Friday, July 21, 2017

Historic Postcard Prompts a #FlashbackFriday

A few months ago, an individual saw the sign outside the GENEX Distribution Center in Shawano, Wisconsin, and stopped in to drop off a vintage postcard. The postcard highlighted one of the many GENEX predecessor organizations, Badger Breeders. The front of the postcard (shown below) featured the Badger Breeders headquarters (today’s GENEX Headquarters).



The back of the postcard shared this message:

25 Years of Scientific Breeding Success
In April 1940 – just 2 years after artificial breeding of cattle was introduced into the United States – 100 forward-looking farmers formed the organization known today as Badger Breeders Cooperative.

Their faith in this revolutionary new breeding technique was fully justified by results: better herds; better production; better income and profits. It was these results – constantly improved over the years – that boosted membership from the original 100 to the present 27,100, coverage from 3 to 30 counties, and first services from a mere 1000 to last year’s 408,206 – a grand total of 5,222,343 first services in our first 25 years. Imagine the tremendous herd-improving influence Badger Breeders has exerted.


Now, 77 years after the formation of that predecessor organization, your cooperative is still forward-thinking. We’re still dedicated to ongoing genetic improvement and data-driven innovation. We’re still dedicated to better herds, better production and better profits for our cooperative members and customers.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Introducing Prospective℠ : A Semen Comparison Tool from GENEX

Today dairy producers have more options than ever when it comes to making decisions on semen products. With the addition of GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen to the marketplace and other sexed semen products in the works, it is important to have a tool for producers to be able to compare the impact of these different products on their bottom line. This is where the new GENEX Prospective℠ program can offer a helping hand.

The Prospective℠ program is a semen comparison tool that calculates the return on investment from different semen products used on cows or heifers. It utilizes a dairy’s inputs for projected conception rates, heifer ratios, calf value, and product pricing and delivers a simple, easy to understand report summarizing the dollars lost or gained from a particular semen choice by service number compared to conventional semen.

For example, a farm is wondering if introducing sexed semen on cows makes financial sense. The Prospective℠ program will take values for expected conception, semen prices and calf values and will show the farm an output similar to below. Here we can see the added asset value of producing more heifers with sexed semen and that it would cost more for semen cost and days open compared to conventional. However, in the total profit/loss analysis, it does show that the farm would see a profit for using sexed semen on their first service cows.

Similarly, on heifers, the Prospective℠ program can project how utilizing sexed semen products makes the most sense by also taking into account the additional milk income expected from heifers having heifer calves. The example below is a herd that is curious to see if the added cost of GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen makes sense to use on their heifers. The Prospective℠ program uses the inputs to calculate the difference in asset value, semen investment, milk income and days open to come up with the total profit/loss impact of that semen choice vs conventional. Here it shows the added value of heifer calves produced plus the added milk income outweighs the semen investment and added days open to give the farm an expected profit on all services.

The Prospective℠ program is just another tool GENEX offers dairies to help them make the most informed and profitable strategic breeding decisions in today’s marketplace.

Friday, July 7, 2017

GENEX Dairy Marketing Internship Provides Path to Future for Samuel Minor

For GENEX Dairy Marketing Intern, Samuel Minor of Eighty Four, Pennsylvania, this summer's internship needed to be in the dairy industry and had to enhance vital skills that would be required of him as he enters the industry in the next year. So far this Penn State senior's summer work choice has fit the bill as he has hit the ground running. Let's get to know a little more about Samuel!

Why do you feel internships are so valuable?
This internship is my second one withing the dairy industry. Both of the internships that I have been fortunate enough to receive have been extremely important to me because they have opened my eyes to actual career paths that will be available post graduation, and have taught me the skills required to obtain and work successfully in any position. These experiences have also been very important because of the networking I was able to do. I have been honored to meet and talk to countless people that are exceptionally influential within the industry. 

Why did you decide to intern with GENEX?
This internship lined up the most with my passion for dairy genetics and reproduction. 


What is your biggest take away from the intern position thus far?
I have only been working as an intern since the middle of May, but I have already taken a lot away from this position. My artificial insemination skills have increased greatly, my knowledge of GENEX products has improved, and I learned how to work closely with farmers across Pennsylvania to make genetic advances, allowing their herds to be more profitable.

What skills you are acquiring  do you think will be most important as you approaching your future career?
This internship has already shown me it is very important to be skilled at what you do, but more importantly you also have to have tremendous people skills. To be successful in this industry you need to be able to connect and communicate with farmers on a deeper level, and that is what GENEX is teaching me. 

We wish Samuel the best of luck as he finishes out his internship and college education!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Beef Brings North and South America Together

Each year international guests visit the U.S. to get an up-close look at GENEX bulls and their progeny. GENEX, part of Cooperative Resources International (CRI), hosted over 70 visitors from Argentina and Brazil on two separate tours this summer. During their visit, they learned more about the GENEX Beef lineup, as well as the entire beef industry from conception to harvest.



The Brazil tour group began in Shawano, Wisconsin, at our corporate headquarters. Over 30 guests invited by CRI Brazil, a CRI-owned company, spent a morning learning about our commitment to herd improvement through superior genetics. In addition, they spent time learning about the collection and processing of each semen straw and had the opportunity to view several bulls in-person – a highlight of the tour!


The group viewing 1AN01310 BREAKING NEWS.
From Shawano, Wisconsin, they continued their tour traveling throughout Minnesota, South Dakota and ending in Bismarck, North Dakota.


The Brazil tour group stopped in Kimball, Minnesota, to visit Schiefelbein Farms.

They also made a stop at Penrhos Farms, a GENEX progeny test herd in Britton, South Dakota, and Topp Herefords, Grace City, North Dakota.
Simultaneously, we hosted over 40 Argentine visitors from Juan Debernardi SRL, a CRI distributor. This group weaved through Kansas, Iowa, the Dakotas and Montana. A highlight of the tour was a day spent at Kansas State University (KSU) learning about the latest studies conducted by Dr. Bob Weaber and the KSU Animal Science Department. Participants also viewed the newly constructed KSU Purebred Beef Unit Headquarters. After 12 days on the road, the tour concluded at the GENEX Production Center in Billings, Montana, where the Argentines observed several bulls and learned about the semen collection process.
Observing the new Purebred Beef Unit Headquarters at KSU

While in Kansas, the Argentine visitors stopped at the Tiffany Cattle Company feedlot in Herington, Kansas, and Mushrush Red Angus in Strong City, Kansas.
Enjoying some steak at the historic Hays House in Council Grove, Kansas, on the recommendation of GENEX Beef Sire Procurement Manager Cody Sankey.

These tours allow international customers the chance to connect with staff and learn more about GENEX genetics.
After the tour, participants will have racked up over 3,000 miles, enjoyed a lot of excellent U.S. beef and gained a better understanding of the GENEX philosophy.  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Intern Insight with Sydney Brooks

Welcome to GENEX. This will not be your average internship.


Just like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson's exciting and extraordinary experience in their time as interns with Google in the 2013 movie "The Internship", our GENEX Dairy Marketing Interns are embarking on an adventure unlike most internships.  I mean, how many internship job descriptions contain the words A.I. service, breeding program and semen? Unencumbered by the uniqueness of the position, nine college students took to rural America this summer to gain knowledge and skills necessary for their future careers. Throughout this time, we will be featuring some of them to give you a glimpse into their reality.

Meet Sydney Brooks, a junior who recently transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Sydney will be studying animal science and life science communication and hopes to get involved in Badger Dairy Club, Association of Women in Agriculture and Collegiate Farm Bureau. Sydney is originally from a dairy and grain farm in Waupaca, Wisconsin, and her internship has her placed in northeast Wisconsin.

Why did you choose an internship with GENEX?
I started looking for internships to gain experience and knowledge in the agtricultural field and luckily, I came across the U.S. Dairy Marketing internship with GENEX. Not only is it my intention to learn an abundance, my goal for the summer would hopefully be to take what I've learned and apply it to my final years of my undergrad and possibly bring that knowledge back to my home farm in the future.

What have you learned from your internship thus far?
Strangely enough, the people have had the biggest impact on my experiences thus far. Each day I work with a wide variety of farmers, veterinarians, nutritionists, herdsmen and milkers on farms. Furthermore, the team that I'm working with for the summer has been more than welcoming, willing to help in any way possible and always answering every question I may have. Working with them on a daily basis from farm to farm has been incredibly rewarding. I have been able to absorb their knowledge, gain experience breeding cows and build my communication skills.

We wish Sydney the best of luck as she continues her education in agriculture!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Top Five Truths About the Life of a GENEX Dairy Consultant

By: Abby Tauchen, U.S. Dairy Marketing Programs Specialist

From the CEO to the barn crew, each person is an important part of the GENEX team. With that in mind, have you ever wondered what your coworkers do? Have you thought about walking in another person’s shoes, or in this case, boots for the day? I got to do just that! I spent a day with a GENEX Dairy Consultant to get a feel of a typical day on the job. Jeff Lutz, Dairy Consultant in central Wisconsin, let me tag along on a dairy visit, giving me the opportunity to ask questions about his typical day as a consultant. Here are the top five truths, in a nutshell, about the life of a Dairy Consultant:
  1. Dairy Visits: Consultants enjoy meeting with farm owners and employees to discuss genetics, reproduction and goals to build a better future. Tasks include analyzing on-farm data and monitoring GENEX product performance for optimal results.
  2. Team Communication: Communicating with the GENEX team is a vital part of the job. Phone calls, emails and ride-alongs all happen, most of the time, multiple times a day. Team members provide extra insight and helpful tips so together they can achieve a dairy’s goals.
  3. Pride: GENEX employees take pride in our proprietary index, ICC$! GENEX listened to what our members and customers wanted and created an index that was more functional on their commercial dairy operation.
  4. Programs: GENEX provides essential advancedreproductive and genetic-focused programs to producers and partners in the industry. These programs make a Dairy Consultant's job easier and enable the team to reach a dairy's goals faster.
  5. Training: Employee development is important to every career. GENEX offers an exceptional internal career development program for employees to complete. Conferences are also conducted across departments to focus and re-energize employees, allowing them to better serve members and customers. Jeff and I both recently attended a GENEX U.S. Strategic Marketing & Technical Services Conference in Arizona. The theme of our conference was Focus.
Above are the top five truths, but believe me there are plenty more truths to gather from a day in the life of a GENEX Dairy Consultant. Whatever industry you are a part of, take a chance and get to know your co-workers and their jobs! I know that by doing this, I am better able to appreciate the entire GENEX team as well as our members and customers.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Surviving the Spring Bull Sale Season

By: Brad Johnson, Director Beef Genetics and Cody Sankey, Beef Sire Procurement Manager

With spring bull sale season in the rearview mirror, we wanted to share our lessons learned.

      Don’t be proud. Be warm. Mud boots and Stormy Kromer caps may look dumb but are awesome. It’s a challenge to get Muck® boots, gloves, hats, Carhartt® bibs and more into a carry-on bag, but it’s totally worth the effort. Brad’s fingers still tingle occasionally from his February visit to Alberta. Good thing the bulls were good!

1AR00971 RENAISSANCE

Do your bull sale homework ahead of time. Have a short list of bulls before you arrive at the ranch. It’s going to be cold/snowy/muddy/rainy/sleeting/hailing/all of the above, so sorting through every single bull’s data while in the bull pen isn’t a good idea.

Never underestimate the value of a good rental car.  Just because you can get a Ford Fusion for $7 a day and it gets 30 mpg doesn’t mean it will be a good deal. After you’re stuck driving in a snowstorm that upgrade cost for the Ford Explorer looks pretty cheap.
video

One cannot own enough phone chargers. If you leave one at a hotel it’s as good as gone and so is your battery level. You can never survive a bull sale day without a full phone battery. Try raiding the lost and found at the next hotel you get to, there’s a good chance one of us left one there last time we visited. You’re welcome.

Speaking of hotels, Holiday Inn Express is our “go-to” chain. However, NEVER be afraid to try out the local establishments. Hotels like the Great Northern in Malta, Montana, Bob’s Resort in Gettysburg, South Dakota or the Hyannis Hotel in Hyannis, Nebraska are certain to have a warm bed, good shower and outstanding restaurant with great food!


Never pass up a great bull. At GENEX, we believe you can never have too many great bulls and when we find one, you can count on us to add him to the GENEX lineup. We strive to have the most powerful lineup of bulls in the business and are extremely excited with our 2017 acquisitions. Check them out on the website and Facebook.

L to R: 1AN01416 STUNNER, 1AR00969 INTREPID 1SM00160 PAYDAY, 1AN01421 RELEVANT, 1CH00970 LUNCH MONEY