Friday, September 22, 2017

Are You Ready for Winter?


As I sit here sweating, winter may be the last thing on my mind, but I know it is coming, even if Mother Nature has thrown us a little late summer/early fall heat wave. So, I figured I would take advantage of this nice weather, since the corn isn’t dry enough to chop, and do a little winter preparation. 
Here’s my quick list of things you can do too:

Pick up around the yard to eliminate any problems for snow plowing operations. 

Move calf hutches to an area that will be protected from harsh winds. 


Locate and inspect calf coats. If it is time for more - or new ones, get them ordered.

Clean drain pipes, grate covers and catch basins of any debris to prevent water from backing up and freezing. 


Prepare vehicles by checking tire treads, brakes, batteries and tire pressures. Repair all windshield chips before the cold turns them into larger cracks. 

Review your A.I. protocol to make sure it includes protecting thawed semen from temperature changes.

What else have you been doing around the farm to prepare for winter? Drop your ideas in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you!


Friday, September 8, 2017

My Top Tip for a Successful A.I. Breeding Project

While every farm and ranch is very different in what works for them, one thing I have found to be the same is that every farmer or rancher is always looking for ways to improve, whether that be in efficiency, genetics, animal care, nutrition, and the list goes on. We took a moment earlier this summer to ask beef producers what their top tip was when it came to successful A.I. breeding projects. Perhaps there is something here that can improve your next project. Do you have a tip that you don't see here? Drop it in the comments below. We are always looking for ways we can help out others too!

Friday, September 1, 2017

GENEX Committed to the Future of Agriculture


As six college students head back to school, GENEX will help to fund their education. GENEX, part of Cooperative Resources International (CRI), offers a college scholarship program to youth who are actively engaged on a member’s farm or ranch.

The six recipients of this year’s CRI Collegiate Scholarship were asked to share what agriculture means to them. Their answers demonstrate the future of agriculture is bright:


These answers are not from youth removed from agriculture either. In their applications, they also talked about the hard work they have put in while “feeding calves at four in the morning, walking miles in the heat pushing cows and attempting to learn how to breed cows.” As another student put it, “To many, it is an undesirable lifestyle because of the huge commitment it requires.” That same student went on to say, however, “Dairy farming is truly in my blood, and I would not want to spend my time doing anything else.”

Those students earning the $750 scholarships include: Brooke Engstrom of Renville, Minnesota; Emma Gwidt of Pulaski, Wisconsin; Shelby Schiefelbein of Kimball, Minnesota; Ellen Schilderink of Hart, Texas; Genevieve VanWye of Lancaster, Missouri; and Collin Weltzien of Arcadia, Wisconsin.

Friday, August 18, 2017

GENEX Releases 16 New Holstein Sires

With a combination of familiar favorites and hot new releases, the GENEX lineup is packed with all the production, health and fertility that commercial producers are looking for!

Leading the way in the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index is 1HO11955 BEYOND at +1194. This Josuper son boasts +2035 Milk and +144 combined Fat and Protein (CFP) and is a health trait specialist at +2.0 Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) and +8.9 Productive Life (PL). Use BEYOND with confidence to transmit healthy udders (+2.67 Somatic Cell Score).

1HO11665 GENIUS ranks second for ICC$ at an outstanding +1120. This Montross son is elite on all indexes (+857 Lifetime Net Merit $ and +2707 TPI®). He offers excellent production, udders and feet and legs (+1815 Milk, +2.38 Udder Composite, +1.96 Foot & Leg Composite).

New release 1HO12409 TETRO claims the third spot in the lineup at +1117 ICC$. He has an unmatched production profile with +1873 Milk and +153 CFP. Look to TETRO for daughter fertility and longevity (+7.2 PL).

Continuing as our TPI® leader is 1HO11989 ROMERO at +2758. This Silver son also ranks No. 4 for the ICC$ index at +1090. He's the complete package offering production, type and longevity. Available in GenChoice™ sexed semen only.

Hollermann Cabriolet 960G, Dam of ROMERO

 An excellent combo of production and type are found in newly released 1HO11965 DIESTO. This sire offers elite +1817 Milk, +137 CFP and +1.65 Type. He is a leading sire with a high 103 PregCheck™ fertility ranking. Look to DIESTO for unmatched components and udders (+1.88 UDC).

1HO11925 BANCROFT, a Josuper out of a Monarch, is another yield specialist at +1742 Milk and +155 CFP. He transmits strong, healthy udders with a +2.67 SCS and +1.14 UDC.

New release 1HO12476 SKILLET debuts near the top of the lineup at +1062 ICC$. This 1HO12658 LEDOUX son is a calving ease specialist at 5.2% Sire Calving Ease (SCE) and 2.8% Daughter Calving Ease. He also transmits excellent daughter fertility (+4.4 DPR).
 

Co-op Adidas 6832 7537-ET, GP-83, Dam of CARGO
Released between sire summaries, 1HO13323 CARGO is ideal on all indexes having an impressive +1051 ICC$, +891 LNM$ and +2713 TPI®. He can be used for ideal udders, Productive Life and Type.

1HO12477 DAZE checks all the boxes for production, health and longevity. This new sire is +1014 ICC$ and +2750 TPI®. With a 5.8% SCE, he's a great choice for heifer pens. He also has a +3.7 DPR and +7.3 PL. He will add production with +1367 Milk and +122 CFP. Available in GenChoice™ semen only.

A Modesty son out of a Partyrock, 1HO12491 TURANO is a new high type sire. He has exception rankings (+839 LNM$ and +2688 TPI®) and is suitable for heifer pens with a 6.4% SCE. He will sire daughters with great udders (+2.21 UDC) and feet and legs (+2.01 FLC). 

Co-op DD Platinum 40739, daughter of  PLATINUM

On the daughter-proven list, 1HO11096 PLATINUM had an impressive day. He's +2579 TPI®, ranking him in the top 15 of the breed. This Mogul son adds profitable production (+1453 Milk) and Type (+1.95). He transmits daughter fertility (+2.6 DPR) and sires excellent udders and feet and legs (+1.62 UDC, +1.69 FLC).

Friday, August 11, 2017

Jersey Sire Summary Excitement

Wow, what a day 1JE00892 VANDRELL {2} had on Tuesday, as he added production daughters and topped the JPI™ and CM$ charts with +243 JPI™ and +814 CM$.


VANDRELL is also +136 CFP, +0.9 DPR and +16.8 JUI™.

From the same maternal line as VANDRELL, 1JE00889 PROP JOE {3} also added production daughters and delivered impressive increases to reach +209 JPI™ and +741 CM$. PROP JOE {3} continues to carry an elite +22.7 JUI™.
Dam of PROP JOE: JX Faria Brothers Target Ronaldo {2}
NEW SIRES
1JE00979 TONY ALLEN {3} leads the new releases with an impressive +207 JPI™
and +706 Cheese Merit (CM$). This 1JE00892 VANDRELL {2} son will improve
udders at +18.6 JUI™ and increase yield with +127 combined Fat & Protein (CFP). He
will also add longevity (+6.5 Productive Life, +0.9 Livability) as well as improve milk
quality at +2.78 Somatic Cell Score (SCS). TONY ALLEN {3} is available
in GenChoice™ sexed semen only.

1JE00971 CURRY {3} is a Marlo son with outstanding genetic values: +193 JPI™,
+701 CM$ and +108 CFP. This brother to 1JE00953 VISUAL {3}-P and 1JE00954
VESTIGE {3}-P has nice component percentages (+0.23% Fat; +0.07% Protein) and
excellent +21.0 JUI™ making him a great addition to any breeding program. CURRY
{3} will also improve daughter fertility at +0.7 Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR), +1.4
Cow Conception Rate (CCR) and +2.2 Heifer Conception Rate (HCR). He is available in GenChoice™ semen only.

1JE00981 HORFORD {3} joins the lineup at +699 CM$ and +201 JPI™. A
VANDRELL out of a Magnum, HORFORD {3} is an elite package of daughter fertility
and yield. He is +2.8 DPR and +110 CFP and checks all boxes for other health traits:
+7.6 Productive Life (PL), +3.5 Livability (LIV), +4.3 CCR, +4.0 HCR and +2.78 SCS.
HORFORD {3} is available in GenChoice™ semen only.

1JE00984 USAIN BOLT {3}, an early 1JE00912 TARHEEL {4} son that hails from
the impactful Dean Smith cow family, debuted at +698 CM$ and +205 JPI™. With
impressive component yields (+95 Fat, +54 Protein) and a +22.7 JUI™, USAIN BOLT
{3} will improve components and udders. He is available in GenChoice™
semen only.

1JE00973 CROWDER {3} is another impressive VANDRELL son. CROWDER {3}
earned a spot in the lineup at +203 JPI™ and +692 CM$. He’s a health trait specialist
with +0.8 DPR, +1.7 CCR and +2.9 HCR while also posting a +142 CFP and +10.1
JUI™. CROWDER {3} is available in GenChoice™ semen only.

1JE00985 REEF {3}, a VANDRELL out of a 1JE00791 DIVIDEND, joins the active
list at +196 JPI™ and +689 CM$. He adds yield (+136 CFP) while improving udders
(+12.2 JUI™). Use REEF {3} to improve longevity (+5.8 PL) and increase livability (+2.5
LIV). REEF {3} is available in GenChoice™ semen only.

1JE00993 DELUCA {3}, a Harris out of a Magnum, is a yield specialist at +1586
Milk and +155 CFP. He is +192 JPI™ and +652 CM$ while coming in at +10.3 JUI™.
DELUCA {3} is available in GenChoice™ semen only.

1JE00963 MAGLIO {5}, another Harris son, comes in at +175 JPI™ and +614 CM$.
He is +131 CFP and over +1450 Milk. Available in GenChoice™ semen only.

1JE00982 TEX {3}, a Marlo son, earned a +182 JPI™ and +604 CM$. With a Topeka
dam, TEX will improve udders (+26.9 JUI™) and yield (+125 CFP). TEX {3} is available
in GenChoice™ semen only.

Another new Marlo son, 1JE00977 ANTERO {3} makes the lineup at +168 JPI™ and
+595 CM$. He is a component improver (+133 CFP) while also improving daughter
fertility (+0.6 DPR). ANTERO {3} is available in GenChoice™ semen only.

1JE00978 HEINSOHN {4}-P rounds out the new releases. He’s an exciting polled
bull sporting a +140 JPI™ and +511 CM$. Look to HEINSOHN {4}-P as a tremendous
improver of daughter fertility (+1.1 DPR) while adding longevity (+5.8 PL). A Dillan-P
son out of a Galvanize, this bull will add some exciting pedigree diversity among
polled Jerseys.

JPI™ Leaders                                   
1JE00892 VANDRELL {2} +243
1JE00889 PROP JOE {3} +209
1JE00979 TONY ALLEN {3}* +207
1JE00984 USAIN BOLT {3}* +205
1JE00973 CROWDER {3}* +203
1JE00981 HORFORD {3}* +201
1JE00964 JODECI {3} +197
1JE00935 WORLD CUP {5} +197
1JE00985 REEF {3}* +196
1JE00922 RONALDO {3} +196

CM$ Kings                                         
1JE00892 VANDRELL {2} +814
1JE00889 PROP JOE {3} +741
1JE00979 TONY ALLEN {3}* +706
1JE00971 CURRY {3}* +701
1JE00981 HORFORD {3}* +699
1JE00984 USAIN BOLT {3}* +698
1JE00973 CROWDER {3}* +692
1JE00985 REEF {3}* +689
1JE00964 JODECI {3} +681
1JE00966 FUTURE {3} +680

Fertility Updates                                        
1JE00966 FUTURE {3} 101 PregCheck™
1JE00962 DEGROM {3} -1.1 SCR
98 PregCheck™
1JE00961 FRODO {3} 99 PregCheck™
1JE00958 NICO {5} 103 PregCheck™
1JE00955 DIMMER {4} +2.3 SCR
105 PregCheck™
1JE00942 JEROME-UR +0.2 SCR
102 PregCheck™
1JE00939 NEYMAR {3} -2.8 SCR
95 PregCheck™

*Denotes New Sires


Friday, August 4, 2017

Now I Can Retire

By: Doug Wilson, CRI CEO

After 49 years in the A.I. industry, it is time to move on to my second career and become a full-time farmer. One-half of my career was spent in direct cattle genetics work and one-half indirectly through general management.

Years ago, as the Director of Dairy Cattle Breeding at ABS, I had the opportunity to hire the late Morris Ewing as a sire analyst. Morris had been on the genetic staff at Curtiss Breeding Service and was the first industry sire person with a master’s degree in genetics. Morris was a great cow man, an exceptional educator, a Jersey lover and considered a giant in his time.

Morris and I often traveled together. He would joke that when we retire we should write an article that expresses our largest disappointment. His idea was to tell it like it is if, at retirement, it would not harm the organization we worked for. During my last 39 years spent with GENEX and its predecessors, I have kept that discussion in mind. I’m retiring next week, so thought now is the time to write that article.



As further background, it is important to know I love the show ring. I have shown horses, pigs, beef and homing pigeons at local and state levels. At the national level, I have exhibited dogs, sheep, and dairy. In fact, in 2017, I have been at 10 sheep shows and have five more to go.

Decade after decade after decade.
In 1979, linear evaluation of dairy cows was launched using a 50-point scale. This provided data for research so we could finally answer the long-debated issue of what the most profitable cow really looked like from a phenotypic viewpoint.

In 1985, GENEX predecessor 21st Century Genetics and Dr. Gene Freeman at Iowa State University presented the first research clearly illustrating the medium stature cow (57 to 58 inches at the withers) was the longest lasting, most efficient cow. This was 35 years ago. During the five years that followed, eight other research papers were published, which all supported the medium size cow was best.

Equipped with this data, our cooperative launched a decades-long campaign to educate and sell the dairy industry on the goal of breeding for medium stature. We presented speeches at conferences, World Dairy Expo, state conventions, national conventions and around the globe. We developed many articles. The most controversial article was “The Cow in Fourth Place is Simply Too Tall.” During this time, we swam upstream in the sales world because of our stance.

We participated on committees and met with breed associates to encourage changes to reduce final score once a cow was above 58 inches. In 2014, we developed the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index to support our long-held belief.


My largest disappointment.
Perhaps we were simply poor communicators, but it took 30 years (three decades) before the industry began to change their attitude. During the last five years, the marketplace (driven by large commercial herd owners) has begun to penalize bulls that sire tall cows. Semen sales have shifted dramatically. Just the other week, I was informed the Holstein Association will be putting a slight negative weighting on stature in the TPI® formula.

A negative person might ask why it took three decades to change the industry’s opinion when it was overwhelming science that directed us. On the bright side, it is great the industry is now rapidly moving to a medium-sized cow to help improve profits at the herd level. We know it is right. We have known for a long time that it is right.

Now, while we know the show ring doesn’t always follow suit with the commercial side of the industry, the people who judge our shows hold an awesome responsibility. They greatly impact the goals and phenotypic direction of the breed. They greatly influence the global perception of U.S. genetics.

There is no doubt that judges have changed and are changing. Simply being tall does not win. This is great, but are judges doing enough when the science is so clear and the commercial dairy producers are sending such a clear signal? As a judge, you are an educator. Never underestimate how many people you influence. You can set a new standard. If the cow is above 58 inches, put her in fourth. There are plenty of great uddered, good foot and leg, open ribbed and balanced medium-sized cows. I have watched judges entirely change stature or frame goals in other species. Why not dairy? I am fairly sure breed associations will follow and reduce final score as cows get taller.

There it is, Morris. My biggest disappointment in a 49-year career is the length of time it has taken for the industry to realize the medium-sized cow is the most profitable AND the time it continues to take for the show ring to follow suit. Thank goodness it is changing, but it took way too long and cost far too much money. Now I can retire! 



About the Author:
Doug Wilson grew up on a dairy and beef farm near St. Charles, Iowa. While raising Guernsey and Angus cattle, he was active in cattle judging contests and was named the Iowa State Outstanding Dairy 4-H Member. Doug chose Iowa State University as his alma mater, and received a bachelor’s degree in dairy science.

He began his career in the dairy cattle breeding department of ABS. Later, he accepted the position of director of genetic programs at 21st Century Genetics (a GENEX predecessor). He served as GENEX chief operating officer before becoming CEO of Cooperative Resources International (the parent company of GENEX).

During his 49 years in the agriculture industry, Doug has worked for the betterment of the industry specifically in the development of dairy genetic programs. He has become known worldwide as an industry leader and earned recognition as the World Dairy Expo Industry Person of the Year, Iowa State University Distinguished Dairy Science Graduate, University of Wisconsin-River Falls Distinguished Agriculturist and Dairy Shrine Guest of Honor. Doug is also a great advocate of youth in agriculture and has served on many committees that promote this mission.

Friday, July 28, 2017

GENEX Dairy Marketing Intern, Beef Girl in a Dairy World

Meet Kaylan Risacher, a beef girl in a dairy world - at least for the summer!

So how does someone who grew up on a beef farm in Wright, Minnesota, end up working as a Dairy Marketing Intern in South Dakota with GENEX? The answer is simple, really, Kaylan wanted to gain experience for her future career as a veterinarian. Let's learn some more about this hard-working junior at the University of Minnesota-Crookston!

What clubs/organizations are you a part of?
I am secretary of Dairy Club, an active member of the Pre-Vet Med club and am also on the campus dairy judging team. Outside of school, I am a member of the American Gelbvieh Association, American Angus Association and was involved in 4-H for 11 years.

Why did you choose an internship with GENEX?
I wanted to gain more experience with both the bovine and dairy industries. I hope to go to vet school after completing my undergraduate degree, and this experience will benefit me greatly. Because of my minimal experience with dairy cattle, I figured this would be a chance for me to learn a lot about the industry!

What have you taken away from this internship thus far?
I love being able to interact with the owners, workers and cattle on the farms we visit. My dream is to wake up every morning looking forward to my day at work, because I enjoy what I am doing. That is exactly what is happening with this internship!

We here at GENEX are wishing Kaylan the best of luck as she finishes up her internship. Hopefully this position reinforced your passion for an exciting and dynamic industry!