The TAG GAME PLAN – 5 Years from “Startup” to “Game ON!”

There are very few who have looked at dairying in the first decades of the 21st century and then decided that it was a good time to start something new.  Few or not, that was the decision arrived at by Patrice Simard and Alan Bryson because as they saw it. “Industry priorities seemed outdated for the direction that the international marketplace was heading.”

One Size Didn’t Fit All. For Bryson and Simard It Also Didn’t Fit the Future!

In 2008 Bryson and Simard had the courage of their convictions to make the next move. They formed Trans-America Genetics or TAG as it is widely known five years later.  This new kid on the AI block was different from the others.  “Here was group of forward thinking breeders who were united to become the TAG Partners.  It was formed from an “unusual partnership” rather than the more common coop setup. We would win or lose together.” It was a bold no guts… no glory move but already the founders felt empowered. “Forming the partnership was a big challenge but it also represented the first success for TAG.” Founded on partnership, it isn’t at all surprising that Patrice’s life partner, Natalia Rodrigues, is also a business partner. Indeed the teamwork of the TAG President, Patrice, and Vice-President, Natalia, is the ultimate real-life example that shows how sharing the burdens of business and supporting each other are at the very heart of this new undertaking.

Ready! Set! Start UP!  TAG is into Game Changing!

“TAG was created to provide options that weren’t available in the market”   asserts Patrice who envisioned a framework that would provide realistic opportunities for breeders to make new choices. Today, with five years under its belt, TAG has the perspective to look back and gauge how well that vision has been implemented. “TAG has devoted our attention to helping dairy enterprises become more profitable through genetic selection and focus on quality products.” That attention has been successful for TAG. “Our unique philosophy of partnering for success is the “raison d’être” or reason for being that provides the foundation that Trans-America Genetics is building upon.”

“Success is a Whole Team Relationship”

TAG had a special vision in assembling an exceptional team as well. “It was imperative right from the early stages for the company to surround itself with quality people.” From the outside looking in, the uniqueness of the TAG team is readily apparent. First there are their varied backgrounds including American, Brazilian, French, French Canadian, English Canadian, and Cuban. Then there are the qualities they all possess: energy, passion, enthusiasm and commitment.” The entire team loves to demonstrate those qualities that have grown the vision and makes TAG partnership a reality for each partner, client and staff person!!”  Patrice sums up the learning curve of the first 5 years. “The most important lesson has been the value of relationships. Every success at TAG has been the result of relationships earned throughout life and treating those people with honesty and integrity.”

Seagull-Bay Miss America
One of the early stars of the TAG embryo and female program

The Global Game Starts “Now!”

Whether you’re looking at five years or fifty years, it’s easy to see that progress is not a straight road from start to finish.  When you throw genetics into the mix, you can be sure that there will be ups and down and sometimes even high speed. Patrice confirms how this impacted TAG. “The situation in the international marketplace demonstrated a need for a company with a focus on different priorities.” Having said that and recognizing that profitability is the ultimate goal for everyone regardless of their place in the dairy industry TAG was prepared to evolve into a more fluid business that could include multiple and varied options.  Simard is happy for the success of that model. “The international market ratified the ideals of TAG and demonstrated their support by the speed in which the markets developed and multiplied.”

Moving At the Speed of the Marketplace

The speed of change is the new reality of the dairy industry regardless of what country you are in and it can be a factor affecting everything says Patrice. “Speed has definitely been the biggest surprise!  If we look at the original business plan things have been bigger, better and faster than we ever imagined. The number of bulls we have marketed, the number of distributors in place and international influence achieved, five years in business we are at a very different place than what the original business model projected.”  Being able to evolve was important. “Our growth in developing business plans and financial models has increased exponentially.”  There are new questions and the need for new and better answers on a daily basis! For this young company change is no longer on the horizon it is here!

Putting the Genomics Pedal to the Metal

Nowhere is speed more apparent in the dairy world than in new technologies such as genomics.  TAG feels their growth has been similar. “We have exceeded our goals in every way.  We can look at TAG as the marketing parallel to how genomics has impacted the industry.” Nevertheless he remains clear sighted in his assessment of this new tool. “Genomics has brought many benefits. However, it also brought a current period of instability, due to the speed with which it impacted dairy breeding.” While technology can pave the way, it is not without its speed bumps.


TAG Success Growing by Leaps and Bounds

It is always reassuring when a new company successfully reaches five years. Patrice reports that there are many great successes stories that started right from the beginning. “One big success came with the August ’09 proof round. It was an incredible round for TAG and a turning point for the young company.” If TAG was writing a book about success the title would be “Domain, Domain, and Domain!” Simard explains, “Domain received his first genomic profile and ranked 3rd in the population for GTPI!” From there success continued on the sales front. “Sales have doubled every year for the past three years.  The company has had to expand the management team to respond to the every-increasing interest!” Looking back at goals set by the partnership the glow continues as Patrice points out an exceptional exploit for the young company. “In 2012 the milestone of one million doses of semen produced was reached.”

TAG is All About “Now You See Us!”

In a hugely competitive marketplace, where the danger can be that everyone looks like everyone else, TAG has had success in creating innovative marketing platforms. “TAG has managed or co-managed 4 sales to date for combined gross revenues of over $10 million dollars.” Those were profile raising opportunities to follow Domain’s success.  “The great success with Domain permitted TAG to contract a few more important sires and start moving ahead exploring possibilities abroad.” Of course, whether it’s sales, semen or sires you’ve got to have visibility to the consumer and part of that is in how you brand yourself. Patrice is proud of this growth area as well. “TAG’s distinctive marketing style became quickly recognized. Whether it was modern ideas for ads, clothing or new views for photos, breeders are vocal in their appreciation of TAG’s marketing products.”

TAG Game Plan = Continuous Transparent Collaboration

It doesn’t matter what stage your company is at there is never a time to say, “There! We have done enough!”  For TAG who began with the goal of impacting their partners’ success by providing something different, the challenge is ongoing. “The TAG philosophy means working with farmers to develop profitable genetic strategies for their herds.” In these first years market reaction has been favorable but there is always work to do. “TAG feels that as a company which from the start believed in genomics, they have a responsibility towards dairymen to help them understand the developments and possibilities that genomics bring to them.”  There are always new concerns. “Fertility has become one of the greatest impediments to commercial farm profitability and TAG’s objective is to put the focal point on fertility and health traits.

Wrong Way. Right Turns.  Quick Response

Of course, with growth come both challenges and opportunities.  Looking back is always easier than looking forward. “The original TAG model was based on having products to distribute which never materialized.” This could have meant game over but the TAG partnership is always prepared to respond to new issues. “We had to accelerate the search and development of our own products” Having the flexibility to change proved to be a key. “Change was quickly implemented. The original business model was to grow from a domestic oriented company towards international distribution.”  The speedy success in the international marketplace inspired a new direction.  By continually building on their goal of meeting the needs of particular breeding operations, TAG is confident that they will gain in the Canadian marketplace too. “The domestic market hasn’t been as receptive to the TAG philosophy probably due to the difference in the commercial dairy industry here in Canada.” TAG continues to be unique even when facing challenges. Many start-ups focus intensely on growth, sometimes to a business-ending fault.  “For TAG the focus now and in the future is based on the needs of the customer and then on follow-through. The only thing that will never change at TAG is the core belief of integrity and transparency towards partners and clients.”

The Bullvine Bottom Line

As TAG continues to innovate and make their mark in the dairy genetics industry, they have encouragement for others. “Ideas are important but TAG has learned that courage is the main ingredient for success. The courage to go forward with your ideas, the courage to face adversity, the courage to admit that you need to modify the plan and the courage to launch the next idea.”  Congratulations and High 5s all around. When it comes to dairy passion, enthusiasm and commitment “TAG You’re It!”


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The Investor’s Guide to World Dairy Expo

With so much excitement and major sales during the week of World Dairy Expo it can be easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm.  To help potential investors or to guide those who love studying the market, here are 15 lots we will be watching during the two major sales (Planet Holstein and World Dairy Classic 2012).

Planet Holstein Sale

Date: October 4th 2012
Location: Sheraton Hotel



KAMPS-HOLLOW ALTITUDE EX-95-DOM - maternal sister to lot 1

KAMPS-HOLLOW ALTITUDE EX-95-DOM – maternal sister to lot 1

This HUNSBERGER ALCHEMY daughter has it all. High GTPI (+2335), Red and maternal sister to KHW REGIMENT APPLE-RED EX-95-USA the 1st Aged Cow and Senior & Grand Champion R&W of World Dairy Expo 2011.Their dam KAMPS-HOLLOW ALTITUDE EX-95-DOM has had every bull put into stud make the active proven line-up. She already has three family members in the top 10 GTPI *RC and Red lists (SCIENTIFIC THE BIG APPLE-ET *RC, KHW SHAMROCK ARALYN-ET *RC, and FAR-R-LA ANAHEIM ANGELIE-ET *RC) with herself being the #3 Red GTPI heifer in the USA. With this cross, you can expect this heifer to have an extremely well attached udder. Alchemy is a good mating on Altitude as she has proven to produce progeny with a touch straighter leg. It also appears to be a good corrective mating for the rump structure.



RI-VAL-RE SHTLE WENDI VG-88 - Full sister to the 2nd dam of lot 2

RI-VAL-RE SHTLE WENDI VG-88 – Full sister to the 2nd dam of lot 2

In RI-VAL-RE ALCHEMY NIKOLE you get the #1 GTPI *RC or Red female, and the #1 $NM *RC or Red. However, unlike Adeline, this cross of Alchemy on RI-VAL-RE SUPER NIKE does cause me some concerns in what her rump will be like and as well concerns on cleanliness of bone. Though she does rank as the #1 *RC or Red and will have plenty of demand for embryos f, you still need to make sure that she has the potential to be a VG 2yr old. However, this heifer does have a nice balance of production, durability and health & fertility.  Also from a marketing perspective, when the only picture you have to use is the full sister to the 2nd dam, that causes me concerns.





When COOKVIEW GOLDWYN MONIQUE VG-89-3YR-CAN sold for $490,000 at the International Intrigue Sale she sent notice that she is a serious contender for years to come (Read – International Intrigue – The Secret Is Exposed).  Her wins at Quebec Spring Show, NY Spring International, and Ontario Spring Discovery demonstrated that she is a contender for it all this year.  While Atwood makes a logical cross of high type cow with hottest new type sire, I have some concern on this cross from a rump perspective.  Yes by the numbers the rumps are a corrective cross, but I am worried that with so much Goldwyn blood that you are liable to get high pins or low pins instead of the happy median.  Physical inspection will answer this question.  Nevertheless, if Monique gets the care you know she will at Butlerview and if the heifer does combine the best of both parents, you could be buying into something pretty special. (Also note that her Windbrook daughter is set to sell in the 2012 Sale of Stars at the Royal)





Fresh from their sale topping consignment at the Gillette Visions 2012 sale with RALMA-RH MANOMAN BANJO VG-88-2yr (Read Gillette Visions 2012 Sale – Great People, Great Cattle = Great Results) comes another high index heifer from Lookout and Pesce, this time tracing back to SNOW-N DENISIS DELLIA.  LOOKOUT PESCE EPIC HUE is the #2 GLPI heifer in Canada and the #1 Epic in the world.  In Hue you have a heifer that has a DGV LPI of +4362, some 43% higher than her already outstanding parent average.  Her major conformation traits show many in the +20’s which alone is something unheard of.  Combine that with over 2000 kg’s of milk and positive components and Hue really is the complete genetic package.  As long as she looks the part, this heifer could be a really special package for someone ready to make a splash in the index market.  As far as the dam’s ability to turn out, after seeing how Banjo turned out and the level of care they get at Lookout, there is very little risk here.  (Her full full sister that is not genomic tested yet LOOKOUT EPIC HALO sells in the 2012 Sale of Stars at the Royal)



COOKIECUTTER MOM HALO VG-87-2YR - dam of lot 7&8

COOKIECUTTER MOM HALO VG-87-2YR – dam of lot 7&8

Another one to watch from the Dellia family will be COOKIECUTTER MOG HANKER and COOKIECUTTER SHMRK HAZE (Who was originally scheduled to sell in the International Intrigue sale).  Sired by Mogul and Shamrock respectively these heifers are from COOKIECUTTER MOM HALO VG-87-2yr (Who also is set to sell at the 2012 Sale of Stars at the Royal), the dam of COOKIECUTTER PETRON HALOGEN the #1 GTPI bull in the breed (GTPI +2690).  Just like Hue (Lot #9) these heifers have it all:  production genomic test and type.  As far as genomic tests go these heifers are toss-ups to choose between.  You will have to go old school to figure it out.  Use your eyes to determine which one has enough frame and rump structure to score VG as a 2yr old.  (Note also selling in the World Classic sale is their Supersonic sister who has slightly lower genomic numbers).





FUSTEAD MOGUL LANA is the #24 GTPI heifer in the breed.  Lana is the Mogul sister to S-S-I DOMAIN LITHIUM the breeds #2 GTPI bull with progeny on the ground.  She has no Planet, Shottle or Goldwyn in her pedigree.  Lana possesses outstanding production, durability, and health and fertility numbers though they’re not quite as high as her full sister FUSTEAD MOGUL LILAC (whose numbers are about 7% higher).  Her genomic test would indicate that she should easily live up to expectations though I will be looking to see if she has enough body depth and frame  to go VG as a 2yr.




AMMON-PEACHEY SHAUNA VG-87-2YR-USA - 2nd dam of lot 11

AMMON-PEACHEY SHAUNA VG-87-2YR-USA – 2nd dam of lot 11

For those of you looking to get into the hottest genomic families in the world, AMMON-PEACHEY SHAUNA VG-87-2YR-USA this is a great opportunity. There is no doubt that Robust has been the best mating on Shauna (Read – Ammon-Peachy Shauna – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist) and DE-SU BKM MCCUTCHEN is a great follow up cross, combining two of the biggest index families in the world. With eight females to choose from you are pretty much guaranteed to get a list topper.







With so much selective mating, it’s getting harder to find list toppers that are outcrosses to the major bloodlines.  In BUTZ-HILL OH MY-MY you get no Shottle, Bolton, or Planet in the pedigree and DGV for LPI over 3400.  On top of that her 3rd dam is none other than EASTSIDE LEWISDALE GOLD MISSY EX-95-CAN. This cross is a great blend of production, durability and health & fertility.  Though watch for her to have slightly less type than expected.  A close inspection of the heifer will reveal if she is a potential VG 2yr old, and if she passes, you may have an extremely rare genetic package.  (Note also selling in the World Classic sale is her Shamrock sister who has slightly lower genomic numbers).



World Classic 2012

Date: October 5th, 2012
Location: Alliante Energy Center
Catalogue –



RF GOLDWYN HAILEY EX-97  - dam of lot 1

RF GOLDWYN HAILEY EX-97 – dam of lot 1

With her full sister RF GOLDWYN HALONA VG-88-2YR-CAN, RF GOLDWYN HAILEY EX-97 sent notice to the world at this year’s Expo Quebec (Read – The Story Behind How Two Full Sisters Dominated Expo Quebec) that she is more than just a fluke and that there really is  great breeding behind this 3rd generation EX.  After spending last year in Missy’s shadow, she will be a strong contender to win it all (Read – Who’s Next? World Dairy Expo Holstein Show Preview).  Selling in the classic sale is her Pine-Tree Sid daughter.  While Goldwyn has proven to be a great cross on Hailey’s dam MELLHOLM LOUIE HANAH EX-92-2E CAN 2 combining the chest width, body depth and pin width of Hanah on the bone quality and set of legs and the proven ability to sire show winners of Goldwyn.  The question becomes, “Is Sid the correct cross on Hailey?”  There is no doubt that the heifer should have a bolted on udder, so it really comes down to her legs, dairyness and frame.  The real question then becomes “does she have the legs to be the next generation of great show cow?”



HARVUE ROY FROSTY EX-97 - dam of lot 2

HARVUE ROY FROSTY EX-97 – dam of lot 2

Selling as the second lot is the daughter of the other expected contender for Grand Champion in the Holstein show HARVUE ROY FROSTY EX-97.  However, for Frosty this is become second nature to her, as she has been Supreme at Madison in 2009 and 2010.  It`s interesting to surmise, how the daughter of Hailey drew lot 1 status compared to the daughter of the already ‘been there done that’ HARVUE ROY FROSTY EX-97?  Maybe it is because of the calve’s actual conformation?  This cross causes me the same concerns as the Atwood out of COOKVIEW GOLDWYN MONIQUE VG-89-3YR-CAN (Lot 1 in the Planet Holstein Sale), in that  you may have too much Goldwyn in the pedigree?  While there is no doubt that Goldwyn has been the most dominant show sire of the past decade, I am wondering if his son FUSTEAD GOLDWYN GUTHRIE will bring the needed mobility that this cross needs.





What happens when you combine probably the most popular young show cow in the world, CRAIGCREST RUBIES GOLD REJOICE VG-89-2YR-CAN with what could be the next great type sire, REGANCREST-GV S BRADNICK (read more – 7 Sires to Use in Order to Breed the Next World Dairy Expo Champion)?The answer is  you get CRAIGCREST REJOICE AYAME.  While there has been much discussion among show breeders if they should use high type genomic young sires on great show cows, that is exactly what Elgin Craig did with this mating.  On paper, it is an amazing cross.  The heifer has Parent Averages in the double digits for all major type traits.  While many might argue that Rejoice did not need much improvement, Bradnick does bring the rump improvement that was needed based on sire stack.  In addition, what a sire stack it is, Bradnick x Goldwyn x Dundee, that is a potent type stack.  If this heifer lives up to her sire stack, she could be a very special one in her own right.





For those of you that would prefer to invest in a little more established show stack, there is Morsan Miss Demeanour.  Demeanour is an Aftershock from EASTSIDE LEWISDALE GOLD MISSY EX-95-CAN.  Here you get a proven sire that is (+16 Conformation, +3.32 PTAT) from last year’s Supreme Champion.  However, it will be interesting to see if this heifer will have enough frame and capacity to compete at the highest levels.




LOT 46 – DE-SU ECOYNE 2043

DE-SU 7091 - 2nd dam of lot 46

DE-SU 7091 – 2nd dam of lot 46

For those of you looking for an index fix, there is DE-SU ECOYNE 2043.  With a GPA TPI of +2501 and GPA LPI of +3642 this heifer is one of the highest anywhere in the world (#19 GTPI in the USA).  Those not 100% confident in genomics may call this a risky play (The French maternal brother to CO-OP BOSSIDE MASSEY and cow family still to prove itself on the proven sire side).  This heifer has DGV values 9% higher than her already world leading indexes (DGV LPI +3967).  She has some of the highest production, durability and health & fertility numbers I have ever seen, but it is the type cross that has me concerned.  There is no doubt this heifer will have an outstanding udder.  I will be watching to see what how clean her legs are as well as how much frame she has.  These are both limiting factors of her dam and sire. (Also note that since so little marketing has been done of the family you will be pulling the bulk of the work yourself.  The numbers are great, but that is only half of the story).



SCIENTIFIC DELUXE RAE EX-91 - dam of lot 48

SCIENTIFIC DELUXE RAE EX-91 – dam of lot 48

For those that want to dial the genomic dial back a notch, and kick it a little more old school, have a look at SPEEK-NJ ATWD DELLA RAE.  Here you have a marriage of the Adeens and the Roxies.  The number of World Dairy Expo winners in this pedigree is outstanding.  You have a potent type sire stack with the genomic test to back it all up.  The interesting part about this lot is that it’s not only her that is up for sale.  They are also offering 11 pregnancies, so you are able to kick start your program in a big hurry.  Therefore, if you believe in the heifer, you are able to hit the ground running.  It will be interesting to see what price will be paid for such a large package from a virgin heifer who is not an index topper.



In all the excitement of World Dairy Expo there will be money flying everywhere.  From the show cows that will sell in the barn to the many animals selling in these and other sales a, there will certainly be lots to talk about.  For those who are wanting to get a head start or just see what all the hype is about, these lots will make sure your basis are covered.



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