “They are well aligned with our business and we’re very excited to help make our novel proprietary technology available to them and their customers in Norway and across the world.”

The IntelliGen Technologies process to develop sexed bovine genetics does not subject cells to the high pressures, electric currents and shear forces used in other sexed semen processes. The result is a product that helps customers maximize their profitability and reach their end goals in a fast and efficient manner.

“As more farmers look to use sexed genetics in their herds, the demand for such technology will expand moving forward,” said Karim Bitar, Genus plc CEO. “We are excited to continue bringing competition to the market for bovine sexed genetics processing, ultimately benefiting dairy and beef producers around the world.”

Geno is a farmer cooperative conducting research and development for cattle breeding and distributing genetic material to more than 30 countries worldwide. Geno handles all exports of Norwegian Red genetics worldwide in cooperation with local distributors and is based in Hamar, Norway.

“As an organization, we are thrilled at the opportunity to offer this technology platform to our farmer-members,” said Lars Kristian Bredahl, Geno COO International. “Providing a differentiated sexed genetic offering will allow our Norwegian Red producers to grow their genetics as never before.”

The Norwegian Red breed is known for superior health and fitness traits. Females tend to have less difficulty calving, breed back easily, and are medium-sized, trouble-free cows that work well in commercial dairies. 

“Offering sexed genetics using IntelliGen Technologies to our customers is a natural next step for our organization,” said Sverre Bjornstad, Geno CEO. “We’re excited to work with our long-time partners on this project that will, in turn, help our cooperative grow and thrive.”


Dairy industry urged to revisit sexed semen

There must be an opportunity to address the lack of sexed semen in use, said chief operations officer at ABP Finbarr McDonnell.

Mr McDonnell said he believes there is a role there for sexed semen.

“There must be an opportunity in the industry to do something with sexed semen, it was looked at and it faded away, but I think it will come back,” he said.

The ICBF’s Dr Andrew Cromie predicted that sexed semen will kick in sometime in the next five to six years.

Teagasc’s Padraig French said if “sexed semen takes off”, there could be over a million beef X dairy calves.

Mr McDonnell, who launched new trial research showing an improved margin of €150 to €200 depending on the beef sire selected for dairy crosses, said market triggers will eventually influence dairy farmers to choose sires delivering good conformation for beef production.

“It will be like turning the Titanic, but why did they turn to Angus and Hereford?” he questioned. “Because they saw that the calf is going to be worth more money and they will have a market.

“I hate talking about the alternative but the ­alternative is Friesian calves, which are an animal welfare problem,” he said.

Mr McDonnell said it is something that will evolve over the next five to six years.

He said that over the last three years, carcasses have become lighter.

“There is nothing in this for us only weight cost — heavier animals are a lower cost,” he said.

However, he said the move to cut farmers for heavier cattle over 460kg has also aided in bringing the weights down.

“So we are not complaining but the worry we would have is that the 600,000 extra cattle coming through — if they were of poor sire they would have a lighter weight and that is a big cost,” he said.

“All we are trying to do is change the thinking on the 600,000.”


Source: Farm Ireland

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