Sunday, May 31, 2015

#‎GenexChutesideService – The Month of May

By Lindsay Johnson, CRI

Genex Chute-side ServiceMay was a busy month for #‎GenexChutesideService projects. Genex representatives across the country coordinated schedules, breeding barns, people and cattle, making sure everything was in the proper place to get the job done.

Here’s a quick glimpse at a few photos that were shared with us during the past month.

Green was the color of choice at the Mushrush Red Angus breeding project in Kansas.

The folks at Halfmann Red Angus wrapped up A.I. breeding their commercial and registered heifers in early May. In reading their Facebook post, you hear their excitement about this group of females.

Bar Lazy D Cattle of Nebraska shared this photo after their successful A.I. project. With the help of Genex independent contractor Luke Kovarik and his crew they bred 315 heifers to 1AN01215 Irish and 1AN01240 Effective.

Longtime Genex employee Stan Lock sent me this picture from a 2500-head breeding project. Red Angus sires 1AR00928 Halfmann R588 and 1AR00936 Conqueror were used in this project. I’m sure it was another day Stan proclaimed it to be ‘A great day to be a cowboy!’

Darcy Sexson, who blogs at Success is Reason Enough, is always willing to share her pictures with me. Here’s one of my favorites because it shows the people involved. So many times we only see the heifers heading to or from the breeding barn, but without a great group of people the project wouldn’t be possible. It takes the cooperation of the ranch crew and Genex to make any A.I. project successful!

We would like to see what’s happening at your farm or ranch. Submit your photos for a chance to be in the 2016 Genex beef calendar. We are looking for photos from across the country and from all seasons.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Employee Feature: Gail Rippe... in the Heartbeat of Cattle Country

By: Brooke Schultz, CRI

Since May was National Beef Month, we thought it would be nice to get insight from one employee who is a driving factor to the beef industry, Beef Area Marketing Manager Gail Rippe of Indianola, Nebraska. With Gail and his team providing beef producers with genetics and top-notch chute-side service in parts of three major beef producing states (ranked among the top five for total number of cattle/calves or cattle in feedlots), we think he’s the epitome of an excellent beef representative. So, what’s Genex life like for this beef guru? We set out to learn more about him and his connection to Genex.

How did you get involved with Genex, and what is your role at Genex?
I first got involved with Genex as an invitee to the first Large Herd Summit in Billings, Montana in 2012. I was hired in the fall of 2013 as a Territory Sales Manager (sales representative), and then I was promoted to my current position of Beef Area Marketing Manager (BAMM) in 2014.

As a BAMM, I serve Nebraska, western Kansas and eastern Colorado. I have a great crew to work with including Territory Sales Manager Levi Ebert and approximately 30 Independent Contractors. Together, we cover the “Heartbeat of Cattle Country.” Our team does a superb job of delivering semen, supplies and services to members and customers.

How does it feel to be part of the beef industry?
I am extremely proud and very lucky to be part of the best industry in the world! You will not find many other professions that have the kind of people found in the agriculture industry. I consider both our team and our clientele to be family-oriented, hardworking, community minded, knowledgeable and down to earth. I especially enjoy working with multi-generational ranches knowing they are passing on a legacy for future generations of beef production and agriculture in general.

What’s one thing you take pride in as being part of Genex?
The one thing that is common to the Genex beef team is everybody’s passion about the beef industry and the commitment to members’ success. It is amazing how many hours are spent behind the scenes working together towards a common goal of meeting the needs of our customers. It is a pleasure to be part of each and every rancher’s operation that utilizes Genex service.

There you have it, folks. A great man making a great company and a great industry proud! The “Heartbeat of Cattle Country” couldn’t have asked for a better beef representative (and we’re not just saying that because we’re biased). Thanks for all you do, Gail!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Genex + Superior Livestock Auction = You Win!

By: Justin Hergenreder, Genex Beef Area Marketing Manager

During the heat of the beef breeding season, don’t forget to plan to take advantage of the relationship Genex has with Superior Livestock Auction. Any female bred to or sired by a Genex sire is eligible to be included in 1 of 3 special Superior sales this fall. 

This year's sales will take place on:
  • October 22
  • November 19
  • December 17

Last year A.I. bred females averaged well over $250 per head more, and demand for quality replacement females continues to rise. In addition to helping you command premiums for bred stock, Genex can assist you in marketing your feeder cattle through Superior.

Get in touch with Genex today, so we can help you locate a Superior representative near you. He or she will be thrilled to get involved in your program and show you how marketing with Superior is a great way to go. It’s hard to beat video of quality replacement females that have just been bred to top Genex sires out on green grass doing what they do best! or 1-888-333-1783

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ag Students Define Spirit of Agriculture

By Brooke Schultz, CRI

“An important percent of the current ag college graduates are returning to the farm,
which is another positive trend. However, a five-year projection indicates we will
be short over 15,000 ag graduates in the year 2020."

This was an eye-opening remark made by CEO Doug Wilson at the 2015 CRI annual meeting. While it’s nice to know agriculture college graduates return to their roots and what, more than likely, initiated their love for agriculture, you can’t help but focus on the latter half of that statement – the agriculture industry will, no doubt, suffer with a shortage of over 15,000 ag graduates.

With the decline of agriculture-related graduates, one thing has become evident for those who do choose to pursue that career path: they, must absolutely, without a doubt, be passionate about agriculture. The future of agriculture depends on hardworking, skilled, passionate young adults who are truly vested in arguably the most important industry worldwide. Keeping that in mind, our panel of judges selected four of 70 applicants to be awarded our first-ever CRI Collegiate Scholarship (next application period begins in January 2016).

Within the CRI Collegiate Scholarship application, students were asked to share what agriculture means to them and what lessons they learned from their agriculture involvement. With the answers we received, we know the future of agriculture looks bright. It was humbling to read about their passion for agriculture and what it has done for them, and we thought our four CRI Collegiate Scholarship recipients’ answers were too good not to share.

Between all four of their responses, they covered topics that define the essence of agriculture: a positive outlook, hard work, family and passion.

While some people may have a negative outlook on agriculture, scholarship award winner Gabryelle Gilliam from Washington, Kansas, proved with a little hard work and a positive mindset, agriculture can regain assurance and flourish as it has in the past. “I have learned that a positive outlook and influence is always needed in order to put a halt to some of the negativity agriculture has been facing. Our job as advocates is to get people to realize we are all the same, and we all rely on agriculture to survive."

People in all aspects of the agriculture industry know hard work and determination is what gets the job done, as Jeremy Davis of Bingham, Nebraska, illustrated. “Growing up on a ranch, I was given the experiences of actually working from a very young age. It was through these experiences that I learned work ethic and the mentality that if you are going to do it, do it the right way.” This is an important attitude to have in all aspects of your life, but especially in the agriculture field. With producers working extended hours, putting your all into your work the first time significantly decreases your chances of having to go back and do it again. And as we know, you do not have the time to backtrack! Giving minimal effort is not an option. You give it your all, all the time.

Agriculture is oftentimes associated with family and togetherness, and having a strong family connection helps you understand agriculture’s impact on both a local and global perspective. Madison Schafer from Goodhue, Minnesota, did an excellent job portraying the connection between family and agriculture by stating, “Family ties are what keep a farm going long after any other business would simply throw in the towel, and family is the structure that American agriculture has been built upon. I’ve learned what it means to dedicate yourself to something and really follow through with it to the end. I’ve also learned how important it is to celebrate the little things in life in the area of farming, because in the end: Farming isn’t just a way to make a living; it’s a way to make a life."

Can we all just take a moment to stop and re-read that last sentence? We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Madison. This is the kind of outlook all agriculture graduates need to have. With future agriculturalists viewing their jobs not as something they need to do, but rather something they want to do, it gives us assurance that, despite the decreasing number of ag graduates, those who are pursuing agricultural degrees are passionate about it.

Speaking of passion, Gretta Binversie of Kiel, Wisconsin, explained how her passion for agriculture will propel her to succeed in agriculture. “The daily agriculture experience and contribution has elicited an attraction, love and passion I cannot simply give up. It presented an opportunity to know how it feels to work hard every single day while staying motivated and optimistic."

Seriously, with that kind of positive attitude, how can you not trust that these students will be a driving factor to what keeps agriculture alive? These are the kind of statements that prove it’s about quality, not quantity. Today’s agriculture students are dedicated, honorable young adults who will continue to make agriculture prosper. Maybe we don’t have the numbers, but we sure have the heart.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Celebrating National Beef Month: Meet Andy Anderson

By Jenny Hanson, CRI

Beef cattle production is a strong part of the agricultural industry within the U.S. and throughout the world. From farmers and ranchers to processors, thousands of people play an integral role in the journey of beef from field to market. Also among those thousands of people are your Genex beef representatives. As we celebrate National Beef Month here on our blog as well as on Facebook and Twitter, I’d like to introduce you to several of our beef staff members. Today, let’s meet Andy Anderson of Emmett, Idaho.

Andy, what’s your background in the beef industry? I’ve been breeding cows for about 35 years. I got involved with the beef program at another A.I. stud in 1999 and came to Genex with the acquisition of that program in 2003. I worked as a Genex area beef representative (now called independent contractor) until 2006 and then came on board full time as a beef team leader. Today, I work with Genex independent contractors throughout Idaho, Utah and Nevada, supporting them as they serve Genex members and customers. I also organize teams for large breeding projects.

What would you tell someone considering Genex genetics and chute-side service? I feel we have the best beef lineup of the A.I. studs. We also have some of the best beef teams in the industry. We have people that know cattle both from the science sense and the cow sense. We have a variety of bulls with good, balanced numbers. Even more, our team members not only sell semen but can go in and breed cows. We provide chute-side service not only in small herds but also in large ones, breeding anywhere from 300 to 1,000 head or more. We also have the logistics – breeding barns and such – to get those breeding projects done efficiently.

Who’s your favorite Genex sire and why? Personally, my favorite bull would be 1AN01117 Connealy THUNDER, though with slow production he isn’t as readily available this year. I like Thunder because he works in so many different types of environments and in so many different herds. He sires cattle that are easy fleshing with great udders, good disposition and adequate growth. Mainly, he produces functional cattle.

Why are you ag proud? I am ag proud because I love working with cows and with other people who love their cows. Beef producers really care about the welfare of their cattle, and they always strive to improve their herd through each generation. Also, they always strive to best serve the end user, the consumer. The beef industry is a good industry to be involved in - with some of the best people in the world!

Thanks for joining Genex in celebrating National Beef Month. Watch for more beef facts, contests and features on our social media channels throughout the month!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It took a “Push,” but I’m sold!

By Brad Johnson, Genex

"I am confident Push works, and it
helped these two calves get up
and going" - Brad Johnson
My wife, Lindsay, and I have a small herd of Angus and Red Angus cows outside of Shawano, Wisconsin. Lindsay works in CRI Public Relations, and I am part of the Genex Beef Genetics division. Earlier this year, Lindsay brought home two tubes of Push™, a new protein and energy paste for calves that Genex is marketing within the U.S. Her mission was to get a photo of me giving a tube of Push to one of our calves for the upcoming advertising campaign of this new product. “No problem,” I told her.

We calve our heifers in February and the cows primarily in March and April. February in northeast Wisconsin is cold and snowy while March and April are cold, wet and muddy; neither time is ideal, that’s for sure. In fact, Lindsay has occasionally threatened to find a more patient A.I. technician so we can calve when it’s warmer! We build a few temporary calving pens in a pole shed and rotate cows in and pairs out. It works okay as long as we’re prepared.

This year Heifer #351 decided to calve outside on a cold, windy January day, about 10 days early! Upon noticing the newborn, I quickly shuffled the new pair to the shed, snapped on a CRI Calf Coat and began my normal new calf processing routine. I remembered the tube of Push stowed in the back pocket of my coveralls, so I gave it to the calf. Either it was too cold and windy for the photographer or two young kids were occupying her time, but we didn’t get a photo taken. In short order the calf was up and nursing and showing great vigor, so I felt pretty confident I’d gotten to the new calf in good time. About two weeks later, the calf’s ear tag fell completely out as her ears continued to get shorter and shorter from the frostbite she’d suffered. It was then I finally realized how much stress the calf had experienced. One tube of Push left. 

Heifer #312 spent several nights in the calving shed because the vet called her A.I. bred, but it soon became apparent she must have been bull bred. She was the last heifer to calve. I was tiring of 2:00 a.m. checks, so I was glad to see when she started calving at 10:00 p.m. I went back inside with intentions of giving her two hours. After the two hours it was clear I’d be assisting this delivery. Long story short, #312 delivered an 87 lb. bull calf with moderate help. Not the worst pull ever but stressful for the calf nonetheless. While Junior, the newborn calf, laid there sprawled out not doing much of anything, I again thought of the Push tube in my back pocket. He looked like a calf that could use a pick-me-up. Should I text the sleeping photographer to wake up, get dressed and come out into the cold to take our picture? What would any sane husband do? I opted to let Lindsay sleep. Fast forward 10 minutes and the calf was up drinking happily, thanks in large part to that tube of Push. I consider Junior a great advertisement for Push and for using proven A.I. sires on your heifers! Zero tubes of Push left. 

The next morning I called and ordered a box of Push. While these two examples aren’t the most difficult calving experiences I’ve ever seen, I am confident Push works, and it helped these two calves get up and going. The cost of a box of Push seems worth it, especially with $2.50+/lb. feeder calf prices and record sales of seedstock cattle.

I’m going to make sure I’ve always got a tube of Push in my back pocket when calving season rolls around. Now if we could just get that darn picture taken…

Push is an energizing paste for newborn or stressed calves. It gives calves the extra Push they need