Friday, March 23, 2018

Follow the Three Cs of Heat Detection

The most successful heat detection programs contain the three C's ...

Consistency refers to uniform marking in each pen. Uniformity is especially critical on dairies where groups of breeders work together or alternate between satellite operations. Consistency means marking each cow in one direction, using the livestock marker like an ink pen and not a battering ram, and applying enough product so the color is bright. When done with a pen, the breeder should be able to look down the row and see a consistent chalk color. They've then made finding heats the next day a little easier!
Concentration. One cannot have an off day when heat detecting. Your focus needs to be on each cow and whether you need to pay closer attention to her that day. Give emphasis to allowing cows more down time out of the head locks. Heat detectors can't afford to daydream. Concentrate, make good decisions and move on!
Commitment. Heat detection can't just be by chance. It takes a deliberate effort of observation and technique each and every day.
Breeders who are truly committed to excelling at heat detection are not satisfied with only finding those easy-money heats. If you haven't lifted a few tails or palpated a couple of questionable cows, you are probably having an off day.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Pendergrast Celebrates 50 Years of Providing Service

It all started with Midwest Breeders and the magic wand, and 50 years later Gary Pendergrast of Polo, Missouri, is still providing artificial insemination (A.I.) service.

Throughout this time, he’s seen many changes from ampules to straws and the innovation of sexed semen. A highlight of his career was working on the Lutalyse® trial many years ago; 115 heifers from a herd in his service area were used in this trial.

“I became an early proponent of synchronization due to my first-hand experience with that trial,” states Gary. “Synchronization was a gamechanger for the A.I. industry. I can breed so many more in one day than I even dreamed of 50 years ago.”

Over the years, he’s kept meticulous records of every breeding he’s ever done. In total, 71,000 cows and one buffalo make the list. “One buffalo?” you ask. Gary says he’s agreed to every A.I. project anyone has called him for, even when it was a buffalo.

Last May, Gary had open heart surgery and received strict doctor’s orders to not breed cows for 90 days. This marked the longest period in his life without breeding cows. Rest assured, he was back on day 90.

Gary is a self-proclaimed cattle engineer and thoroughly enjoys his work.

“By far, the best part of this industry is working with the people,” states Gary. “And as long as I’m able, I’ll continue to breed cows.”

And with a smile, he adds, “I think I should be good for another 20 years.”

Gary, thank you for your dedication to the A.I. industry.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Employees Are the Heart of Every Business - The GENEX Difference

Today is National Employee Appreciation Day. I have spent time in past posts giving you ideas on reducing your employee cull rate and ways you can show your employees how thankful you are for their hard work. Today I would like to highlight the heart of GENEX, our dedicated staff. We can say we don't need affirmation of our work, but, let's face it, it sure feels good when your boss lets you know how great you are! So today I bring you Huub te Plate, COO, in his address to the Annual Meeting on why GENEX is different.
Thank you for being service-oriented, reliable and down-to-earth and for possessing integrity and loyalty. You do make a difference to your customers. I routinely have people post on our Facebook page about the excellent service you provide. Phrases such as, "going above and beyond," "I've watched her work, and she is amazing at it" and "we consider him a friend" are commonplace when talking about GENEX employees.

Happy Employee Appreciation Day. I am honored to call you my co-workers!