Friday, January 29, 2016

Delegates - the Driving Force Behind a Co-op's Success

When I was a kid, I remember my Dad going off to lots of meetings. He was on the school board, town board, church council, FFA Alumni, etc. He was also a delegate for several local co-ops (At different times of course. Mom wouldn't allow him to miss that many milkings!). As I have grown, I have tried to be involved in my local community as well. It wasn't until we recently started doing business with Genex and AgSource that I even thought much about how a cooperative is run or who makes up the delegate body and boards of directors.

Our recent CRI Annual Meeting gave me the perfect opportunity to delve into our leadership and find out more about our delegates, their responsibilities and why they serve their cooperative.

Tell us a little about yourself and your farming/ranching operation.
My name is Scott Erthum, and I am a rancher in the Sandhills region
in north central Nebraska. We run over 400 head of commercial
black Angus cows in a cow-calf operation. We started utilizing A.I.on
the heifers in 1993 and have been impressed with the gains in our replacement heifers and have been doing that ever since. We started with 21st Century Genetics and have been with the co-op since then.

Why did you decide to become a delegate?
When I first became aware of the governance of the co-op, I was interested. At the time, I was one of the few beef guys sitting in a room of dairymen. And about 20 years younger. We had to stand up and give a speech as to why we should be elected and I did. I was surprised when I was elected, and that experience of going to the meeting made me realize it was important to be involved, provide input when asked and
to listen and learn about my cooperative.

What are your duties and responsibilities as a delegate?
The duties and responsibilities of a delegate are fairly easy. You attend the meetings and keep an open mind. You ask questions if they are important, and most importantly, you come to represent those members who elected you to this position. As a long time delegate for Nebraska, a lot of people know me. I have brought concerns of my members to the leadership to be addressed.

What type of time commitment is required of a delegate?
I give about a week a year for my duties as delegate. Three of those
days are for the meetings, three days are for traveling to the meetings
and one day is to attend the member appreciation meeting in my area. I
usually give a small speech at the member appreciation meeting about
why membership is important to all producers who qualify.

As a long-time Annual Meeting attendee, what has caught your attention?
The biggest thing that has always caught my attention at these Annual
Meetings is how accessible the management of our cooperative is.
Senior management is present and have been open to hear comments
and answer questions about topics and issues that we face. I also like
being able to talk to the beef procurement people about new bulls and of
course talking to producers from across the country.

What would you tell someone who may be considering getting involved
in the governance of their cooperative?
I would tell them that if they have any interest in it to ask questions first.
Make sure you have the time to make the meetings. Don't be afraid to
talk to people in the cooperative and to bring local concerns up at the
meetings. The co-op can only be as good as the people in it, and being a
delegate has been a very rewarding experience for me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Play-By-Play From the Super Bowl of Livestock Shows

It's National Western Stock Show time, the self-proclaimed Super Bowl of Livestock Shows, boasting nearly 20 breeds of cattle during its 16-day run. And, Genex is there to cover the whole game for you!

Producers had the chance to stop by and discuss their game plan in the "locker room," found in the Yards. Genex staff enjoyed discussing the A.I. industry's only data-driven beef sire fertility ranking model, PregCheck and promoting our Spring Beef Specials! 

Vin-Mar Cattle Company of Gordon, Nebraska, played well and earned themselves Reserve Champion Angus Carload containing bulls by Vin-Mar JOHNNY CASH 3513, S A V RESOURCE 1441 and S A V HOT IRON 0941. Congratulations to the Vin-Mar team!

The first ever Angus Pen of Three Heifer show was a clean sweep for Genex. McCurry Brothers of Sedgwick, Kansas, won the Grand Champion Pen with a pen of S A V BISMARCK 5682 daughters and Reserve Champion Pen was a group of PVF INSIGHT 0129 heifers from Bear Mountain Angus, Palisade, Nebraska.

Genex has also been present for the "half-time" shows to learn as much as we can to help our producers.

A large crowd was on hand at the Colorado State University display area to see Dr. Tim Holt demonstrate how Pulmonary Arterial Pressure (PAP) data was gathered. Dr. Holt used ultrasound equipment to enter the jugular vein of an animal and measure the PAP pressure in the right ventricle of the heart. Not only is PAP an important issue to high elevation cattle but it is becoming a growing concern to feedlot cattle with heart and lung issues. 
The second half of the big game is underway, you can be sure we will keep you up-to-date and in the game!

The second half is well underway and we have more exciting news about Genex progeny! 

Congratulations to Altenburg Super Baldy Ranch in Fort Collins, Colorado for winning Reserve Champion Pen of Three Purebred Simmental Heifers. These are all full ET sisters sired by W/C WIDE TRACK 694Y.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

There's No Ditching These Resolutions!

So it’s January 17, no big deal, right? WRONG. While the rest of you are celebrating “Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution” day, I am celebrating the fact that I will be able to stick with my resolutions. You see, my farmer made awesome choices which have allowed me to make not only one, but four attainable resolutions.

  • With everyone talking about losing weight, I am going for maintaining a desirable Body Condition Score (BCS). Since changes in BCS can be caused by many things, it is important for my farmer to pay special attention to nutrition, facilities and handling. He also selects bulls who have a BCS score of over 100 to keep the genetics factor covered.
  • Was one of the resolutions you are dumping, spend less, or save more? Efficiency is my word. I know, you are asking how a cow can be more efficient. Well, let me tell you, our genetics company has it figured out. They created a new index my farmer uses in matings called the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC) index. It allows my farmer to breed for farm profitability and efficiency using real-time economic indicators and science-based genetic principles to address the needs of progressive dairy producers. 

  • How is that new exercise plan working out for you? I am staying fit and healthy, again thanks to the mating choices made using the ICC. It factors in health traits such as Productive Life, Locomotion, Somatic Cell Score and Body Condition Score.
  • Did the label maker and totes you bought help with your plan to get organized, or are they just a heap in a corner somewhere? Well, my farmer has all the tools and options he needs to keep all of us running like clockwork.  AgSource Cooperative Services offers DHI reports and diagnostic services to ensure we are healthy and performing at our very best, and Genex offers programs like Calf Math™ which helps producers decide how to use the various semen product options to achieve herd goals or Sort-Gate which allows producers to sort dairy females and ultimately define which females are appropriate for different breeding strategies (GenChoice™ sexed semen, Breeding to Feeding™, conventional semen).

So maybe, without thinking, what I really did is create one big, really easy New Year’s Resolution for all of you, trust Genex and Cooperative Resources International to deliver excellence, innovation and value for your herd in 2016 and beyond!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

GENESIS Genetics: The Prudence Family

Prudence: ICC$ Opportunities with Low GFI
GENESIS cow MS M-P Dolce Prudence-ET
MS M-P Dolce Prudence-ET, GP-83
MS M-P Dolce Prudence-ET, GP-83 was born July 7, 2011 as the result of a Dolce and M-P Onward Polly-ET, GP-83 mating. Her maternal grandam is MS M-P Boliver Phlox-ET, VG-87, DOM, a cow which completed a big record of 3-01, 3x, 365 days, 41,810 pounds of milk and 3.4%, 1408 fat and 3.2%, 1318 protein.

At one point, Prudence was considered the breed leader for PTA Milk, and she finished her first lactation at 2-0, 3x, 365 days, 34,670 pounds of milk, 3.6%, 1264 and 3.1%, 1071 protein. Aside from extreme production, this family offers an outcross pedigree! Prudence is 6.0 for GFI (genomic future inbreeding)!

Prudence has one son marketed around the world: 1HO11881 Co-op PRINCETON-ET is +725 for the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index with outstanding production and good overall conformation. Prudence also has several outstanding daughters within the GENESIS herd – daughters that exhibit both high ICC$ levels and low GFIs. 

Prudence’s First Milking Daughters
Milking daughters of GENESIS cow MS M-P Dolce Prudence-ET
Co-op SPS Prudence 7079-ET, Co-op GRFT Prudence 7162-ET,
and Co-op Val Prudence 7207
Co-op SPS Prudence 7079-ET, pictured on the left in the group photo, is a full sister to PRINCETON. She’s also the dam of two current Genex mating sires, one of which is a 1HO11056 TROY son. In addition, she has two more sons (including a 1HO11071 LEADED son) first entering the collection arena now. Among Prudence 7079’s daughters is a polled 1HO12020 YAHTZEE-P heifer that stands at +936 ICC$ and 6.6 GFI. There is also a LEADED daughter at +912 ICC$. Altogether, Prudence 7079 has 22 genomic-tested offspring that average +813 ICC$. Watch for future offspring from 1HO12546 TESTAROSSA among others.

At the center of the group picture is Co-op GRFT Prudence 7162-ET, GP-81. Prudence 7162 has several notable daughters. For instance, her 1HO11889 AVENGER daughter is Co-op Avenger 7162 8008-ET at +961 ICC$. This next generation of the GENESIS herd will begin IVF soon. There’s also a full sister, Co-op Aardema Aven 22176-ET at +902 ICC$. Two Silver daughters have earned high ICC$ and low GFI rankings too. In total, Prudence 7162 has 25 offspring genomic tested averaging +781 ICC$.

Co-op Val Prudence 7207, GP-83 (on the right) is currently milking 102 pounds a day. She is +658 ICC$ and 6.2 GFI. Prudence 7207 is just beginning to make an impact on the GENESIS herd with a couple pregnancies to date and plans for future flushing.

The combination of low GFI and extreme production that the Prudence family transmits within the GENESIS Cooperative Herd is exciting. We are optimistic this cow family will continue to breed ICC$ leaders and outcross opportunities to benefit Genex members and customers!

GENESIS logo: The future of your herd and ours