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$. PROP JOE {3} continues to carry an elite +22.7 JUI™.
Dam of PROP JOE: JX Faria Brothers Target Ronaldo {2}
1JE00979 TONY ALLEN {3} leads the new releases with an impressive +207 JPI™
and +706 Cheese Merit (CM$). 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!

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!


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.

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.