Friday, August 10, 2018

New Holstein Grads Top ICC$™ Index

Tuesday marked another exciting day of sire summaries for GENEX. The Ideal Commercial Cow™ (ICC$™) index continues to identify sires who will produce cows to fit into commercial dairy operations with five sub-indexes which will enable you to easily narrow your genetic focus, if desired.
Topping the Ideal Commercial Cow™ (ICC$™) index at +1285 is an exciting new sire, 1HO13471 HYFLOW. This Ragen out of a Josuper combines excellent health traits (+7.6 Productive Life, +3.6 Daughter Pregnancy Rate) with outstanding production (+2338 Milk). This calving ease sire (6.2% Sire Calving Ease) will easily sire healthy daughters according to his +406 for the Health (HLTH$) sub-index.

1HO13483 LOKI and 1HO13805 AVALINO are two new Frazzled sons. LOKI ranks second for the ICC$™ index with an impressive +1259. He is also +2752 TPI® and +864 Lifetime Net Merit (LNM$) and sires nice udders (+2.20 Udder Composite). AVALINO is +1113 ICC$™ and will sire daughters with both great udders (+2.40 Udder Composite) and exceptional production (+2024 Milk). Both LOKI and AVALINO are A2A2 as well.

1HO13442 SLAM DUNK debuts at +1184 ICC$™ and offers unique pedigree diversity (Surgeon x Supersire). SLAM DUNK stands fourth in the lineup for LNM$ at +928 and is a well-rounded production sire at +1926 Milk and +147 Combined Fat and Protein (CFP). He can be used in heifer pens with his 6.4% Sire Calving Ease (SCE) while also improving component percentages.


1HO13404 SAMSUNG and 1HO13432 CONCORD are two new exciting Modesty sons that joined the lineup. SAMSUNG is our leading LNM$ sire at +958. This sire of sons is +2718 TPI® as well and will make large strides in improving Protein (+0.11%) and Fat (0.29%) percentages while increasing yield at +151 CFP. SAMSUNG is available in GenChoice™ sexed semen only. CONCORD will improve udders (+2.01 Udder Composite) and is +1050 ICC$™ and +910 LNM$.


Two new RED bulls were activated, 1HO13831 FIREFLY-P-RED and 1HO13833 SKOONER-RED. FIREFLY-P-RED is a Zinger out of Sympatico that can be used in the heifer pens (6.6% SCE) and will sire fancy daughters (+2.21 Udder Composite). SKOONER-RED is a Tyne out of a Launch; this bull can also easily be used in heifer pens (6.5% SCE) and will improve daughter fertility (+3.9 Daughter Pregnancy Rate). 

1HO13449 CARUBA-P is an exciting new polled sire with outstanding yield. He joins the lineup at +1016 for the ICC$™ index with +169 CFP and over a ton of milk. This Answer out of a Josuper is also positive for daughter fertility and is a calving ease option (6.8% SCE). 

1HO11376 TABASCO daughters

In addition to the new debuts, 1HO11376 TABASCO had a great day. TABASCO added daughters and now ranks extremely well at +1056 ICC$™ and +2731 TPI®. This puts him in the top 10 on the daughter-proven TPI® list. This Jacey son combines elite milk production (+2240 Milk) with daughter fertility (+3.9 Daughter Pregnancy Rate).







Friday, August 3, 2018

10 Questions with GENEX Vice President of Production Kristi Fiedler

Recently I had the chance to get a few minutes with one of our newest company vice presidents. She heads one of our largest and arguably most critical departments-production. Spend a few minutes getting to know Kristi Fiedler.
  1. How long have you been in your current position? A little over a year.
      
  2. What did you do prior to your current job? I have worked several jobs at CRI since my MOET (multiple ovulation and embryo transfer) internship in Fall 2005, including about 1.5 years in milk testing for AgSource. I came back to GENEX as a dairy consultant in eastern Wisconsin.  After earning a master’s in management I was hired to oversee the U.S. Technical Services team. In that role I managed the national team of strategic dairy consultants and the dairy support programs used by GENEX field staff.

  3. How did you get your start at GENEX? See paragraph above.

  4. How many employees are on your production team? There are 134 employees between production and distribution.

  5. What areas does production encompass? Production is everything from the time a bull is identified as a genetic outlier to the moment his frozen semen leaves distribution. The team manages health testing, animal pickups, young bull rearing, bull handling, collections, lab processing, cryopreservation, research and more.

  6. How many locations do you oversee? Production is located in five locations: Ithaca, NY; Tiffin, OH; Shawano, WI; Strafford, MO and Billings, MT. 
  7. What has been the biggest challenge of your new position? The biggest challenge in production is that GENEX is in a transition phase, as is the industry.  Bulls don’t stay in stud very long before their genetics are obsolete, on average 2.5 years. So it is crucial for bulls to qualify for CSS and EU as quick as possible, and then they need to be in a collection barn. Our facilities were built for housing long-term bulls in waiting, so we need to invest in facilities to get more bulls in production stalls to increase availability of sires for marketing.

  8. Is there any new development on the horizon you can tell us about? The young sire teams in both the livestock and lab side are doing an excellent job preparing bulls for collection at an earlier age. They accomplished this goal by using research in calf nutrition and lab technologies to lunge us forward in reducing the generation interval.

  9. What do you enjoy doing on your time away from GENEX? My time away from GENEX is spent with my family. My husband, Brian and I have two children, Allyson (4) and Hudson (2). When we get a break from them we can be found in the woods hunting, on the water fishing or on the volleyball court.

  10. What advice do you have for people just entering the job market? Set goals and hold yourself accountable to achieve them. Take time to go to seminars, take extra classes, gain experience and knowledge. GENEX has been a wonderful in helping me and others advance in our careers, but ultimately it is your responsibility to keep up with new skills, change and information.  


Friday, July 27, 2018

Bull Sorting - We Have an App For That!

So by now you may have heard GENEX has a dairy bull search app. If you haven't had a chance to download it yet, I'm here to tell you to get on it. While, I may work for GENEX, I did not have any input into the app's creation. I did download it a week before the public release, so I have had a little more time to explore its features, and I will tell you, I am excited. I will admit, I don't have a lot of extra apps on my phone other than kids' games and the radar, but I have seen and read about my fair share. The convenience of this app makes it well worth the download time and space used on my devices.


DOWNLOAD
So let's first talk about download. The app downloads pretty fast compared to the games I have to get for my kids. It does take a few extra moments to get the bull information once the initial download is complete. But again, it is pretty speedy and it tells you the progress it is making along the way. I was expecting it to take longer considering it has 40,000 bulls in the database.

Once you have the app and bull database downloaded, you can use the program anywhere; no internet required. This is a wonderful feature considering I will probably be using it either in the far-reaches of the barn or as time permits while waiting for the next wagon, load, etc. in the field or at the mill.

The app says updates will be available on the bulls, and it will notify you when you can receive those updates.

FEATURES
The 40,000 bull database of the GENEX Dairy Bull Sort App includes all six major dairy breeds. This is important to me, as I personally use Holstein, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn genetics on my farm. After you select a breed, you can sort based on the ICC$™ index, or any of the other most popular indexes. Then feel free to use the filter button (shown below) to narrow your search. 

Once you have a bull you are interested in learning more about, you can use the icons at the top (shown in the red box below) for additional information. A feature I found particularly helpful was being able to click on the bulls in the sire stack. The app then takes you to the sire or grand sire's page. What a time saver!
When you have the bull or bulls you are interested in, you are able to export the data to a Microsoft Excel or CSV file, or you can make a pdf of individual bulls like shown below.

While this app is already very functional, the best part is that it is new and developers are interested in making it work for you. Let us know if you have ideas on how it can be improved.

GET THE APP
So what are you waiting for? Download the Bull Search app today!




Friday, July 20, 2018

Sometimes We Just Need to Look

I was really searching this week. Searching for inspiration. Maybe it was this summer cold I picked up, maybe it was the kids being done with summer school and driving me a little crazy. Whatever it was, time had come for me to take a deep breath, slow down and look at the beautiful world around me. This life is certainly not easy, but there are so many reasons we love it, sometimes we just need to spend a little time looking.

We were blessed with twin heifers to add to our little Jersey herd on Wednesday. The kids have had fun getting them out. Jess calls them her "little sweeties."

 Anyone who knows me knows I am not a cat fan, but I can appreciate their antics when I take the time to appreciate them.

 If you raise Jerseys, you know, they are always in some type of trouble, or looking for attention!

Today's much needed rain added beauty to the spinner,

and moisture to our knee high third crop

 and tasseling corn.

The rain also gave the bees a rare vacation day,

but it didn't stop the neighbor's turkeys from needing to be herded home. Good thing I have a little man who is up for the task.




Life is good indeed! That doesn't mean it isn't still hard, just that I remember why I chose this lifestyle. I am thankful that from time-to-time, when I need a pick-me-up, I am able to find the inspiration I need just by taking the time to look.

Monday, July 9, 2018

5 Bad Habits of A.I. it is Time You Break

Let's face it, we all do our jobs in a certain way, often without even thinking about it. Sometimes we develop habits that allow us to get the job done faster, but not really effectively. Recently, I had the opportunity to ask two members of our A.I. training team for bad habits they commonly see on farms.

Javier Cheang, A.I. Training Instructor
Carlos Marin, A.I. Training Instructor Manager




















Here are their top five.
1) Over confidence. Once you have a lot of experience breeding cows, it is easy to try to skip steps. Don't! Every step is important to achieving good results.

2) Pulling the gun out instead of pushing the plunger when depositing semen. This is very common, and we see it a lot. To properly deposit semen, plunge the gun half way, then double check the tip of the gun for proper placement. If it is in the right place, deposit the second half of the semen.

3) Depositing frozen semen. Pocket thawing is easy to do, but sometimes not enough time is given to allow the semen to thaw properly. If the cow is really close to where the gun is being loaded, better to opt for the water thaw method.

4) Dirt, grime and slime. This is a combination of several instances where a little extra time and effort can yield big results.

  • Not wrapping the loaded A.I. gun in a clean breeding sleeve. We see guns go into the technician's shirt, and whatever we put in the cow's tract is going to stay there. If the gun wasn't wrapped, it could mean way more than just semen: sweat, lint, dust, manure, deodorant.
  • Dirty water in thawing vessels or incorrect temperatures. It is not rare to find slimy water thaw vessels. This is a good source of contamination for semen straws and A.I. guns. Also check to see that your thermometers are working properly. Water must be at 95 to 98° F.
  • Gunky pockets of A.I. gun warmers. If using a warmer, make sure to clean and wash the inside pocket often.
  • Contaminated A.I. guns. Clean your guns at least once a week with warm water, but never add detergent. Let them dry standing upright. Spray them with alcohol to help with disinfection.
  • Manure on the vulva. Clean the vulva with a paper towel prior to A.I. gun insertion to prevent contamination.
5) Raising the canister above the semen tank frost line. Lifting the canister above the frost line exposes remaining semen straws to room temperatures and starts the thawing process, thus the possibility for sperm damage.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Serving You First


Back in May, I had the opportunity to tag along on a GENEX Beef chute-side service project near the small town of Summersville, Missouri. The Kirkman brothers (kind gentlemen that they are) and the local GENEX representatives allowed me to document the day. Through the experience, I witnessed the producers’ passion for the beef industry and the GENEX reps’ sincere desire to assist cattle producers through personalized genetic and reproductive programs – all while surrounded by beautiful scenery. Check it out!
                                                                          ~ Jenny Hanson, GENEX Communications Manager


If you are interested in putting GENEX chute-side service to work on your ranch, contact GENEX at 888.333.1783 or info@genex.coop.




Friday, June 22, 2018

Top Repro Tips

Have you hit a ceiling when it comes to your cattle reproduction numbers? Perhaps these quick tips from three of our GENEX staff members can take your numbers to the next level!