december 2012 Picture Perfect Vs. Profits
Dairy Beef in Demand
Meet Members’ Needs Through the GENESIS Cooperative Herd.
Daughters of 1HO09167 Co-op O-STYLE Oman Just-ET #5 TPISM, #3 LNM$
Introducing the Newest Profit-Packed Genetics: • 1HO10396 Co-op Robust CABRIOLET-ET %-I, +$928 LNM • 1HO10559 Co-op RAINIER-ET, +$830 LNM • 1HO10644 Co-op RB Obsr INDY-ET %-I, +$775 LNM • 1HO10369 Co-op LOYAL-ET, +$692 LNM • 1HO10673 Co-op Digger MODESTO-ET, +$674 LNM
Daughters of 1HO09527 Co-op Bosside MASSEY-ET #3 TPISM, #5 LNM$
“ For more than 20 years, Genex has invested in an innovative idea – the GENESIS Cooperative Herd. Today, this cooperative-owned herd is providing our members with progressive genetics to profitably improve their herds.” - Paul Greene, Genex President Mapledale Farm, Berlin, N.Y.
• 1HO10674 Co-op Trigger MEANDER-ET %-I, +$672 LNM • 1HO10525 Co-op Super RIDOTT-ET, +$605 LNM • 1HO10653 Co-op UPD Karsten PUTTER-ET %-I, +$546 LNM Photo by Sarah Damrow, Agri-Graphics Ltd.
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December 2012 Vol. 18/No. 3
Published three times a year for dairy producers around the globe. |
k On the Cover: Providence Dairy in White, S.D., focuses on consistency. See page 30.
Address correspondence Cooperative Resources International P.O. Box 469, Shawano, WI 54166 email@example.com 888.333.1783 www.crinet.com
CANADA - Genex Cooperative, Inc. 291 Woodlawn Rd W Unit 4C, Guelph, Ontario N1H 7L6 firstname.lastname@example.org 888.354.4622
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Paul Greene, President
Berlin, N.Y., 518.658.2419
Duane Nelson, 1st Vice President Winthrop, Minn., 507.647.2540
John Ruedinger, 2nd Vice President Van Dyne, Wis., 920.922.9899
Ronald Totten, Secretary Stafford, N.Y., 585.344.0758
Jacques Couture Westfield, Vt., 802.744.2733
Jim Crocker Valley City, Ohio, 330.483.3709
Jon Wayne Danielson Cadott, Wis., 715.289.3860
Patrick Dugan Casa Grande, Ariz., 520.251.6455
Harlin Hecht Paynesville, Minn., 320.243.4386
Harold House Nokesville, Va., 703.754.9534
Kay Olson-Martz Friendship, Wis., 608.564.7359
Bobby Robertson Tahlequah, Okla., 918.456.2357
Richard Vold Glenwood, Minn., 320.634.4665
Alfred Wanner, Jr. Narvon, Pa., 717.768.8118
Jenny L. Hanson, Editor, email@example.com Angie Kringle, Assistant Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org Andy Graf, Graphic Designer
Material may not be reproduced in any fashion without Cooperative Resources International’s permission. Cooperative Resources International, their member cooperatives, agents or employees, cannot and do not guarantee the conception rate, quality or productivity to be obtained in connection with the use of their products or recommended techniques. THEY MAKE NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WHICH EXTENDS BEYOND THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PRODUCTS AND HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. In the unlikely event that any of the products shall be proven to be defective, damages resulting from their use shall be limited to their purchase price.
Membership Matters 4 | Genex Membership Update
Get The Inside Scoop!
In The News 5 | Corporate Restructuring 6 | Mike Milizia’s Journey to 100,000 First Services 8 | TOYSTORY, Breunig Family Recognized at SPACE Show 9 | Update on Council of Dairy Cattle Breeding 22 | Bridging our Worldwide Agriculture Community
Herd Management 18 | Where’s the Beef? 20 | Q&A: DeLaval Activity System Genetically Speaking 15 | Picture Perfect or Profits? Bull Spotlight 13 | Outstanding O-STYLE Herd Story 24 | Oatlands Farm C&R Starke 27 | Growing Heifers and Profitability 28 | County Line Dairy 29 | Relying on the People Power of Genex 30 | Providence Dairy
Mission Statement: Provide products and services as effectively as possible to maximize the profitability of members and customers worldwide while maintaining a strong cooperative. HORI Z ONS
MEM B ERSHI P
Genex Membership Update By: Terri Dallas // Vice President of Information & Public Relations, CRI
The Genex bylaws allow for the election of delegates to take place by mail-in ballot or at a membership meeting. Board members decide which type of an election works best for their region. Region 9 will hold elections at membership meetings. All other regions will hold elections by mail-in ballot. Genex members will receive a mailing in mid-December including a business reply postcard. Members interested in having their name on the ballot should complete the self-nomination postcard by the date indicated. Their names will be included on the ballot and sent to members in their respective region/ district to elect their delegates and alternates for 2013.
Genex board members are elected to three-year terms. At the 2013 annual meeting, elections in Regions 1, 4, 7, 10 and 13 will take place. Region 1 board member, Jacques Couture, has decided not to run for the board. We appreciate Jacques' years of service to the cooperative. Any member in good standing, including members presently serving as delegates, is eligible for election and nomination.
Fall Delegate Meetings
Genex delegates and alternates from membership regions across the U.S. recently attended the Fall Delegate Meetings. Ten meetings were held and 151 delegates/alternates were present to receive an update from board members and management and provide input on cooperative issues.
2013 CRI Annual Meeting Set for March 27-28
Members elected as delegates have the opportunity to attend the fourth annual national meeting for Genex and CRI in Bloomington, Minn. The event features break-out sessions on current issues, the annual meeting of CRI and Genex and a banquet. Delegate expenses are paid to and from the meeting.
Genex Member Definition Will Change
After reviewing delegate/alternate input received at Fall Delegate Meetings in 2011, the Genex board recommended a change in member definition for 2015 from a minimum of $200 to $500 of annual allocatable expenditures to the CRI governance committee. The committee supported the recommendation and advanced the member definition change to the CRI board. The CRI board also supported the member definition change and voted to change the Genex member definition from a minimum of $200 to $500 of allocatable expenditures effective in 2015. A three-year communication plan has been put in place to make all members aware of the change. ď Ž
11 8 9 10 7 5
1 32 4
13 6 g 2012 Genex Membership Regions
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CRI Announces Structural Reorganization
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CRI Chief Executive Officer Doug Wilson
Vice President Business Development
Vice President Finance
Vice President Human Resources
Vice President Information & Public Relations
Vice President International Marketing
AgSource Chief Operating Officer
Huub te Plate
n the eve of the 20th anniversary of CRI, the cooperative has updated its structure creating a new senior management team. “In its first 20 years, CRI has already grown from a $32 million cooperative to a $165 million cooperative. The board of directors remains dedicated to an aggressive growth strategy, and this new structure will facilitate that growth,” explains Doug Wilson, CRI CEO and Genex Chief Operating Officer. The new structure includes the creation of a Business Development Division, charged with coordinating business acquisitions, building domestic and global alliances, and managing research. This
division will be led by Pete Giacomini, who served as the Chief Operating Officer of CRI subsidiary AgSource Cooperative Services for 27 years. Larry Romuald will continue to serve as the CRI Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance. With the structure realignment, he also assumes responsibility for information technology. Due to added concentration on employee development, retention and recruitment, a Human Resources Division has been newly created. Previously human resources was a function of the Finance Division. This division will be under the direction of Ron Schmalz.
Terri Dallas continues as the CRI Vice President of Information and Public Relations, charged with membership, public relations, customer service and web-based initiatives. Huub te Plate remains the Vice President of International Marketing, a division which continues to undergo rapid growth through marketing efforts, acquisitions and alliance contracts. Also on the management team will be a new AgSource Chief Operating Officer, for whom a search is underway. In the interim, Giacomini will lead the subsidiary while also attending to his business development responsibilities.
Genex Modifies Corporate Structure
Genex Chief Operating Officer Doug Wilson
enex has reorganized its business divisions to better serve members and customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. “With a structural reorganization and a reassignment of roles among leadership staff, Genex is positioned to meet its mission for years to come,” says Doug Wilson, Genex Chief Operating Officer. In the restructuring Keith Heikes was named the Senior Vice President of Product Development and Marketing. By encompassing domestic marketing services, dairy genetics and beef programs, this new division coordinates and intensifies the relationship between semen product development and marketing. Previously, Heikes served as Genex Vice President of Dairy Genetics and Global Alliance Development. Tom Bjelland accepted a new role as Vice President of Support Services. This new Genex division provides international customer support, manages resale products, conducts employee training and program support, and coordinates semen distribution channels. Bjelland previously ©2012 CRI
Senior Vice President-Product Development and Marketing
Vice President Support Services Tom Bjelland
Vice President Diversified Programs, Services and Process Management Chuck Dallas
spent 37 years within Genex domestic marketing management. The restructuring also led to the creation of a business division called Diversified Programs, Services and Process Management. Chuck Dallas, previously the Vice President of Finance, leads this new division, which oversees organizational change management and provides oversight for Genex Farm Systems and the cooperative’s transportation department.
Vice President Production
Vice President Central Livestock Association, LLC
Glen Gilbert continues as the Vice President of Production. He has 35 years of experience and is recognized industrywide for leadership in sire management and semen laboratory management. He has also had an integral role in expanding the GENESIS Cooperative Herd. Since 2000, Jeff Reed has provided direction for the cooperative’s livestock marketing business segment and maintains that role as the Vice President of Central Livestock Association, LLC. HORI Z ONS
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Tales from the Vermont Countryside Mike Milizia’s Journey to 100,000 First Services
By: Kienan Gridley // Tech Specialist, Genex
t was a brisk Vermont morning – one of the first real chills of the fall. I was riding with Breeding Program Specialist Mike Milizia, and we were at our first stop of the day. Chilled, and short on sleep, I’d arrived in Barre, Vt., the night before to spend the day with Mike, to hear the story of his career thus far, and of his journey to reaching the NAAB celebrated milestone of 100,000 first service breedings. As a relatively new breeder myself, I was interested not only in the specific techniques that helped him become successful, but also (and possibly more so) the characteristics of his personality ... the ones that built his personal positivity and success.
In April of this past spring, Mike bred his 100,000th virgin heifer (a number so large it could make any Tech Specialist’s head spin) but to Mike, modesty coming easily, he explained to me that it was just another day and just another breeding.
With frost on the air, we quietly made our way through the freestall looking for signs of heats. Mike moved smoothly and methodically through the pen, and I followed. I didn't have a prepared interview or set questions, but rather the belief that the best way to learn was to do ... and so our day together began.
I couldn't help but smile as Mike told me of the childhood excitement and fascination of being there. It was a treat, he explained, “I would have rather been out in the barn with the animals, than in the house.”
Unlike many of us in the dairy industry, Mike wasn't born into a dairying family. His parents weren’t farmers, but rather worked in town. However, his grandparents, aunt and uncle had a farm they maintained in addition to their daytime jobs. Mike grew up in the small town of Winooski, outside of Burlington, and got his first taste of farming on his grandparents’ homestead.
“I don't think I could be as happy doing anything else...” –Mike Milizia
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As a youngster, he found a natural feeling of peace in cattle’s inherent docility. It wasn’t until many years later however that Mike first considered becoming a dairy cow breeder. At the time, he was working on a dairy farm when Howard Alden, a technician with Eastern A.I. (a Genex predecessor organization), brought him the idea. Since becoming a breeder in 1978, Mike developed a true passion for his work. To him “it’s not just a job ... it’s a way of life,” and throughout our day together I saw that for him, it was true. I saw a man who was truly engaged and committed to the farms he serviced. To Mike, it’s always been about the members. One of the most rewarding parts of the job, he told me, is being able to share in a small part of the farmer’s success. When I asked Mike about his workload, he replied with a smile on his face, “You can't do everything for everybody, but you can try!” And for Mike, he’s not just saying that, he means it. The night I arrived in Vermont, by the time I got to the hotel it was quite late, and I was exhausted from a day of breeding and the five hour drive. Little did I know, but Mike Milizia was still out on farms breeding the cows his members had called in. I was shocked when he told me this the following morning, and I couldn't help but notice and respect his dedication. It’s the kind that comes only from a true and lasting passion for one’s work. Providing the service of breedings and bringing top genetics to these dairies isn't the only thing Mike enjoys about his work, he’s also an avid photographer. With his digital camera close by his side, he paused throughout the day to admire and capture the natural beauty of the Vermont countryside and agriculture.
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The beauty of Vermont as captured on camera by Mike Milizia.
From working the long hours when the day demands, to taking the extra minutes to get to know each member personally, Mike brings a fantastic level of commitment to producers – something we as service-people, both young and old, should proudly emulate. It’s no surprise he’s made it to 100,000. On behalf of the Genex team, congratulations Mike!
A Author Bio: Kienan Gridley attended Cornell University earning a degree in animal science. He worked for three years in feed sales and manufacturing for Cargill Animal Nutrition before joining Genex in August 2012. Today he serves as a Genex Tech Specialist providing reproductive service to members’ and customers’ herds in the Finger Lakes Region of New York.
Bulls Industry-Wide Plan the genetic future of your herd from the comfort of your own home. Sort dairy bulls from past 40 years Search bulls by short name, NAAB code or reg number Compare up to 4 bulls side-by-side Sort bulls on your traits of importance Find a replacement bull if your favorite sire is no longer available
http://genex.crinet.com/mpg HORI Z ONS
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Have You Herd?
TOYSTORY, Breunig Family Recognized at SPACE Show
RI has officially joined the blogosphere! The “Have You Herd?” blog is a place where we hope to connect even more with members and producers. We hope to use this new blog as an educational and informational outlet for those who read along. We will cover: What things are happening at CRI and its subsidiaries? How can I make my farm more efficient and successful? What is happening in agriculture that could affect my operation? Our posts will cover topics from A to Z in the agricultural industry as they apply to our cooperative and J Pictured are Jean-Yves Dreau of Amélis, Huub te Plate (CRI Vice President-International subsidiaries. We also want to poll you, Marketing), Totten, Wanner, Patrick McGrath of Amélis and Jean-Marc Pensault of Amélis. the reader! If there is a topic you would like to see covered, simply send your request to email@example.com. We ach year during the SPACE show in France, Amélis recognizes breeders of the hope you enjoy our blog and are able to top bulls marketed by CRI. This year, to celebrate the tremendous international gain valuable information from our posts. success of 1HO07235 TOYSTORY, Amélis made a special presentation in honor of the Be sure to subscribe or check in often! bull’s breeders. The award, held by CRI board members Ron Totten and Alfred Wanner, has been passed onto the Breunig family at Mystic Valley Dairy in Sauk City, Wis.
Heads & Tails
heifer calf out of 1HO10296 BOYOBOY, owned by Genex member Mike Welu of Milroy, Minn., sold for $33,500 at the October 25 Legends of the Fall sale in Avon, N.Y. The heifer – Welu Boyoboy Brilliant-ET (GTPI +2495) – is the daughter of Welu Massey Brite-ET (GTPI +2110).
Gift Certificate Winners from World Dairy Expo
ongratulations to Brad Nosbush of Fairfax, Minn., and Kurt Schlegel of Shreve, Ohio, for knowing the “Genex Word of the Day” at World Dairy Expo 2012. Brad and Kurt were the winners of $500 semen certificates.
HORI Z ONS
Pay Ahead for 2013
enex is again offering a prepayment program for 2013 business. This program is a way for members and customers to pay ahead some or all of your 2013 business in 2012. In return, you receive a credit on your account. Genex will accept any amount you would like to pay ahead for your service and semen purchases, providing the resulting credits to your account are used in 2013. If you take advantage of the Pay Ahead program, a 5% credit will be added to your January 2013 activity statement (which you receive in February), based upon the amount of credit remaining on your Genex open account as of December 31, 2012.
For those who use John Deere Financial for Genex purchases and would like to participate in the Pay Ahead program, the amount you send in under this program will be credited to your Genex open account until all the Pay Ahead money has been used. To participate, contact your Genex representative for a Pay Ahead agreement. All agreements and monies must be dated no later than December 31, 2012 and be received at Genex headquarters by January 15, 2013. ©2012 CRI
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Council of Dairy
Cattle Breeding By: Keith Heikes // Senior Vice President-Product Development and Marketing, Genex
s previously reported in Horizons and other dairy industry media, the Council of Dairy Cattle Breeding has been deliberating for the last three years to determine a structure that is appropriate for U.S. dairy genetic evaluations in the future. In November, the council met and voted unanimously to approve bylaw changes that establish a new structure. The new board will meet in December to elect officers, start procedures to engage staff, review the proposed business plan and start
the process of establishing fees and an operational budget. In addition, the board will review the cooperating agreement that is being established with USDA to allow USDA to continue to do genetic research and have the council manage the distribution of research results. This has been a long process with input from all sectors of the industry, and should provide a structure that continues to provide dairy producers with the best genetic evaluations in the world.
Focused on Fertility By: Nick Hemauer // Dairy Data Program Specialist, Genex
he value of fertility held by Genex members and customers directs activities to meet the CRI mission of maximizing members’ profitability. The statement that “Genetic progress is not made until a pregnancy is made” still rings true. With over a two-decade investment of collecting field insemination data amounting to more than 10 million breeding records Genex enhanced our data collection structure starting in late 2011. The new structured approach captures pregnancy diagnosis records directly from on-farm software in cooperating herds to more quickly assess the fertility level of a young bull. Data from the participating QUANTUM™ herds are used in addition to the traditional fertility assessment system, GenCheck™, which is a proprietary semen fertility evaluation system developed by the cooperative to identify both superior and poor fertility bulls. The initial semen collected from each young bull is distributed only to QUANTUM herds. Data from these herds, are transferred quarterly to Dr. Gamal Abdel-Azim, CRI Research Geneticist. He conducts a sophisticated statistical analysis designed to accurately assess each bull’s fertility level. His analysis accounts for many factors, including lactation number of the animal, days in lactation, technician and farm ©2012 CRI
management to name a few. Though this improved method for collecting breeding records has only been in operation for a short period, the cooperative has collected over 1 million pregnancy or open diagnoses from breedings performed within the past 12 months. When comparing the number of GenCheck breeding observations recorded early in a bull’s A.I. career versus the number of breeding observations recorded in Sire Conception Rate (SCR), it has been found to take roughly four proofs before the number of SCR breeding observations for a bull eclipses that which has already been accounted for in GenCheck. By incorporating this additional pregnancy information to an already respected fertility analysis program, Genex continues to strive to maximize the profitability of members and customers. HORI Z ONS
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New Custom Index Added to Holstein Investment Guide
o fine-tune sire choices by focusing on the genetic areas that could use the most improvement in your herd, use one of the six specialized Genex indexes.
Wisconsin Governor Visits Genex and CRI Booth
Since December 2010, the Genex Holstein Investment Guide has included five specialized economic indexes focused on key genetic areas. Now Genex has released a sixth specialized index called the Outcross Index (see below). These indexes are published in addition to the Lifetime Net Merit (LNM) index – the gold standard for sire selection. The specialized indexes were developed because producers have become better able to identify specific genetic areas in which their herds need improvement, especially through technologies such as genomic testing. The specialized indexes are expressed in dollars. The top 25 percent of the Genex lineup for each index is listed in the Investment Guide. For more information on each index see the Investment Guide.
Health & Fitness Sire Fertility Production
RI was honored to be one of the four exhibits visited by Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker at World Dairy Expo. In addition to Shawano-based staff, CRI staff from Brazil, Wales and Mexico were on hand to visit with Governor Walker. CRI appreciates Governor Walker’s strong commitment to agriculture and his advocacy for increasing agricultural exports.
Ruedinger, Hemauer Travel to Brazil
Calving Ability Conformation Outcross j Bruno Scarpa of CRI Brazil, John Ruedinger (CRI Chairman), Nick Hemauer (Genex Dairy Data Program Specialist) and Sergio Saud of CRI Brazil at the Feileite tradeshow in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
NEW! Outcross Index The Outcross index list features the best 25% of the Genex lineup with the lowest Expected Future Inbreeding (EFI). Expected Future Inbreeding is calculated and published by USDA-AIPL at each sire summary. Genex feels the EFI calculation is the most scientific approach to take; however, the best way to correct inbreeding is by looking at an individual mating via pedigrees. Keep in mind bull PTAs are adjusted for both their individual inbreeding percent to account for inbreeding depression as well as an estimate of their progeny.
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n November 20, Genex Board Member and CRI Chairman John Ruedinger of Ruedinger Farms, Inc. in Van Dyne, Wis., and Genex Dairy Data Program Specialist Nick Hemauer presented lectures at Feileite 2012, a large tradeshow in Brazil. Representing CRI and CRI Brazil, Ruedinger spoke on the use of genomic bulls in dairy herds. Hemauer, a member of the cooperative’s dairy genetics staff, provided education on the new world of bovine genetics, which now involves genomics. ©2012 CRI
HI G H L I G HTS
PROOF HIGHLIGHTS Get The Inside Scoop!
New Holstein Sires!
The Genex lineup sports nine new sires over the +$700 Lifetime Net Merit (LNM) threshold and 21 new sires over +$600. To top off the excitement, eight new debuts hail from your own GENESIS Cooperative Herd! Check out these GENESIS grads:
Traits Included in Lifetime Net Merit H
tion Traits 35%
SCS -10% Protein 16%
1HO10396 Co-op Robust CABRIOLET %-I (Robust x Planet x Ramos) is the new lineup leader with +$928 LNM and whopping +$998 Cheese Merit (CM)! That CM figure is backed by +1621 PTA Milk along with +100 lbs of Fat and +62 lbs of Protein. Add longevity (+7.4 Productive Life) and 6% Sire Calving Ease to his repertoire, and you have a bull in high demand.
Productive Life 22%
Traits Included in H Lifetime Net Merit
Udder Comp. 7%
ti o n
1HO10559 Co-op RAINIER-ET *TV (Observer x Sharky x Outside) claims the #2 spot in the lineup at +$830 LNM and +$883 CM. Like CABRIOLET, he excels production traits: +1581 PTAM, +108 Fat (+0.19%) and +55 Protein (+0.03%). He also adds milk quality with his +2.69 Somatic Cell Score (SCS). RAINIER is out of GENESIS cow Deervue-Acres Robin CRI-ET, VG-85, VG-MS, as is previous GENESIS grad 1HO10133 RADISSON (+$654 LNM). The +$775 LNM, +$835 CM 1HO10644 Co-op RB OBSR INDY-ET *TV %-I (Observer x Ramos x Shottle) merits attention with his combination of production and conformation traits: +1528 PTAM, over 100 lbs combined Fat and Protein, +2.50 SCS, +2.42 PTA Type and +2.07 Udder Composite. He’s also suitable for heifer pens with a 6% Sire Calving Ease. 1HO10369 Co-op LOYAL-ET *TV (Observer x Satire x Lynch) is among the lineup’s best for Udder Composite at +3.13 and transmits excellent overall conformation (+2.41 PTAT). The +$692 LNM bull sires quality production too (+1473 PTAM, +2.58 SCS). The +$674 LNM 1HO10673 Co-op Digger MODESTO-ET *TV (Digger x Planet x O Man) and the +$672 LNM 1HO10674 Co-op Trigger MEANDER-ET *TV %-I (Trigger x Ramos x Laudan) both unite health traits with exceptional conformation. MODESTO’s +7.1 Productive Life, +1.4 Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) and 5% Sire Calving Ease complement his +2.14 PTAT, +2.65 Udder Composite and +2.37 Foot & Leg Composite. MEANDER puts together a package including a +5.9 Productive Life, +2.63 SCS, +1.6 DPR, +2.13 PTAT and +2.17 Foot & Leg Composite.
J Dam of RIDOTT, RAINIER and RADISSON: Deervue-Acres Robin CRI-ET, VG-85, VG-MS
1HO10525 Co-op Super RIDOTT-ET *TV (Super x Sharky x Outside) shares the same dam and dependable co-op lineage as RAINIER and RADISSON. RIDOTT has an all-round solid proof and an outstanding +3.2 DPR. 1HO10653 Co-op UPD Karsten PUTTER-ET *TV %-I (Karsten x Shottle x O Man) is an impressive udder improver with notable linear traits: +2.3 fore udder attachment, +2.4 rear udder height and +2.2 rear udder width. He excels in feet and legs too based on his +2.79 Foot & Leg Composite.
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It’s that time again … when new sire evaluations are released and the latest bulls appear in the Genex lineup. Staying up-to-date on the new information to maintain genetic progress in your herd isn’t impossible. You may just need … the inside scoop.
LNM & TPI CHARTS SM
Check it out! Genex offers as much at the top of the TPI and LNM lists as the rest of the industry COMBINED! SM
enex has sexed semen available on nearly 20 Jersey sires! Choose from the +$656 Cheese Merit (CM) total performance standout 1JE00792 MACHETE (Vibrant x Impuls) that sires the unique combination of high fluid yield and high components, the elite +235 JPI bull 1JE00791 DIVIDEND who also excels in extreme fluid yield and outstanding udders as his +4.52 JUI™ attests, the progeny-proven leader for profitability at +$561 CM 1JE00654 ALLSTAR, elite yield and outstanding udder bull 1JE00793 DIVINE and many more!
Jersey Sires T
he ever-expanding Jersey lineup now includes five new bulls led by 1JE00801 Vida Boa Valentino MADDEN at +$628 Cheese Merit (CM) and +233 JPI™. A Valentino from a Matinee, MADDEN is predicted to sire the elusive combination of high yield with components and positive Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR): +1496 PTA Milk, +77 lb of Fat, +0.8 DPR. MADDEN is joined by new addition 1JE00810 Shan-Mar Legal ENRIQUE, a Legal from a Dale with an impressive +$512 CM. New debut 1JE00809 SR Renegade WILLIE is a Renegade from a truly unique maternal line, Levy x Beau x Steadfast. WILLIE will sire excellent components (0.10% Fat, 0.07% Protein) and fitness. He’ll also work great on daughters of 1JE00711 PLUS. 1JE00806 Heartland Mrchnt TORONTO-ET (Merchant x Nathan) has an outstanding +5.79 JUI™, and 1JE00800 Woodstock Legal RACER, a Legal x Matinee, rounds out the group of new sires.
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Herd Health Reform
hoosing sires with outstanding health traits has never been easier. Consider that the Genex Holstein lineup has:
• 15 Sires ≥ +2.5 Daughter Pregnancy Rate • 35 Sires ≥ +2.0 Daughter Pregnancy Rate • 8 Sires ≥ +7.0 Productive Life • 27 Sires ≥ +6.0 Productive Life • 23 Sires ≤ 5% Sire Calving Ease To help in your health conscious sire selection decisions, utilize bulls listed in the Genex Investment Guide for the Health and Fitness Index or sort sires using MPG™ (available at http://genex.crinet.com/mpg).
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roduce cows that calve easily, live longer and breed back - this is a common demand placed on service sires today. Along with that, focus remains steadfast on traits that pay the bills like production. Considering his genetic emphasis on these traits, 1HO09167 Co-op O-STYLE Oman Just-ET *TV has earned a place in many breeding programs over the past four years.
Today, O-STYLE has maintained a breed-leading proof while adding over 1,000 new milking daughters to his genetic evaluation. His evaluations were noted by Paul Haskins of the Genex dairy genetics staff as: very stable with virtually no change to his yield, fitness or conformation traits. That says a lot when his numbers look like this: USDA PTA 12/2012 Net Merit +$708 99% ile Cheese Merit +$703 93%Rel Fluid Merit +$711 Daughters Herds 570 2463 Milk +1862 99%Rel Fat +39 -0.10% Protein +49 -0.03% +6.1 Prod. Life SCS +2.71 HA-USA PTA 12/2012 +1.42 93%Rel Type +1.28 Udder Comp. +2.37 Feet & Legs Comp. +2207 TPISM 6% 99%Rel Sire Calving Ease 5% 93%Rel Dau. Calving Ease 6.5% 94%Rel Sire Stillbirth 4.4% 88%Rel Dau. Stillbirth FERTILITY USDA, CRI 12/2012 +0.3 99%Rel Sire Fertility (SCR) +2.2 93%Rel Dau. Pregnancy Rate -1.0 97%Rel SynchSmart™
His high genetic evaluations for individual traits of economic importance have appropriately triggered high index evaluations. For each of the past six dairy sire summaries, O-STYLE has consistently secured his position in the top 10 for Lifetime Net Merit (LNM) and TPISM. This December he ranks #4 for LNM and #5 for TPI. A good portion of O-STYLE’s genetic ability can be credited to his dam, a prolific GENESIS Cooperative Herd donor. O-STYLE is among 75 offspring of Kings-Ransom TM Deva CRI-ET, VG-88, VG-MS, DOM, a cow that recently retired at 8 years and 9 months of age and 7.5 years of embryo work, having produced 259 embryos from 24 different matings. ©2012 CRI
J Daughters of 1HO09167 O-STYLE pictured at United Pride Dairy, LLC, a GENESIS Cooperator Herd in Phillips, Wis.
Deva was known for her ability to transmit the magic combination of high yield and improved Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR). Likewise, O-STYLE’s rare combination of +1862 PTA Milk and +2.2 DPR is most impressive. As Haskins puts it, “Some bulls transmit a lot of milk and some bulls transmit high fertility, but it is hard to find one bull that does both at such a high level.” While O-STYLE’s genetic evaluations draw attention, it’s the performance of his daughters that truly shows his success as a service sire. John Vosters, Partner and Vice President of Milk Source, is milking more than 100 first lactation O-STYLE daughters between Tidy View Dairy in Kaukauna, Wis.; Omro Dairy in Omro, Wis.; and Rosendale Dairy in Pickett, Wis. This fall, he took time to walk some pens and visually inspect the daughters. “They followed a consistent pattern,” notes Vosters. “They had udder trait and body size uniformity. And, they did not have overly big frames, which I value because I think cows in general have gotten bigger and more inefficient.” Production-wise, the O-STYLE daughters at the Milk Source dairies were outperforming their herdmates in milk output and nearly matching herd averages for component percentages. Kurt Wierda, General Manager of Plymouth Dairy in Le Mars, Iowa, has about 70 first lactation O-STYLE daughters. “They are solid cattle. They are put together well with nice udders and nice legs, both front and rear.” In similar fashion to Vosters’ comments, Wierda notes the consistency of the O-STYLE offspring. “The group of O-STYLE daughters is really good all the way through. They have uniformity.” He goes on to share, “These cows are in the top percentage of the herd for what they look like, for production and for components.” “Over the past six years, I’ve put my bull selection emphasis on production and positive DPR and chosen to use bulls like O-STYLE,“ explains Wierda. ”Components, milk, herd health and reproductive performance have really come along. Among other things, I attribute the success to quality feed, good employees and good genetics.” HORI Z ONS
What would you do with more income from
months of productivity?
Genex is home to eight sires
over +7.0 Productive Life:
1HO10245 ABRAHAM %-I 1HO09800 ERDMAN %-I 1HO10396 CABRIOLET %-I 1HO10662 FEEDBACK %-I 1HO10085 YANO 1HO10648 PUZZLE %-I 1HO10673 MODESTO 1HO08784 FREDDIE %-I
+8.7 +7.7 +7.4 +7.3 +7.2 +7.2 +7.1 +7.0
EACH POINT OF PRODUCTIVE LIFE EQUALS ONE MORE MONTH OF PRODUCTIVITY!
Cooperative, Inc. Look to these high Productive Life sires to make your dreams a reality! A Subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International
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or Profits? By: Colten Green // National Account Manager, Genex
The cows at this farm were noticeably smaller than most Holstein dairies I visit, but their milk production was above average reaching about 82 pounds on twice a day milking with no rBST and a higher forage ration than most dairies. This is not an isolated phenomenon. There are Holstein dairies scattered across the countryside with smaller framed cows getting as good or better milk production compared with their neighbor’s larger framed cattle. Genetic selection for smaller framed Holsteins is a trend gaining serious momentum as dairies have been hard-pressed to maximize feed efficiency with several consecutive years of high feed prices and certainly more high feed prices to come. The old adage is big strong cows make more milk and last longer. However, research on the relationship between type traits and production traits is variable at best1,2. If you were to look at bulls with high reliability for PTA Type and PTA Milk you would find the correlation between those traits is low (< 0.02), meaning bulls with high PTAT do not necessarily have daughters that produce a lot of milk. Conversely, bulls with high PTA Milk won’t necessarily have daughters with high final score. What we know for certain is a larger framed cow needs to consume more feed to make the same amount of milk as her smaller framed herd mate. When milk production is the same, regardless of body size, there is a clear negative correlation between feed efficiency and body weight (Figure 1). This point was emphasized in research on Jersey cattle published ©2012 CRI
in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science3. The researchers found Jerseys are not only more feed efficient than Holsteins but also require less water, produce less waste and have a lower carbon footprint. All of these facts would hold true for small framed Holsteins compared to large framed Holsteins too.
Figure 1. Feed efficiency of different sized cows that are not growing, producing 80 lbs of 3.5% fat corrected milk, and walking 1.25 km per day. 1.60
“They are making an easy 80 pounds of milk. Body condition score is good. The herd’s reproduction and culling are going extremely well, but I just can’t get over how much smaller their Holsteins are than most herds.” This was a recent conversation I shared with another consultant while evaluating a dairy in central California.
1.55 1.50 1.45 1.40 1.35 1200
BODY WEIGHT (LBS) Highlighted in Table 1 (on page 16) you can see that a 1,400 pound cow producing 80 pounds of milk has the same feed efficiency as her 1,600 pound counterpart making 90 pounds of milk. At this level you can make an argument as to which cow is truly more profitable in the herd. While feed costs make up the bulk of any dairies operating costs, that extra 10 pounds of milk produced by the second cow may indeed make her more profitable than the first. HORI Z ONS
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o Table 1. Matrix demonstrating the feed efficiency of cattle based on their body weight and milk production. k
3.5% Fat Corrected Milk (pounds) Body Weight (pounds)
However, in the case that both cows are making the same amount of milk it’s obvious the smaller cow is more profitable. Furthermore, body weight gain is not free. It takes extra energy for a first lactation cow to grow to full body size or for a cow to increase in body condition score. The energy required for the 1,600 pound cow to reach mature body weight was unquestionably more than that of the 1,400 pound cow. Now consider during their first lactation the 1,600 pound mature cow was already less feed efficient than the 1,400 pound mature cow. Then you add on the extra energy that was needed to obtain mature body weight while the cows were lactating.
Genetic selection for smaller framed Holsteins is a trend gaining serious momentum as dairies have been hard-pressed to maximize feed efficiency with high feed prices
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An example of five dairies (Table 2) randomized for body weight and milk production demonstrates the most efficient cows in the herd are smaller framed cows that produce large amounts of milk. In all five simulated farms the average feed efficiency of the cows weighing less than 1,450 pounds is 0.06 or 0.07 greater than the feed efficiency of the cows weighing more than 1,650 pounds (compare the far right two columns). The reason the median feed efficiency is substantially higher than the average feed efficiency in Table 2 is that the less feed efficient cows migrate further from the average than the most feed efficient cows. For example, an 1,800 pound cow making 20 pounds of milk has a feed efficiency around 0.5 (or 2 pounds of feed consumed per pound of milk produced) while a 1,300 pound cow making 140 pounds of milk has a feed efficiency of 1.8 (or 0.45 pounds of feed consumed per pound of milk produced). o Table 2.
Feed efficiency results for five simulated 1,500 cow dairies. Milk ranged from 20 to 140 pounds 3.5% fat corrected, body weight ranged from 1,255 to 1,845 pounds, and feed efficiency (FE) is a ratio of pounds of milk produced per pound of feed consumed. k
<1450 FE >1650 FE 1.36
<1450 FE >1650 FE 1.36
<1450 FE >1650 FE 1.37
<1450 FE >1650 FE 1.35
<1450 FE >1650 FE 1.39
We can agree then that a 1,400 pound cow producing the same amount of milk as a 1,600 pound cow is more profitable. Now comes the tricky part. To get smaller cows through genetic selection you have to take one of two approaches. You can either: 1) select against bigger cows (USDA’s Lifetime Net Merit selection index already does this with a negative emphasis on body size) or 2) remove selection emphasis on traits that lead to larger framed cows (such as stature, PTAT and TPI ). SM
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The ideal cow for a commercial dairy has high feed efficiency, stays out of the hospital pen, conceives easily and produces enough milk over her lifetime to far exceed her raising costs.
If you use an index (Lifetime Net Merit, Cheese Merit or Fluid Merit) to select bulls, then the first option is a good way to penalize bulls for having larger daughters. If you do not utilize one of those indexes and instead choose bulls by traits like stature, PTAT and TPI, it may be more beneficial to remove the trait(s) from your selection criteria completely rather than setting a ceiling for it. For example, if your current selection criteria are >1,000 PTA Milk and at least one point on PTAT, Udder Composite and Foot & Leg Composite, you are better off removing PTAT from your criteria altogether than switching it so that you won’t take any bulls with more than a point on PTAT. The reason this proves to be tricky is that people have different ideals. For many the “showy cow” or the cow that can win at the county fair is perceived as being the ideal cow. To be frank that cow is ideal, but she is ideal for the show ring not for the milk parlor, feed alley or freestalls. The ideal cow for a commercial dairy has high feed efficiency, stays out of the hospital pen, conceives easily and produces enough milk over her lifetime to far exceed her raising costs. That smaller cow may likely not do well in the show ring but has an easier time reaching a high level of feed efficiency and thus a higher probability of making a profit for the farm. I am reminded of conversations that took place on two dairies regarding sire selection criteria. The first producer told me, “Even though I know they aren’t the best cows for my dairy, I just want a herd of cows that I can feel good looking at.” Not long after another producer told me that he selected for PTAT and TPI above all other traits because “that’s what a judge would look for” in cows at a show.
The irony is neither operation even participates in cattle shows yet they were both picking bulls that produced showy daughters. The first producer chose to stick with selection criteria that will lead to larger framed cattle that will have a more difficult time achieving a high feed efficiency ratio. The second producer decided he would begin selecting bulls based on Lifetime Net Merit and combined fat and protein instead of PTAT and TPI. This brings us to the question you have to ask yourself: Given the choice would you rather have a herd of cows that are picture perfect or profitable to milk? Often times those characteristics are not one in the same. References k Capper, J. L., Cady, R. A. 2012. A comparison of the environmental impact of Jersey compared with Holstein milk for cheese production. J. Dairy Sci. 95:165-176.
DeGroot, B. J., J. F. Keown, L. D. Van Vleck, E. L. Marotz. 2002. Genetic parameters and responses of linear type, yield traits, and somatic cell scores to divergent selection for predicted transmitting ability for type in Holsteins. J. Dairy Sci. 85:1578-1585.
Vallimont, J. E., Dechow, C. D., Daubert, J. M., Dekleva, M. W., Blum, J. W. Barlieb, C. M., Liu, W., Varga, G. A., Heinrichs, A. J., Baumrucker, C. R. 2011. Heritability of gross feed efficiency and associations with yield, intake, residual intake, body weight, and body condition score in 11 commercial Pennsylvania tie stalls. J. Dairy Sci. 94:2108-2113.
A Author Bio: Colten Green earned his master’s degree in animal science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. During his graduate work, he published articles on early chemical pregnancy diagnosis and cattle synchronization programs. He also has cow-side experience serving as assistant fresh cow manager on two dairies. Today, Colten works with Genex members and customers in the western U.S.
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Where’s the Beef? Create a Top Heifer Crop and More Valuable Feeder Calves By: Amy te Plate-Church // National Alliance Manager, Genex
ow many heifers do I need to raise? How do I get heifers out of my most profitable cows? How can I get more value from bull calves? How much GenChoice™ should I use? And how much beef semen?
“This concept enables dairy producers to analyze their role in the beef industry – to take their involvement as a beef supplier to a new level and generate additional farm income,” states Doug Wilson, Genex Chief Operating Officer.
Today more than ever, dairy producers are asking these questions and changing their breeding and replacement strategies. With improved reproduction and new technologies, many dairy herds produce an abundance of heifers. They can take genetics to a new level by ranking females and using high genetic merit GenChoice sexed semen on top females to create the best possible future replacements.
Connecting Supply and Demand
You know how many stalls you need to fill… Choose to fill them with the
BUT THEN … What do you use on those lower-ranking cows? “What do I use on those lower-ranking cows?” is likely the next question. Several dairy farms across the U.S. are utilizing beef semen to generate more revenue from dairy x beef crossbred calves.
Current cattle supplies, beef demand and prices – coupled with high feed prices – have propelled the value of dairy beef to new heights. Consider these factors: • Tight beef supplies worldwide have fueled high beef prices. • This year’s U.S. beef calf crop and cow herd are at their smallest levels in over 60 years. Beef calf numbers have declined each year since 1995. • Feedlots and packers are searching for uniform, quality cattle which efficiently convert feed to gain. • Dairies provide a consistent, year-round beef supply. Fed dairy steers make up 15-20% of all fed cattle sent to market. • Dairies can capture more revenue by providing dairy x beef crossbred calves bred for uniformity, quality, growth and feedlot performance. “The U.S. beef cow herd is shrinking, and the country’s nine million dairy cows play an important role in maintaining our beef supply demands,” says Roy Wilson, Genex Associate – National Account Profit Center. “Dairies have to raise heifers for many more months to sell them as replacements, compared to selling them as feeder calves,” continues Roy Wilson. “Lenders now are advising producers to carry inventories of 0.9 heifers for each milking cow, compared to previous recommendations of 1.2 to 1.5 heifers. They want dairies to trim the overhead required to feed extra heifers in a climate of very high feed costs.”
How Many Replacements Do You Need? Calf Math™ is a simple spreadsheet which helps determine how many heifer calves you need to create – based on your herd size, annual growth rate, cull rate, conception rate and other factors.
More Profit From Every Calf.
Calf Math calculates the number of replacements expected from a blend of semen products. This simple calculator helps a producer develop a breeding program to: • Produce enough replacements to meet herd goals • Determine expected number of replacements from a semen use strategy • Improve quality of genetics • Capitalize on profits from both female and male calves produced Use Calf Math online at calfmath.crinet.com. For a more in-depth analysis, contact your local Genex representative. 1 8
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Breeding to Feeding™ Adds Value to Calves
MANA G EMENT
BREEDING FEEDING WULF x GENEX CONNECTING SUPPLY AND DEMAND
J Thousands of Limousin x Jersey cattle are being fed in Wulf Cattle feedlots, born at Riverview Dairy in Minnesota. Riverview Dairy utilizes Wulf Limousin genetics on their less profitable dairy cows to enhance the value of resulting Jersey bull calves.
Breeding to Feeding was introduced in July 2012 to help dairies capture more value from bull calves. It’s unique as it connects beef semen use with a buyer for resulting beef x dairy calves. Breeding to Feeding is an alliance between Genex and Wulf Cattle of Morris, Minn., a respected cattle feeder and seedstock breeder. Genex custom collects Wulf Limousin and Lim-Flex® semen and markets to dairies. Wulf Cattle will buy-back resulting calves from the following areas to finish in their Nebraska feedlot: California, Colorado, Idaho, I-29 corridor, Minnesota, Texas/ New Mexico and Wisconsin. These initial areas were selected because of dairy cow density and ease of transport to feedlots.
In 2010, Wulf Cattle was approached by neighbor Riverview Dairy about incorporating Wulf Limousin genetics into the Jersey herd. Riverview Dairy’s goal was to enhance Jersey bull calf value – adding muscle without sacrificing calving ease. Riverview Dairy was and continues to be the test herd for Breeding to Feeding. The dairy’s heifers and top milk cows are bred to dairy sexed semen, and the less profitable cows are bred to Limousin semen. Thousands of breedings demonstrate positive conception and calving ease. The first loads of Limousin x Jersey crosses were harvested in summer 2012 with very appealing yield results and strong interest from packers. Limousin is a complementary terminal cross, adding muscle and feed efficiency to the high marbling from Jerseys
and Holsteins. Limousin genetics increase yield grades and ribeye areas over straight dairy carcasses at market. Lim-Flex (a Limousin x Angus hybrid) are also a great cross on Holsteins. The mating produces the heavy muscling of Limousin cattle and the carcass qualities of Angus on the frame of a Holstein. “This is a game-changer,” declares Jerry Wulf, President of Wulf Cattle. “Creating a ‘Wow!’ beef eating experience for consumers, while finding solutions for dairymen, is truly win-win, pullthrough demand at its best!” Visit www.breedingtofeeding.com for more information or scan the QR code for an article on Breeding to Feeding printed in Dairy Herd Management.
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DeLaval Activity System We asked Mats Stellnert, Marketing Manager of DeLaval Herd Management, about the company’s activity monitoring system.
Q: Why should I use DeLaval Activity System? A: DeLaval Activity System helps take
the guesswork out of breeding. Knowing when to breed each cow helps improve conception rates, reduce reproduction costs, and improve total milk production and profitability. Our reliable and accurate heat detection tool has been on the market longer than any other activity system, so we have a lot of experience helping customers optimize their reproduction program. What’s more, DeLaval Activity System also detects low activity so you can react quickly to cows that may be sick or need attention.
A: What’s totally unique about our system is its ability to monitor each cow’s activity 24/7. It works by sensing activity every 14 seconds, keeping the last 24 hours of activity in its memory, and sending the entire memory back to the system’s database on an hourly basis. Customers also appreciate the worry-free aspects of the system like the meter’s 10year battery life – the longest on the market – and an extensive warranty.
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A: DeLaval Activity System can detect heat with up to 95 percent accuracy, according to an independent study by Neubrandenburg University in Germany. Our system’s accuracy is largely attributed to the activity meter – worn around the cow’s neck. It stores the last 24 hours worth of data in its memory and sends it back hourly to the database. The system compounds and analyzes the data using the Kalman filter – a mathematical method also used in space and military technologies. This smart filter helps reduce false positives.
Q: What should be considered before installing the system?
Q: What can the DeLaval system offer that the competition can’t?
Q: How accurate is the system?
A: It’s important for dairy producers to take a look at how their current reproduction routines may need to be adjusted to fit with the principles of automated heat detection. In order to optimize the system, herd managers will need to learn the user-friendly software provided by DeLaval to run reports and take the appropriate actions. Here’s where your Genex representative can support you. Another thing to consider is the number of animals you plan to put on the monitoring system. The DeLaval system can be expanded making it possible to purchase activity tags for part of the herd – and add more as needed. As a modular system, you can also integrate herd management functionality like milk yields, automated sort gates and feeding programs.
Another thing to keep in mind is the distance between your pens and the system controller. Activity data is transmitted wirelessly to antennas in the pens, but the data is then sent to the system controller via bus cable.
Q: How can my Genex rep help me optimize the system? A: Your Genex representative has received training on DeLaval Activity System. He or she can help you utilize the system by explaining how it works, customizing your reports and ensuring that activity detection is implemented into your current protocols. Your Genex representative can also help identify and explain activity patterns captured by the system.
Q: What is the return on investment (ROI)? A: The system’s ROI is totally unique to each farm and depends on many variable factors like the number of milking cows, management routines, milk price, cost of semen and labor rate. Some of our customers milking between 500 and 1,600 cows have seen a payback within 10 to 18 months.
For more information on DeLaval Activity System, contact your local Genex representative.
is a registered trademark of Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance S.A . and “DeLaval” is a registered trade/service mark of DeLaval Holding AB.
ALPRO™ Activity Improves Heat Detection When managing your herd’s breeding program – timing is money. ALPRO Activity provides the information and tools you need to help make the most of your time! The ALPRO Activity system:
• Monitors each cow’s activity – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week • Provides high activity alerts – helping you detect the start of standing heats sooner • Provides low activity alerts – helping you be proactive in detecting health concerns quicker With this information, you can improve heat detection. Better heat detection can help improve your herd’s pregnancy rates and reduce reproduction costs.
solution today, contact your local DeLaval dealer or Genex representative.
www.delaval-us.com is a registered trademark of Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance S.A. and “DeLaval” is a registered trade/servicemark of DeLaval Holding AB © 2012 DeLaval Inc. DeLaval, 11100 North Congress Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri 64153-1296. www.delaval-us.com.
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Bridging our Worldwide Agriculture Community By: Dean Gilge // Associate Vice President-Global Alliance Development, Genex
ituated in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa is an 800-cow, 1137-acre cooperative dairy farm. The cooperative, called Mayime Primary Agricultural Cooperative, is owned by 460 members. One of the cooperative’s board members is a woman named Fezeka. Fezeka and the other board members make management decisions much in the same way Genex board members govern their cooperative. They make decisions based on member input and votes. With deep roots in the cooperative way of business, Genex and CRI understand the strengths of a thriving cooperative and have helped develop cooperatives around the globe. As our cooperative has succeeded in the U.S., Fezeka’s cooperative is also planning for growth – to include 1,000 cows in the future. Fezeka’s story is just one example of the development of cooperatives through cooperation with CRI. In recent years, with the onset of genomic technology and sexed semen availability, the need to focus a concerted effort on international development and alliance building programs became apparent. To meet this need the Genex Global Alliance Development department was officially established in 2010. In the past two years, global alliance development staff have been active on many fronts, including: 1) commercial development opportunities; 2) government-funded programs such as emerging market program grants (USDA) and; 3) a cooperative development grant through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
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J Second from left is Fezeka, a board member of Mayime Primary Agricultural Cooperative in South Africa. She is speaking with two additional board members of the cooperative and Lieb Venter (at right), the CRI CDP manager.
Commercial Development Opportunities
Almost weekly Genex global alliance development staff receive inquiries from parties interested in livestock development across the globe. One example of a recent commercial development opportunity is an alliance agreement with Lusogenes, a farmer-owned cooperative in Portugal. As the core basis of the agreement, CRI will work with Lusogenes in the restructuring of their bull stud and to identify the elite females and males in the country through genotyping. In addition, Lusogenes will import semen, embryos and bulls from CRI and Amélis.
Government-Funded Development Programs
Through the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service emerging markets program, CRI is currently conducting programs in 14 different countries. These programs enable CRI to represent the U.S. artificial insemination industry and work with other agriculture industry groups to open new markets. Such programs are made possible through USDA grants with a percentage of cost share by CRI. In the past year, through such programs, CRI has assisted in opening markets for genomicproven semen in Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.
Some of our key strengths at CRI are that we are a farmerowned cooperative and a working commercial enterprise. These strengths enable us to adequately educate on cooperative development.
i n In 2010, USAID awarded CRI the cooperative development program (CDP). For the next five years, CRI is working in Nicaragua and South Africa to inspire cooperative enterprise transition. These programs are directed at both dairy and livestock cooperatives. Assistance is provided by maintaining their focus on the principles of cooperatives and working alongside cooperative leaders in each country as they create strategic plans which can be turned into business plans. There are numerous potential joint venture partners willing to invest in these progressing cooperatives, if they can present a strong business plan. It is our hope these cooperatives will become sustainable cooperative businesses reinvesting their profits into new growth.
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Genex President Paul Greene speaks with South African cooperative leaders By: Paul Greene // President, Genex
j Paul Greene and Dean Gilge (at left) pose with the cooperative foundations seminar participants.
j Dean Gilge, Genex Associate Vice President-Global Alliance Development, (left) is pictured with board members of South African cooperative, Ikhephu, which participated in the cooperative foundations seminar.
This past August, as part of the CDP efforts in South Africa, CRI held a cooperative foundations seminar. At the seminar, held in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Fezeka’s cooperative was one of six cooperatives present. Each cooperative had three board members or general managers in attendance. Paul Greene, Genex President and CRI board member, spoke to the attendees sharing his experience and knowledge of cooperative principles and strategic planning. In his presentations, Paul spoke board member to board member on the complexities of running a board meeting and the responsibilities of being a board member. Afterwards, the various cooperative board members divided into groups to discuss their individual situations and plan activities and goals for their cooperative. Looking to the future it is our hope these growing cooperatives will become thriving businesses in their own sectors and loyal CRI customers. Global alliance development is doing exactly what its title says; we are able to spend the time and resources to develop future business opportunities for international marketing, through networking with other funding sources, collaboration with likeminded global agricultural businesses, and building agricultural cooperative businesses where none existed before.
A Author Bio: Dean Gilge managed two dairy herds before joining a predecessor of Genex in 1984. In the past 28 years with Genex, Dean has worked as A.I. technician and served as a consultant, area sales manager and district manager. On the international side, he also spent two years as the chief operating officer of IndiaGen Ltd, a CRI joint venture company with India’s National Dairy Development Board.
his was an opportunity to work with relatively new South African cooperatives – dairy farm cooperatives, milk producer cooperatives, livestock marketing cooperatives – that are still finding their identity. In speaking with the leaders of these cooperatives, I tried to demonstrate how important cooperatives were and how important they still are to agricultural growth in the U.S. I stressed that by working together more can be accomplished than as individuals; this same result can be achieved whether the cooperative is located in the U.S. or another country. As an example, I provided a history of how CRI has grown since the 1940s when people like my grandfather started cooperatives. Examining the history of our cooperative showed just how similar CRI is to their cooperatives. We all began in a similar manner, and many of their cooperatives will evolve over time just as CRI has. I also shared the seven principles of cooperatives, known as 1) voluntary and open membership; 2) democratic member control; 3) member economic participation; 4) autonomy and independence; 5) education, training and information; 6) cooperation among cooperatives; and 7) concern for community. To me, participating in this seminar was a way to fulfill the seventh cooperative principle. Over time, our community has grown and become a global agriculture community. Participating in events like this, allowing others to learn from our experiences, is the right thing to do. From my perspective as a Genex board member, supporting global alliance development activities is important. As countries around the globe develop, more people are including more dairy and beef in their diets. This is an opportunity for this cooperative to provide the genetics and technology to foster growth and fulfill the cooperative principles.
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C&R Starke By: Pam Collins // Operations Manager, CRI South Africa
g Christopher and Robert Starkes of Oatlands Farm in South Africa pose with CRI South Africa Operations Manager Pam Collins.
hristopher Starke has been milking Holstein cattle in South Africa for 50 years. His father milked Holsteins for 50 years before that, and now his son Robert is milking 1,600 quality Holstein cows.
The Starke family’s milking herd was started around 1892 in Durbanville near Cape Town. In 2001, the herd moved just 90 kilometers (55.9 miles) north of Cape Town and 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from the little town of Darling situated on the West Coast of South Africa. On a clear day one can see Table Mountain in the distance with the Atlantic Ocean just a few kilometers away bringing a lovely cooling sea breeze on hot summer days when the temperature can reach the low 40s C (over 100 F). Cows at Oatlands Farm are housed in four sand-bedded freestall barns. While the sand bedding is hard on machinery, it is very comfortable for the cows and cow comfort is a high priority for Chris and Robert. Large fans are also used to keep the cows cool in the warm South Africa climate. Robert milks his cows three times a day in a double-72 herringbone parlor. The herd averages 43 litres by volume. A total of 68,000 litres of milk is dispatched daily to the processors. In 2010, the herd was judged as the highest producing herd in South Africa, milking 3x daily. In 2012, the Starkes again collected the trophy at the 100th celebration of the South African Holstein Society’s awards dinner. Breeding from the top genetics at CRI, Robert and Chris identify the best genomic bulls to continually improve the herd. They look for high milk, excellent udders and high Productive Life among the highest Lifetime Net Merit $ bulls in the lineup. Robert does not believe in the usual 300-day lactation. Cows are inseminated from 100 to 120 days after calving, depending on milk production. That means better conception. It is still,
however, important to get cows pregnant and, therefore, a high importance is placed on fertility and heat detection. Robert also does not want to dry up a cow producing 40 litres of milk, if she could work another 80 to 100 days. “We have followed this system for the past 10 years. It means the cow might have fewer lactations and fewer calves, but they produce more milk over their lifetime,” explained Robert. “And now, with the advent of sexed semen, there is a continuous supply of quality heifers.” GenChoice™ semen is used on the heifers for the first insemination. For subsequent insemination, conventional semen is used from the top TPI bulls available. When genomics first hit the industry in early 2009, Chris identified 1HO08784 FREDDIE %-I, 1HO09527 MASSEY and 1HO08778 SUPER as the elite genomic sires of the day. He has now identified 1HO10458 DAY and 1HO10490 GALAXY as the genomic bulls to breed with. Today, the Starkes are milking 36 MASSEY daughters, some of which are the top producers in the herd. They will now breed more of the herd to MASSEY for the second time around. Chris and Robert have been partners in the business for about 16 years. Dairying is big business and on the initiative of Chris, there is only one direction to go – bigger. CRI South Africa is proud to be listed as suppliers of bull semen to these excellent dairymen.
CRI South Africa CRI South Africa was formed in 2007, becoming the cooperative’s second wholly-owned international company. The company’s headquarters is located on the southwest coast in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. It is there that Operations Manager Pam Collins imports CRI genetics and distributes them to nine sales representatives throughout the country.
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Durbanville Cape Town
E I D D E R F
Progeny-Proven Profitability • #1 Lifetime Net Merit: +$786 • 10 time breed leader • #1 TPI : +2296 • 5 time breed leader • 2,663 daughters in 687 herds • 11 sons in the Genex lineup ility • 99 percent production reliab • 96 percent type reliability • +7.0 Productive Life • 5% Sire Calving Ease • +1202 PTA Milk SM
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Growing Heifers and Profitability
g As part of the breeding team, Derek Hjelm breeds heifers in the headlocks.
s a truck driver in the dairy industry, Myron Hulstein saw for himself the way the dairy industry was changing. He also saw a need for a heifer facility around Leota, Minn. So he put a pencil to paper and determined exactly what he would need to start M&M Livestock, a custom heifer operation of his own.
End Goal in Mind
Myron knew exactly what setup he wanted when he began looking for a place to start his business. His first facility had the right slope of land and southern exposure he was looking for. His operation grew with the purchase of a neighboring farmstead with an existing stall barn and silos. The stall barn is used today for hay storage, and the silos were removed and replaced with hoop structure barns on the existing cement. Four years later, another barn was built on adjacent property to house the growing population of Jersey heifers. A fourth facility was recently purchased, and additional hoop structures added. Ease of use has definitely been a priority at these facilities as they have grown over the years. All pens are designed with back alleys to give flexibility to adjust pen size and to facilitate ease of cleaning. The front face of all pens includes a concrete pad for equipment to drive on when feeding and bedding the animals. All three facilities can be bedded in less than three hours with this setup.
Myron’s wife is responsible for the record keeping and Dairy Comp 305 software keeps track of the individual herd data. Each animal is triple identified while at M&M: USDA tags, electronic identification tags and colored eartags of different styles and numbering systems to distinguish which herds they belong to.
Accurate identification is important with 4,500 animals from 10 different herds currently housed at M&M Livestock. Heifers arrive at five months of age and are returned to their dairy 50-60 days prior to freshening.
Four years ago Genex began helping out on breeding day. Due to relationships with some of the dairies utilizing M&M Livestock, Genex began providing the majority of the semen for the heifer breedings. Jersey heifers are moved into the breeding pen at 12-13 months and are heat detected by M&M employees daily utilizing the walk and chalk method. Holstein breeding groups consist of 130-150 heifers which are set up for first service with MGA. The Genex team helps with these groups and a new group is bred every three to four weeks. Employees at M&M walk and chalk them every day after the MGA breeding. On breeding day, Genex has developed an efficient system for breedings utilizing colored clips on the headlocks. Al Schoenfeld, Genex Independent Contractor; Derek Hjelm, Breeding Program Specialist; Gary Landman, part time Genex employee; and Ron Visser, Profit Development Specialist, all come together as a team. Myron appreciates that “Genex comes in with their own people and gets the job done. We don’t have to take time out of our day. Our own work can carry on as they breed.”
HORI Z ONS
County Line Dairy Mike & Sue Hulstein Edgerton, Minnesota
ike Hulstein began dairy farming with his father when they had 40 cows in a tiestall barn. Thirty years later the farm has grown along with the Hulstein family. Today Mike and his wife Sue operate the dairy, called County Line Dairy. While Mike cares for the milking herd, Sue keeps the books, raises the young stock and assists with other chores. Their three daughters grew up working on the dairy, and their interest in animals and agriculture are evident too. The oldest daughter, Cassandra, attends South Dakota State University in the pre-veterinary program. Another daughter, Alyssa, works as a veterinary technician. Their youngest likes to help out on the dairy as school and other activities allow. Since milking those first 40 cows in a tiestall barn, the facilities have changed too. In 1996, a freestall barn was erected to house 300 cows along with a parlor. Seven years later, a second barn was built. This enabled the Hulsteins to bring the total number of milking cows to 500. Along with caring for the cows, the Hulsteins farm 500 acres growing their own corn silage and haylage.
For Mike, the enjoyment in dairy farming is working alongside his family and working with cattle. He enjoys cattle that exhibit good feet, legs and udders, produce good quantities of milk and last a long time. To meet those demands, negative milk bulls are not used and mating is completed through the Genex MAP™ (Mating Appraisal for Profit) program. Genex Profit Development Specialist Ron Visser mates the herd and MAP provides three sire recommendations per female. As Mike puts it, “The first choice is the best option. I use the second choice sire if I don’t really like the cow or if I am out of semen on the first choice bull. The third choice is a young bull.” In addition to now daughter-proven bulls 1HO08784 FREDDIE %-I and 1HO09167 O-STYLE, Mike is utilizing high genetic merit genomic sires like 1HO10218 DENIM %-I (+$808 LNM), 1HO10490 GALAXY %-I (+$801 LNM), 1HO10085 YANO (+$759 LNM), 1HO10247 GERVASE %-I (+$703 LNM), 1HO10296 BOYOBOY %-I (+$689 LNM), 1HO10458 DAY (+$678 LNM), 1HO10226 PERRY (+$664 LNM) and 1HO10497 SAJAC (+$625 LNM). Mike explains that they incorporate a lot of genomic-proven sires into the breeding program, because “we’re hopefully gaining quicker with genomic-proven bulls.” GenChoice™ sexed semen is also used. Mike has a specific reason for incorporating a sexed semen product into the breeding program. He notes, “I thought I was losing too many first lactation animals due to problem calvings.” Now if the heifer is in a good heat, GenChoice may be used for up to two inseminations. Managing the breeding program is Mike’s responsibility. He utilizes a Presynch program for the milking herd. The heifers are housed at a remote location, where Genex Breeding Program Specialist Derek Hjelm breeds the animals on natural heats.
Learn more about the Hulsteins on YouTube! Scan the QR code or visit: http://youtu.be/55HtNpLHU30
j Mike Hulstein of County Line Dairy 2 8
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Video produced by Mid wes
t Dair y Association. ©2012 CRI
Relying on the
People Power of GENEX
ix short years ago, Kevin Van Winkle started a dairy of his own in Canistota, S.D. After managing a dairy just down the road for seven years, he took the leap to milking his own herd. Today his milking herd consists of 1,500 cows and has grown over the years to include raising their own heifers, and farming 2,400 acres of rented land. With herd goals aligned with the Genex philosophy of Lifetime Net Merit and genomic-proven bulls, the relationship with Genex is a logical fit.
Making a Change
When he started his dairy, all the animals were purchased from Minnesota and Wisconsin. The initial breeding strategy focused on type until Kevin realized the cows were becoming too large for the facilities. The breeding philosophy then shifted to focus on what was paying the bills at the end of the day – Fat and Protein. At this point, Lifetime Net Merit also became a priority. Kevin reflected this focus has been a good one, “It’s really starting to make a difference in our herd. We carry an average 3.9% and 3.2% components in our herd. And I’ve noticed that the cows seem to be healthier.” With a pregnancy rate of 21 percent, the health of these cows is also having a positive impact on reproductive performance as well. While today’s results are promising, the breeding program hasn’t always been a strong point. “I was at a point where I just didn’t like the reproductive results I was getting.” The herd pregnancy rate was at 17 percent when Kevin heard a local dairyman talk about the outstanding performance he was getting with Zach Lutz, Genex Breeding Program Specialist. Ron Visser, Genex Profit Development Specialist, had been calling on Kevin off and on and just happened to stop on the right day. When Kevin heard Zach would be taking care of his herd as well, he decided to make the switch to Genex. The strong Lifetime Net Merit lineup at Genex was just icing on the cake. Change is not feared at Van Winkle Dairy. Just recently it was decided to make changes to the synchronization program to see if better results could be achieved. The following protocols have been successfully utilized for the past three months: The Presynch protocol utilizes three Prostaglandin shots (at about 50, 60 and 70 days in milk) with Ovsynch starting at 80 days in milk. The updated Resynch protocol includes Prostaglandin for open, cycling cows. If no heat occurs, Ovsynch begins two weeks later. Open, non-cycling cows get a GnRH shot, followed by Ovsynch beginning a week later.
J Zach Lutz, Genex Breeding Program Specialist, manages the reproductive program at Van Winkle Dairy.
With bulls like 1HO10218 DENIM %-I, 1HO10085 YANO, 1HO09800 ERDMAN %-I and 1HO08784 FREDDIE %-I in their breeding program, it’s evident that Van Winkle Dairy isn’t afraid of genomic technology. “The majority of the bulls we use are genomic. I’ve always believed in the science of genomics and it never scared me. Watching so many genomic bulls released as high-ranking sires and remain at the top of the list seemed like a logical choice. I’m always trying to make things better and the better genetics come by using younger bulls. There’s lots of science behind genomics, and I trust it.” Genex provides just the reproductive program management Van Winkles were looking for. Ron Visser visits the dairy and conducts matings for the milking cows and heifers. Together with Kevin, they determine the bulls to include in the program. Zach Lutz visits both the heifer facility and the milking herd on a daily basis and manages the heat detection program and the day-to-day breeding. Both Kevin and Zach echoed the importance of communication between both parties. Whether it’s an adjustment to the breeding program or a cow with a sore foot, the lines of communication are always open. “Everyone at Genex from Ron to the relief breeders all truly care about what they do. I can buy semen from anybody, but it’s the people at Genex that make the difference.” HORI Z ONS
Sako and Wiekie Vandermeer White, South dakota
ako and Wiekie Vandermeer have farmed in South Dakota for the past eight years. Before farming on their own, both were knowledgeable in the dairy farming lifestyle. Wiekie grew up on a dairy, and Sako worked on (and pretty much grew up on) a farm. Eight years ago they moved their farm and family, now totaling five daughters and one son ranging in age from 14 to one month, to eastern South Dakota because of lower cattle feed costs and a higher milk price. At that time, their herd totaled 500 milking cows. In 2006, they lengthened their hoop barn to accommodate more cows and two years ago added another 200 cows. In every aspect, consistency – keeping everything the same – has been key for the Vandermeers. For instance, a group of close-up cows come back to the farm together from a secondary location. That group of cows remains together through calving housed on a bedded pack with ample room for each individual. After calving, the whole group leaves the bedded pack together. As Sako explains, this consistency is beneficial. “It helps with their transition,” he notes. “We have less health issues. It’s been a long time since we have even had a DA. I think it also leads to a little more milk production.” A consistent breeding program has also yielded excellent results. Each sire summary, the Vandermeers choose 6-8 sires to use based on Lifetime Net Merit, feet and legs, udders, health traits and bull fertility. Sires available in GenChoice™ are chosen for the heifers, as about 80 percent of heifers are inseminated with GenChoice semen for the first services. Twenty percent are bred with GenChoice for two services. For cleanup, Angus semen is used on the milking cows and the heifers are housed with a beef bull. The resulting Angus cross calves are sold.
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Gj A beautiful May morning in the barn at Providence Dairy (top). Elizabeth Radil conducts daily heat detection (left). She is assisted by Gary Landman (right).
Elizabeth Radil is the Genex Breeding Program Specialist who conducts daily walk and chalk heat detection and artificial insemination at the dairy. Gary Landman, a part-time Genex employee who also works on his family’s farm, fills in as needed. This breeding program has led to an outstanding 27% pregnancy rate. Sako and Wiekie attribute the high pregnancy rate to consistent service from Genex and their veterinarian, consistent good quality feed (they grow their own silage and purchase hay from one supplier) and the natural light supplied by their barn structure. With consistency given careful consideration, the Vandermeers strive to achieve decent results in all aspects of their operation. They don’t demand their herd be the best at anything, but they strive to perform well in all areas. This is what makes their farm successful and allows the family to create a balance between work and home.
Brielle and Brady Schmitz, grandchildren of Genex Breeding Program Specialist Rick Rech.
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n e v ro P er t h g u a D Genex Dominates
t Lis t Meri t Lifetime Ne #2
Log House Awesome Blanche Hyde Park Freddie 3588
1HO08784 FREDDIE %-I
Fustead Massey Style-ET, VG-85 Bosside O-Style Dharma-ET, VG-85, VG-MS
1HO09167 O-ST YLE
1HO09527 MASSEY USDA 12/12
Product of the U.S.A.