Friday, May 19, 2017

Five Rules of Working in a Breeding Barn

By: Sarah Thorson, Beef Marketing and Education Manager

 I spent most of last week on a breeding project in western Nebraska, where over the course of four days we bred just over 1,000 heifers and cows. I always enjoy when I get invited to lend an extra hand on a breeding project. I may be biased, but I truly believe that I get to work with the most talented group of people in the A.I. industry, and last week the team we assembled was no exception. Joining me in the breeding barn were GENEX Independent Contractors, Matt Dolezal and Troy Carruthers, and Large Herd Beef Development Manager, Justin Hergenreder. Since we had a lot of time in the breeding barn together I asked them what their top five rules for working in a breeding a barn would be. Here’s what we came up with:

  1. What happens in the breeding barn, stays in the breeding barn. Just like in Vegas, when you get four people in a relatively small space for extended periods of time, you never know what’s going to happen or what the topic of conversation may be, but whatever it is, it stays in the barn.
  2. Sometimes things get messy… this one probably goes without too much explanation. I blame it on the fact that I am significantly shorter, with shorter arms, than most everyone else in the breeding barn, but it always seems that no matter how hard I try to stay clean, I always end up dirtier than everyone else.
  3. Just because you are dirty, doesn’t mean I should be too. This one goes with #2. The people that have managed the art of staying clean in the breeding barn, steer clear of those that have not.
  4. Be nice to the person thawing semen. I added this one myself, because I did most of the semen thawing last week! Whatever the reason though, you should be nice to the semen thawer, they can help set the pace in the barn and make everyone’s life much easier.
  5. Work hard, but have fun doing it. Because if you can’t have a little fun in the breeding barn, where can you?
What would you add to the rules? Let us know in the comments section below!


  1. Only pull the various ropes with your CLEAN hand!

    1. Ah yes, a great addition to the list!