Page 1

DECEMBER 2014 C H A R T I N G

T H E

C O U R S E

|

G E N E T I C

B A S E

A N D

I N D E X

C H A N G E S

J Co-op RB Freddie Tinley-ET, VG-85, VG-MS Dam of +$1066 ICC 1HO11056 TROY Daughter of +$883 ICC 1HO08784 FREDDIE

Horizons Articles Available in Spanish! Visit http://bit.ly/SpanHorizons

Genex

Cooperative, Inc. A Subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International


IDEAL in any

situation.

A profit-indicating measure to rank Holstein sires that puts greater emphasis on longevity, health, and optimal body size and condition without sacrificing yield and udder traits.

Genex

Cooperative, Inc. A Subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International

Š2014 CRI


TA B L E

O F

C O N T E N T S

HORIZONS

December 2014 Vol. 20/No. 3

Published three times a year for dairy producers around the globe. |

ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE Cooperative Resources International P.O. Box 469, Shawano, WI 54166 info@crinet.com 888.333.1783 www.crinet.com

CANADA – Genex Cooperative, Inc. 291 Woodlawn Rd W Unit 4C, Guelph, Ontario N1H 7L6 genexcanada@crinet.com 888.354.4622 Publication Number 40022882

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

Perspective 4 | Charting CRI’s Course

CONTENTS 5

Van Dyne, Wis., 920.922.9899

Ronald Totten, Secretary Stafford, N.Y., 585.344.0758

Jim Crocker

Membership Matters 5 | COO Heikes Gathers Delegate Input

Valley City, Ohio, 330.483.3709

Jon Wayne Danielson Cadott, Wis., 715.289.3860

Patrick Dugan Casa Grande, Ariz., 520.836.2168

Ted Foster Middlebury, Vt., 802.388.6515

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., 918.822.0020

Alfred Wanner, Jr. Narvon, Pa., 717.768.8118

HORIZONS STAFF

Jenny L. Hanson, Editor, jlhanson@crinet.com Andy Graf, Graphic Designer

REPRINTS

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.

Genetically Speaking 6 | Genetic Base Change Implemented 7 | Proof Changes to LNM, TPI and JPI 8 | Don’t Be Patient with Your Genetics! 11 | The Ideal Cow Redefined In the News 14 | Employees Rewarded for Excellence in Service 16 | CRI Hosts Dairy Producers from Around the Globe 17 | Cooperatives Helping Cooperatives 18 | World-Renowned Toystory Bull Has Died Herd Management 19 | Give Calves the Push™ They Need 20 | Genex Introduces SCR Heatime® Herd Story 22 | Family, Foundation for Future Drive Hillcrest Farm 26 | The Jersey Generation 29 | Dimensions of Diversity

8

17

19

26

Facebook.com/GenexCRI Twitter.com/CRIBrenda Twitter.com/GenexJerseys GenexCooperativeInc ©2014 CRI

MISSION: CRI is the global leader delivering excellence, innovation and value to members and customers as a strong cooperative. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Genex is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services to members and customers. H O R I Z O N S

|

3


P E R S P E C T I V E

CHARTING CRI’S COURSE: NEW MISSION & VALUES By: Amy te Plate-Church // Director of Alliances & Industry Relations, CRI

I

n 2014, the CRI board of directors set out to evaluate the mission, values and priorities of CRI and subsidiaries. Our cooperative – along with all production agriculture – has changed significantly over recent years, and change will continue. Board members surveyed the road ahead and planned CRI’s strategy to navigate that road.

The CRI Mission

The cooperative’s mission is the starting point, providing central focus across all CRI businesses. At CRI, the mission is much more than words on paper. It is displayed in facilities and employee workspaces as a daily reminder of why CRI exists and who we serve. The mission is a litmus test for decisions. Before introducing new products, making changes or starting a new program, we ask, “How does this fulfill our mission?” CRI’s original mission statement was adopted in 1997 and served us well. Now, the board believes a refocus will best guide our future direction, and we introduce the new CRI Mission.

“CRI is the global leader delivering excellence, innovation and value to members and customers as a strong cooperative.” This new mission proclaims CRI’s global leadership and emphasizes cooperative membership. It applies to all CRI businesses regardless of subsidiary, product or service, and customer base. Our new litmus test is: “Does this deliver excellence? Deliver innovation? Deliver value?”

The CRI Personality

The board also defined CRI Values – our personality and culture. INNOVATION

Deliver new solutions to meet emerging needs.

INTEGRITY

Operate with honesty and fairness.

LEADERSHIP

Demonstrate leadership in our industries, in our programs and from our people.

QUALITY Offer highly-valued and reliable products and services. STEWARDSHIP Treat our land, our communities and business resources as our own. Certainly, CRI has previously operated with values. Now, we publish the values so you know what to expect when working with CRI. Members and customers, current and prospective employees, vendors and partners will know these values drive our culture and daily behavior.

Narrowing the Focus

With CRI’s vast scope and diversity, it’s essential to focus our plans. The CRI Mission is overriding, and other steps narrow toward desired results. We introduce statements of purpose developed by the Genex and AgSource boards of directors. Statements of purpose provide focus on what each subsidiary does and how it uniquely serves members and customers. Genex Statement of Purpose Genex is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services to members and customers. AgSource Statement of Purpose AgSource delivers quality, timely and accurate analysis, providing valuable information and innovative solutions to improve decisions and profitability of members and customers. MOFA Global Statement of Purpose MOFA Global assists customers around the globe in achieving success by developing and effectively supporting the use of advanced assisted reproduction technologies through superior quality products and customer service.

Next Planning Steps

The new mission, values and statements of purpose are phase one of a two-part planning process. In 2015, the boards of directors – with input from management – will develop strategic plans. These action plans will direct priorities and activities for 2015 through 2019. Your cooperative has utilized this planning process for well over a decade, and many current Genex programs started through this board vision. Previous Genex strategic plans paved the way for genomic leadership, GENESIS expansion, Jersey growth, GenChoice™ growth, increased research and international marketing acquisitions – to name a few. Your board of directors has dedicated countless hours, thinking and planning to prepare for changes and opportunities. They entrust employees to manage daily work, carry out the plan and achieve results. In the words of legendary leader Winston Churchill: “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” Through strategic planning, the board of directors leads CRI toward continued success.  A Author Bio: Amy te Plate-Church grew up on a Iowa dairy and graduated from Iowa State University. She previously served as Horizons editor and today fosters relationships between CRI and allied industry organizations.

4

|

H O R I Z O N S

©2014 CRI


M E M B E R S H I P

M AT T E R S

MEMBER DEFINITION CHANGED

CRI ANNUAL MEETING SLATED FOR JANUARY 27-28

A

M

fter reviewing delegate and alternate input received at fall delegate meetings in 2011, the Genex board and CRI governance committee supported changing the Genex member definition for 2015. Their recommendation increased the amount of annual allocatable expenditures required to be a Genex member from $200 to $500 annually. All semen, products and services, with the exception of liquid nitrogen, count towards allocatable expenditures. The CRI board voted to change the Genex member definition as recommended. It goes into effect January 1, 2015.

embers elected as delegates and alternates have the opportunity to attend the annual meeting for Genex and CRI in Bloomington, Minnesota, on January 27-28, 2015. The event includes breakout sessions on current industry issues as well as the business meetings and banquet. The annual meeting is also being held in conjunction with the CRI global conference, a gathering of many of the cooperative’s international distributors. Delegates’ and alternates’ expenses to and from the meeting are paid by the cooperative. At the annual meeting, elections will be held for the Genex board of directors. Based on the standard election rotation and redistricting results, elections will take place for directors to represent membership regions 3, 5, 6, 9 and 12 (see region map below). Any members in good standing, including members presently serving as delegates, are eligible for nomination and election. Questions about running for the Genex board can be directed to Genex President Paul Greene at 518.658.2419. 

The Genex board also agreed on a member exception clause. If a member spends a minimum of $200 but does not meet the $500 minimum, they can remain a member by annually completing a member exception form. Once the form is completed and submitted to the cooperative, the individual has all member rights except he or she cannot serve on the board of directors. The member exception form is located on the Genex website at bit.ly/GenexMembership. 

COO HEIKES GATHERS DELEGATE INPUT During October and November, Genex member-elected delegates and alternates gathered at nine meetings throughout the U.S. to collaborate, gain insight and provide input on the future of the cooperative.

and gather input that guides the board and staff in making decisions that impact the cooperative. Genex truly values the input and opinion of delegates as this communication within the cooperative’s governance chain is essential to a strong future. History shows many ideas and concepts were first discussed at the Genex fall meetings before being implemented by the cooperative. 

The fall input meetings, led by board members and COO Keith Heikes, are an opportunity to inform delegates about updates within the cooperative, generate discussion on current issues

1

11 COMMITTEE CONDUCTS MEMBERSHIP REDISTRICTING 8 9 12 he redistricting committee 10 T met in July to determine the new Genex membership 7 districts. This committee meets every three years in compliance with the cooperative’s bylaws. The committee results were presented to the Genex board of directors in July and to delegates at the fall input meetings. The map at right reflects the new membership regions. 

Members

Region 1

839

Region 8

Region 2

786

Region 9

Region 3

796

Region 10

Region 4

1,015

Region 11

Region 5

872

Region 12

952

Region

Members

Region 6

1,013

Region 13

817

Region 1

839

Region 8

1,066

Region 2

786

Region 9

1,052

Region 3 CRI 796 G-07766-14 ©2014

Region 10

934

Region 4

1,015

Region 11

827

Region 5

872

Region 12

952

Region 6

1,013

Region 13

817

Region 7

1,021

Grand Total 11,990

©2014 CRI

1,021

5

1 3 2 4

6

Region

Region 7

511 9 8 10 7 6

13

2014 Genex Redistricting Results Region

3 2 4

12

13

j Genex COO Keith Heikes, at right, listens to delegates at the October 14 input meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Members 1,066 1,052 934

2014 827 Genex Redistricting Results

Grand Total 11,990

Region

Members

H O R I Z O N S ©2014 CRI

G-07766-14

|

5


G E N E T I C A L LY

S P E A K I N G

GENETIC BASE CHANGE

IMPLEMENTED WITH DECEMBER 2014 EVALUATIONS

I

n genetic evaluations, information on dairy cows born in a specific year is used to calculate a breed’s genetic averages. These genetic averages are then used for comparison and ranking.

Previously, each breeds’ genetic averages (genetic base) was calculated from data on cows born in 2005. In the USA, the genetic base is updated every five years. As a result, with the December 2014 genetic evaluations the genetic base has been updated and is now calculated from data on cows born in 2010. This base change reflects how much genetic change occurred during the past five years and adjusts sire evaluations to a more current genetic level in the dairy population for each breed. In other words, the genetic base change subtracts accumulated genetic gain that occurred since the previous base change so all animals are compared with a more recent cow population. Table 1 details the genetic change or difference in breed average for Predicted Transmitting Abilities (PTAs) between cows born in 2005 and 2010. In the case of negative change for calving traits within the Holstein breed and Somatic Cell Score in several breeds, the average PTA of cows born in 2010 was more favorable than those born in 2005. Negative values for type traits are equivalent to a left direction on the linear scale. For example, base changes for Holstein rear legs-side view and teat length indicate breed average for straighter legs and shorter teats. For base change numbers on Brown Swiss, Guernseys, Ayrshires and Milking Shorthorns, visit bit.ly/BaseChange. 

o Table 1. Holstein and Jersey genetic gain between 2005 and 2010.

Trait Milk Fat Protein Somatic Cell Score Productive Life Daughter Pregnancy Rate Cow Conception Rate Heifer Conception Rate Sire Calving Ease Daughter Calving Ease Sire Stillbirth Daughter Stillbirth Udder Composite Foot & Leg Composite Body Size Composite Final Score Stature Strength Body Depth Dairy Form Rump Angle Thurl Width Rear Legs-Side View Rear Legs-Rear View Foot Angle Fore Udder Attach Rear Udder Height Rear Udder Width Udder Cleft Udder Depth Front Teat Placement Rear Teat Placement Teat Length

Unit lbs lbs lbs log months % % % % % % % PTA PTA PTA PTA STA STA STA STA STA STA STA STA STA STA STA STA STA STA STA STA STA

Holstein 382 17 12 -0.07 1.0 0.2 0.1 0.3 -0.4 -1.6 -0.3 -0.5 0.92 0.78 0.61 0.99 0.81 0.36 0.47 0.71 0.11 0.61 -0.40 0.79 0.82 1.09 1.45 1.17 0.81 0.83 0.60 0.60 -0.20

Jersey 327 19 12 0.04 0.8 0.0 0.1 0.3 ----0.33* 0.15 0.24 0.53 0.40 0.13 -0.36 0.04 0.19 0.05 -0.17 0.50 0.48 0.27 0.13 0.48 0.39 -0.10

*The base adjustment for the Jersey udder composite is a derivation of the values for udder traits used in calculating LNM and is not synonymous with JUI ™. 6

|

H O R I Z O N S

©2014 CRI


G E N E T I C A L LY

S P E A K I N G

USDA UPDATES ECONOMIC VALUES FOR LIFETIME MERIT INDEXES

R

eflecting forecasts for higher milk prices, lower feed costs and improved cull cow prices, yield traits will receive more relative emphasis compared with Productive Life, Body Size Composite and Somatic Cell Score (SCS). Furthermore, considerable changes in somatic cell premiums and penalties in the USA has led to changes in the cow population for genetic averages and variation for SCS, also contributing to a lower weighting within Lifetime Net Merit (LNM$). Slight revisions were made to milk component prices, increasing the ratio of Protein relative to Fat. With the addition of Cow Conception Rate and Heifer Conception Rate to the indexes, overall weighting on fertility traits stays approximately the same when combined with Daughter Pregnancy Rate. LNM$ and the two variations of Cheese Merit (CM$) and Fluid Merit (FM$) specific to differing milk markets are selection indexes used to rank dairy bulls of each breed based on economic merit for lifetime profitability. The table at right details the traits included in the Lifetime Merit indexes and their respective relative weightings.

o Table 1. Trait Relative Weightings for Lifetime Merit Indexes

Trait

LNM$ Protein 20% Fat 22% Milk -1% Productive Life 19% Somatic Cell Score -7% Udder Composite 6% Feet & Legs Composite 3% Body Size Composite -5% Daughter Pregnancy Rate 7% Heifer Conception Rate 2% Cow Conception Rate 1% Calving Ability $ 5%

CM$ 24% 19% -9% 16% -7% 8% 2% -4% 6% 1% 1% 4%

FM$ 0% 23% 23% 20% -3% 8% 3% -5% 7% 2% 2% 5%

GM$ 18% 19% -1% 10% -6% 8% 3% -4% 18% 3% 5% 5%

Using data from a study of economic conditions for grazing herds done by Purdue University researchers, USDA-AGIL also developed a Grazing Merit (GM$) index to aid pasture-based dairy producers in selecting genetics to aid in seasonal calving systems. Relative trait weightings are included in the table at right. GM$ values are available on all dairy bulls with public evaluations in the USA. 

TPI® CHANGES EMPHASIZE FERTILITY, INCLUDE BODY SIZE COMPOSITE

JERSEY JPI™ FORMULA UPDATES RESULT OF UNIVERSITY Traits Included in JPI™ RESEARCH

T

he Holstein Association announced TPI formula revisions implemented with the December 2014 evaluations, stating the changes bring more focus on some important traits.

G Traits Included in JPI

Fat 15%

Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) is combined with Cow Conception Rate (CCR) and Heifer Conception Rate (HCR) in a new Fertility Index, a sub-component of TPI. The Fertility Index has a ratio of two-thirds weighting on DPR and one-third each on CCR and HCR.

Protein 43%

DPR 7%

Additionally, using the same factors applied to Lifetime Net Merit, a Feed Efficiency value is being published to account for the difference in the dollar value of milk produced and the feed costs associated with production and body size. By adding new traits and changing the emphasis on fertility, the relative weighting has decreased by 1% for Udder Composite, 2% for PTAT-Final Score and 2% for Productive Life.  o Table 2. TPI

Trait Protein Fat Feed Efficiency PTAT-Final Score Dairy Form Udder Composite Feet & Legs Composite Productive Life Somatic Cell Score Fertility Index Daughter Calving Ease Daughter Stillbirth ©2014 CRI

Relative Weighting 27% 16% 3% 8% -1% 11% 6% 7% 5% 13% 2% 1%

e Lif ve i t c du 0% Pro 1 SCS 6%

Functional Trait Index 15%

R

Cow Conception Rate 2% Heifer Conception Rate 2%

eferred to as “the most extensive evaluation of production, longevity and health data ever undertaken,” the AJCAfunded research completed by Dr. Kent Weigel of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has prompted changes to the Jersey Performance Index™ (JPI) effective with the December 2014 evaluations. ©2014 CRI

G-08464-14

Weigel used records from more than 300,000 Jersey cows born since 2001 to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. Jersey cow population. Using the conclusions, the AJCA staff and board of directors modified the JPI™ formula to set the stage for a strategy of breed improvement in the years to come. Areas of focus include a slight shift toward Protein relative to Fat and an added emphasis on cow fertility by increasing the emphasis on Daughter Pregnancy Rate and adding Cow and Heifer Conception Rates. For more information on the JPI changes as well as JUI changes, see page 25.  H O R I Z O N S

|

7


G E N E T I C A L LY

S P E A K I N G

Don’t Be Patient with Your Genetics! By: Angie Coburn // Associate Vice President of Dairy Genetics, Genex

D

on’t be patient with your genetics, because you don’t have to be anymore. Gone are the days of waiting generations to see the impact of your genetic decisions. In your breeding programs, there’s a long list of ways you can now make quicker decisions and see faster genetic results: • Why wait for a bull to have milking daughters to know his rank… • When you have good, quality genomic Predicted Transmitting Abilities (PTAs).

• Why wait for a cow’s fourth service to cull… • When you have a barn full of more productive GenChoice™ heifers.

In order to determine what change will position your business for success, it’s useful to examine and understand current trends. The genetic base change that occurred with the December 2014 evaluation provides an opportune moment to reflect on the cumulative result of multiple generations of genetic selection. At this point, I’m going to ask forgiveness from our Jersey readers or those interested in other dairy breeds. The remainder of this article will utilize Holstein data, but I hope there are concepts all readers find useful in their operations. Graph 1 summarizes the cumulative genetic change from the past 15 years or last three genetic base updates. All traits are standardized to the same scale to compare the progress made for one trait relative to another. v Graph 1. Cumulative Genetic Change by Trait Over Last 15 Years

• Why wait for a heifer to become a profitable cow… • When you can genomic test her and determine her future. • Why wait for the calf from your favorite cow to be born… well that one is still like waiting for Christmas! While you can determine the genetic potential of that baby calf with early genomic testing, we still are unable to select precisely which genes it inherits from the dam or sire. Although you can’t control everything, you can determine the odds of those genetics being successful for your dairy operation. The decisions surrounding which selection index you use, your choice of genetic level for service sires, if and how you incorporate sexed semen or beef semen into your breeding program, and whether you genomic test your heifers are decisions directly controlled on the farm. When determining which genetics to use, you can proactively breed for genetic change to create greater future profitability and a more sustainable dairy farm.

8

|

H O R I Z O N S

TRAIT MILK FAT PROTEIN SOMATIC CELL SCORE PRODUCTIVE LIFE DAUGHTER PREGNANCY RATE COW CONCEPTION RATE HEIFER CONCEPTION RATE UDDER COMPOSITE FEET & LEGS COMPOSITE BODY SIZE COMPOSITE SIRE CALVING EASE DAUGHTER CALVING EASE SIRE STILLBIRTH DAUGHTER STILLBIRTH -3.00

-2.00

+

-1.00

0

1.00

2.00

3.00

©2014 CRI


G E N E T I C A L LY

First, the good news – the productivity gains of the Holstein cow have been exceptional. While increasing the amount of milk, fat and protein a cow has the potential to produce, we have also improved her ability to manage the added udder stress with extremely significant improvement in udder depth and strength of udder attachment. When looking at Graph 2 showing the genetic trend for Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR), we’ve turned the corner and are positioned for a renewed ability for the Holstein cow to not only maintain, but improve her reproductive efficiency with continued selection for DPR and the incorporation of new fertility related traits, Cow Conception Rate and Heifer Conception Rate. Somatic Cell Score and calving traits have also improved greatly in the past five years compared with the prior 10.

Now for the bad news – the increase in average PTA for Stature and Dairy Form should not be considered a favorable change due to the magnitude of change that has occurred over the past 15 years. What's worse is the trend for the years since 2010, evidenced by Graph 3 indicating the average PTA for genomictested bulls by artificial insemination (A.I.) sample date. The rapid acceleration of PTA for both traits since 2010 is the effect of rapid genetic progress achieved when the first calves were born from the use of genomic-proven sires. These are now the sires of future cows to come and will most likely set the course for the base change five years from now. Many dairy producers have already voiced alarm regarding these two traits, and without a course correction, we will experience consequences leading to less productive cows and lower profitability. v Graph 3. Average GPTA for Holstein Bulls by A.I. Sample Date.

v Graph 2. Genetic Trend for Daughter Pregnancy Rate

1.40

20 Cow Daughter Pregnancy Rate

PTA Stature

1.20

Sire Daughter Pregnancy Rate

15

S P E A K I N G

PTA Dairy Form

1.00 0.80

10

0.60 0.40

5

0.20 -0.00

0

-0.20

1960 -5

1970

1980

1990

BIRTH YEAR (1957-2012)

2000

2010

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

-0.40 Continued on page 10

Understanding the current situation is the first step. Taking action is the second. ©2014 CRI

H O R I Z O N S

|

9


G E N E T I C A L LY

S P E A K I N G

Understanding the current situation is the first step. Taking action is the second. This fall, Genex introduced the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index as a more productive way to rank Holstein bulls. With ICC$, a producer has the most effective tool to identify genetics that excel in progressive commercial conditions. The index design has at the forefront, an immediate and targeted focus on concerning genetic trends. It’s not enough to just include a trait in a selection index, it’s how the index is constructed and the relative weighting of the traits that enable desired genetic progress. There is considerable difference when comparing rankings of Holstein bulls on the various selection indexes. Choosing the selection index that best fits your operations’ goals will determine the genetic change your herd experiences between now and the next base change. To project the outcomes ICC$ will have on your herd and compare it to other selection indexes, we compared bulls in the 90th percentile rank for ICC$, LNM$ and TPI and calculated the expected PTA change over five years. Graph 4 displays the projected five-year genetic change for traits of key interest. Traits are standardized to the same scale for easy comparison. v Graph 4. Comparison of 5-Year Projected Genetic Change By Selection Index

+

TRAIT

Ideal Commercial “ The Cow index is probably the largest step forward we have seen in meeting the commercial producers’ needs. This index really looks at the characteristics commercial producers, those making a living from their dairy herd, need from their cattle for maximum profit.

MILK YIELD FAT YIELD PROTEIN YIELD SOMATIC CELL SCORE MASTITIS RESISTANCE BODY CONDITION SCORE PRODUCTIVE LIFE DAUGHTER PREGNANCY RATE COW CONCEPTION RATE

Don Bennink

HEIFER CONCEPTION RATE

North Florida Holsteins, Bell, Florida

UDDER COMPOSITE STATURE -0.50

-0.25

0 ICC$

0 LNM 2014

0.25

0.50

0.75

1.00

1.25

TPI 2014

Use of ICC$ will result in a clear advantage to breed for healthier cows with optimal body condition and greater mastitis resistance. The greater emphasis on fertility in ICC$ compared to TPI and LNM$ is strategic. Milk prices and feed costs will not always be favorable. Using ICC$ will result in cows with fewer days open, higher conception rates and greater overall longevity; this leads to more replacements and more options when establishing culling levels and managing feed costs. In this author’s opinion, we cannot undo five years of genetic progress for health and fertility by looking within narrow calendar dates of favorable milk to feed price ratio. Simultaneous to focused improvement on yield, health and udder conformation, use of ICC$ will aggressively reverse the alarming trend for increased stature and angularity and provide the right environment to improve other related traits including calving ability, locomotion and perhaps feed efficiency. Once accomplished, we can again describe dairy form as more than coarseness or frailty and consider stature the intermediate optimum trait it should be. If we are committed to be the change we desire, results will ensue. Be impatient in your genetic expectations and embrace tools such as ICC$ and genomics that will assist you in reaching your genetic goals. 

1 0

|

H O R I Z O N S

A Author Bio: Angie Coburn is a graduate of Virginia Tech University. As head of dairy genetics, she oversees the development and procurement of Genex cows and bulls, including the GENESIS Cooperative Herd.

©2014 CRI


G E N E T I C A L LY

The Ideal Cow Redefined 5% Calving Ability (CABL$)

T

he Genex exclusive Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index breeds for farm profitability and efficiency using real-time economic indicators and science-based genetic principles to address the needs of progressive dairy producers. The index incorporates elements from the U.S. national evaluation and other data sources that affect production efficiency, health, fertility and fitness, milking ability and calving ability. ICC$ has been thoroughly reviewed and validated by dairy geneticists with doctorates in animal breeding and reviewed by commercial dairy producers for grassroots input.

10% Milking Ability (MABL$) 15% Fertility and Fitness (FYFT$)

46% Production Efficiency (PREF$)

24% Health (HLTH$)

J Sub-Indexes Included in ICC$

Sub-Indexes Target Specific Management Areas ICC$ is the combination of five sub-indexes that together provide the option to select for greater genetic improvement for fertility traits, body condition, milking efficiency and overall longevity while continuing genetic progress for yield and udder traits. The individual sub-indexes are published to provide dairy producers the opportunity to emphasize genetic selection for specific areas of herd management.

S P E A K I N G

4% Milking Yield

18% Fat Yield

40% Marginal Feed Costs

38% Protein Yield

6% Body Condition Score

20% Somatic Cell Score

40% Productive Life

34% Locomotion

6% Cow 2% Fertility Conception Rate Haplotypes 4% Polled Genotype

Production Efficiency (PREF$)

PREF$ pinpoints genetics resulting in high yielding cows with lower feed costs. Emphasis is placed on pounds or kilograms of protein. Use of PREF$ and ICC$ reverses the trend for taller cows.

35% Heifer Conception Rate

53% Daughter Pregnancy Rate

Health (HLTH$)

HLTH$ provides opportunity to breed for improved and sustainable health and longevity. High-ranking HLTH$ bulls have daughters with proper body condition, low somatic cell scores and excellent locomotion.

Fertility and Fitness (FYFT$)

With nine measures of cow and heifer fertility, FYFT$ meets the needs of producers looking to emphasize reproductive efficiency. Selection of bulls with high rankings for FYFT$ results in optimal age of first calving, reduced days open and shorter calving intervals.

3% Milking Temperament 12% Milking Speed 15% Mastitis Resistance 70% Udder Traits

Milking Ability (MABL$)

MABL$ optimizes farm efficiencies with trouble-free milking cows. MABL$ includes mastitis resistance, milking speed and temperament, and udder form and function. Ideal commercial cow udder conformation can be described as strongly attached above the hock with appropriate teat placement and length. Choosing bulls using MABL$ will enhance udder texture and manage the emerging trend of shorter teat length.

Calving Ability (CABL$)

CABL$ focuses on live calves born without difficulty. Select high-ranking CABL$ sires that are also high for ICC$ to use on virgin heifers; give them the best chance to have a successful and profitable first lactation.

Š2014 CRI

10% Sire Stillbirth 16% Daughter Calving Ease

45% Sire Calving Ease

29% Daughter Stillbirth

H O R I Z O N S

|

1 1


G E N E T I C A L LY

S P E A K I N G

In the Know The names of several traits within ICC$ may seem new to many dairy producers. Among those are Cow Conception Rate (CCR) and Heifer Conception Rate (HCR), both of which are also included in the new Lifetime Net Merit index. CCR, as evaluated by USDA-CDCB, is defined as the lactating cow’s ability to conceive based on the percentage of cows inseminated that become pregnant. Daughters of a +1.0 CCR bull are 1% more likely to become pregnant during that lactation than daughters of a +0.0 CCR bull. CCR and DPR are strongly correlated. CCR supplements DPR in ranking the fertility of a bull’s milking daughters. HCR, as evaluated by USDA-CDCB, is the percentage of inseminated virgin heifers that become pregnant. A bull with a +1.0 evaluation would have daughters, which as heifers, are 1% more likely to become pregnant than virgin heifers of a +0.0 HCR bull. As stated on the previous page, ICC$ allows for the inclusion of genetic evaluations from sources outside the U.S. Data on four traits within ICC$ - Body Condition Score (BCS), Mastitis Resistance (MR) and Milking Speed and Temperament - is sourced from the Canadian Dairy Network. BCS reflects an animal’s energy balance status, which research has clearly shown is associated with improved female fertility, longevity and disease resistance. BSC is expressed as a relative breeding value with an average of 100. The scale varies from about 85 (bulls whose daughters have low scores for body condition) to 115 (bulls whose daughters have high scores for body condition). In general, the breeding goal is to increase the average BCS in first lactation. Therefore bulls rated over 100 are more desirable. MR combines both clinical and sub-clinical mastitis into a single genetic selection index. The MR index puts equal weighting on clinical mastitis in first lactation cows, clinical mastitis in later lactations and somatic cell score across the first three lactations. MR is expressed as a relative breeding value with 100 being average. Bulls generally range between 85 (poor mastitis resistance) and 115 (strong mastitis resistance). Milking Speed is important in that a cow that milks out slowly may disrupt the flow of cows through the milking parlor. Milking Speed is expressed in terms of the percentage of first lactation daughters that milk average or fast. Milking Temperament is expressed as the expected percentage of future daughters evaluated as average, calm or very calm during their first lactation. For both traits, 100 is average. With a score of 100, 85% of a bull’s first lactation cows milk fast and calm. A score of 115 indicates 95% of a bull’s first lactation cows milk fast and calm. A score of 85 means 75% milk fast and calm.

Ideal Commercial

Cow Makers!

bulls over

+$850 ICC S 1HO11056 TROY S 1HO10890 ADRIAN S 180HO86008 INSIDER S 1HO12024 CRYPTONITE S 1HO08784 FREDDIE S 1HO11355 CHARGER S 1HO11889 AVENGER S 1HO10396 CABRIOLET S 1HO10976 YAMUNA S 1HO11097 MAGNATE S 1HO11528 EMERALD

this index is the most appropriate “ Weforbelieve many producers and are proud to have the reputation of providing solutions for progressive producers that challenge traditional thinking.

Keith Heikes Genex COO 1 2

|

H O R I Z O N S

” ©2014 CRI


Look Who's Getting

GOOD GRADES ICC$

LNM$

TPI

More milk

A

A

A

More component yield

A

A

A

Enhanced fertility

A

C

B

Reduced stature

A

D

F

Better body condition

A

F

F

Greater herd health

A

C

B

More mastitis resistance

A

D

C

ÂŽ

Use the Index that Gets Your Herd to the Head of the Class!

Š2014 CRI


TA I NB LT EH EO FN E CW O N S T E N T S

EMPLOYEES REWARDED FOR

EXCELLENCE IN SERVICE, RECOGNIZED WITH

MISSION AWARDS

MISSION AWARD WINNERS G Devin Sumption Area Marketing Manager | Amarillo, Texas

Devin Sumption joined the Genex team in 2010 as a Breeding Program Specialist. In 2013 he became an Area Marketing Manager covering Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma and western Kansas, where he organized the area and motivated the team.

According to Regional Marketing Manager, Josh Davis, “Devin is a natural leader. He has the ability to see things for what they are and make the necessary decisions to change them. He has a very strong work ethic and has done an outstanding job in removing road-blocks for his staff.” 

G Ronny Pope Territory Sales Manager | Limon, Colorado

Since he began his career in 2007, Ronny Pope, Territory Sales Manager, has been dedicated to the success of beef and dairy producers in eastern Nebraska and now, as of November 1, Colorado and western Kansas as well. Each day, he steps onto members and customers’ operations where he has not only developed their cow herd, but also friendships.

Associate Vice President of Beef Marketing and Sales, Jeff Swenson had this to say, “Over the last few years I have heard of many instances where Ronny has continuously gone the extra mile to make sure his customers have what they need. Ronny has also developed some of the most successful beef Independent Contractors within Genex. He takes the time to teach them what they need to be successful within the organization and helps them achieve their goals.” 

G Mike Conard Breeding Program Specialist | New Franken, Wisconsin

Breeding Program Specialist Mike Conard is no stranger to the Mission Award, previously receiving the honor in 2004. Covering eastern Brown and western Kewaunee counties in Wisconsin, Mike has been a very driven and efficient employee of the cooperative since 1987.

“He is a team leader and sets an example of hard work and dedication for his team to follow,” explains Joel Delzer, Area Marketing Manager. “Mike takes control of the full reproductive program at many of his farms, working very closely with our members and customers as well as their veterinarians.” 

WEBER HONORED WITH KEVIN BOYLE LEADERSHIP AWARD G Pete Weber Dairy National Account Manager | Colby, Wisconsin

Pete Weber’s past work experience involves numerous roles within Genex. He began as a summer marketing intern in 1987 and was then hired full-time in 1988 as a Breeding Program Specialist. From there he moved into a variety of marketing and consulting roles prior to being named a Dairy National Account Manager in 2010. Pete works with about 40 large dairies throughout the U.S.

Judd Hanson, Associate Vice President of Strategic Marketing, notes, “I can not think of a more worthy candidate for this award than Pete. A tireless worker; he simply gets things done for Genex and his customers. His level of attention to detail, large herd knowledge and professionalism are without equal.” 

About the Kevin Boyle Leadership Award The Kevin Boyle Leadership Award is presented to one Genex employee annually. The award was established in memory of Kevin Boyle, a former Genex employee who demonstrated vision, devotion and pride for the cooperative. Recipients of the award exceed expectations in the following five categories: commitment to improving farm reproduction and genetics, willingness to help others, ability to provide superior support services, excellence in communication skills and positive attitude. 1 4

|

H O R I Z O N S

©2014 CRI


I N

APPLY FOR THE CRI COLLEGIATE SCHOLARSHIP

2015 PURCHASES,

hrough the CRI Collegiate Scholarship Program, the cooperative will serve as a financial resource for youth attending a four‑year college/university or two‑year technical college. Beginning in 2015, CRI will provide a minimum of four $750 scholarships annually with the goal of empowering youth to pursue careers in agriculture.

For full eligibility information and the scholarship application, visit http://bit.ly/CRIscholarship. 

FOLLOW GENEX GENETICS ON THE JOURNEY FROM HERE TO THERE!

T

ake a moment to follow how Genex professionals care for bulls and collect and process the semen used in your herd. Go to http://bit.ly/GenexJourney or scan the QR code. 

Vn ©2014 CRI

N E W S

PAY AHEAD FOR

T

Applicants must be attending a college, university or technical college in the fall of 2015 and be pursuing a degree in an agricultural field. In addition, applicants must be affiliated with a member of a CRI cooperative subsidiary (AgSource or Genex) by having an active role on the member’s dairy or ranch.

T H E

EARN 5%

CREDIT!

G

enex is offering a prepayment program for 2015 purchases. Members and customers can pay ahead for some or all of their 2015 service, semen and product purchases during 2014. In return, they receive a 5% credit on their account.

To participate, submit a check (any amount) and signed pay ahead agreement form. Based upon the amount of credit remaining on the open account as of December 31, 2014, members and customers earn a 5% credit. The credit will be shown on the January 2015 activity statement (received in February). Members and customer who use John Deere Financial can participate in the pay ahead program; invoices will be applied to their Genex account until all pay ahead money has been used. Any prepayment amount for service, semen and product purchases will be accepted; however note all resulting credits must be used in 2015. To participate, contact your Genex representative for a pay ahead agreement. All agreements and monies must be dated no later than December 31, 2014 and be received at Genex headquarters by January 15, 2015. 

GENEX EMPLOYEES EARN INDUSTRY AWARDS

A

t the 2014 National Association of Animal Breeders annual convention, Genex Breeding Program Specialists Mark Hodge, Larry Beuth, Larry Decker and Landis Beyor were recognized for achieving 100,000 first service inseminations. Chuck Shekleton, a 43-year Genex veteran from Farmersburg, Iowa, was recognized for reaching the 150,000 first services mark. Genex Territory Sales Manager Doug Westenbroek of Ontario, California, earned recognition for lifetime semen sales of over 3 million units. 

j Genex employees earning sales and service awards from the National Association of Animal Breeders include (l to r) Doug Westenbroek, Landis Beyor, Larry Beuth, Chuck Shekleton and Mark Hodge. Missing from photo is Larry Decker.

H O R I Z O N S

|

1 5


TA I NB LT EH EO FN E CW O N S T E N T S

CRI HOSTS DAIRY PRODUCERS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

GENEX POSTS INDUSTRY’S LARGEST INCREASE IN SEMEN UNIT SALES

F

or the 18-month period ending June 2014, Genex outperformed the rest of the U.S. cattle genetics industry in percent increase of semen units sold. This is based on sales reports recently released by the National Association of Animal Breeders. Genex semen unit sales, domestically and internationally, increased by 11.4%. During the same 18-month timeframe, the U.S. cattle genetics industry altogether increased total units sold by 3.9%.

J Profit tour participants pose with Paul Schmidt of GENESIS Cooperator Herd, Schmidt’s Ponderosa.

I

n October, CRI welcomed over 170 individuals from 20 countries to the annual Profit Tour. The educational event presented participants with examples of profitable dairy genetics and commercial dairy operations impacted by CRI sires. Participants began the tour in Madison, Wisconsin, at the World Dairy Expo. The tour continued to Shawano, Wisconsin, where they toured the CRI Distribution Center along with two production facilities. Profit Tour participants also gained insight into farming practices from Wisconsin dairy producers. Among the dairies toured were Dallmann’s East River Dairy of Brillion, Wisconsin; Hall’s Calf Ranch of Kewaunee, Wisconsin; Pagel’s Ponderosa of Kewaunee, Wisconsin; Ruedinger Farms Inc. of Van Dyne, Wisconsin; S&S Jerseyland Dairy of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin; Schmidt’s Ponderosa of Bonduel, Wisconsin; and United Pride Dairy, LLC of Phillips, Wisconsin. “Visitors came from many different countries and spoke many different languages. Yet, as we visited some of the most advanced dairies in the U.S., we were united in our appreciation and support of progressive dairy farming,” remarked Joel Stevenson, CRI Vice President of Wholesale Markets. 

J John Ruedinger (in CRI hat) of Ruedinger Farms Inc. provides visitors with an overview of his operation and answers questions about breeding and management practices.

GIACOMINI NAMED CO-OP BUILDER

C

RI Vice President of Business Development Pete Giacomini has earned the highest award for cooperative leaders from Cooperative Network, a trade organization representing cooperative businesses in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Co-op Builder honor is given to individuals who demonstrate the utmost loyalty and service to the cooperative movement. Pete served as COO of CRI subsidiary AgSource Cooperative Services for 27 years and was instrumental in the formation of CRI as the nation’s first holding cooperative. Today, Pete coordinates CRI research and business acquisitions and also spearheads alliance building, development projects and strategic planning.  1 6

|

H O R I Z O N S

“This strong increase in Genex semen sales is the result of powerful genetics, dedicated employees and a good understanding of the needs of our cooperative members and customers,” states Keith Heikes, Genex COO. “Also contributing to the increase is this cooperative’s commitment to the growing Jersey breed as well as our increasing focus in beef.” In total U.S. semen sales, Genex experienced a 5.2% increase compared to a 0.3% decrease in domestic sales from other genetics organizations. Genex figures combine both an 11.1% increase in dairy units and a 13.0% increase in beef units. “These numbers show the strength of the Genex program,” notes Keith. “With beef units far outpacing the competition and in the face of a domestic dairy market not growing in cow numbers, Genex has made large strides forward in becoming the industry’s trusted provider of world-class genetics.” In the global marketplace, export sales through the cooperative’s international marketing division increased by 18.0%. That far exceeds the 3.6% increase recorded by the other U.S. cattle genetics companies. 

DALLAS ELECTED ASSOCIATION VICE CHAIR

T

erri Dallas, CRI Vice President of Information & Public Relations, has been elected Vice Chair of the Cooperative Network board of directors. Cooperative Network is a trade association representing cooperative businesses in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Terri was also recently elected Chair of The Cooperative Foundation. Through its mission to expand and enhance cooperatives through research, teaching, extension, innovation and development, The Cooperative Foundation is a vital part of the past and future of cooperation in the USA. 

©2014 CRI


I N

T H E

N E W S

COOPERATIVES

HELPING COOPERATIVES From Oklahoma to the Plains of Eastern Africa

Hot. Arid. Desert. Back in September those were the three words that came to mind as Bobby Robertson, a cattle rancher from Tahlequah, Oklahoma, prepared for a trip to Africa. The trip, however, completely changed his perspective. “Africa was not what I expected. In Kenya and Uganda the ground is fertile and can grow anything,” explains Bobby. “In addition, the cattle producers there exhibit a willingness to learn that is simply amazing.”

J Bobby Robertson

Bobby, who serves on the Genex board of directors, traveled to Africa as part of CRI’s global development effort through a Cooperative Development Program (CDP) grant from the United States Agency for International Development. Such grants enable CRI to provide cooperatives in developing countries with information to help them thrive and become competitive in national and regional markets. “I represented CRI, however the trip was not about the products CRI offers,” notes Bobby. “It was about our cooperative knowledge based on our past experiences. CRI has been very fortunate to expand and grow since it was formed in 1993. Because of that, it is our responsibility - and my responsibility to help other co-ops grow.” Once in Africa, Bobby met with board members and management staff from dairy-based cooperatives ranging in size from 15 members to 20,000. African government entities were also in attendance to learn alongside cooperative leaders. “In meeting with these individuals, I talked about cooperative structure, board governance, strategic planning and risk management. I reminded them that the co-op structure is for the benefit of members and having a strategic plan in place is important.” “For some of the co-ops, the discussion was also a reminder that they can operate profitably. They can make money to expand their programs and services to better serve their membership. For example, several producer co-ops wanted to add their own milk processing facility, but with too much competition they knew it would not be profitable. I told them to gain input from their membership, and then work together for the benefit of members. Perhaps joint ventures, mergers or acquisitions would be a more profitable option. I reminded them cooperatives are organizations in which you try to cooperate to become better.”

©2014 CRI

From America’s Dairyland to the Southern Tip of Africa

Annette Trescher, an AgSource and CRI board member from Cashton, Wisconsin, echoed similar statements regarding her October trip to South Africa as part of another CDP effort.

“I had the opportunity to go out into rural areas and speak with cooperative leaders. They were varied agriculture-based cooperatives with interests in poultry, vegetables, and beef and dairy cattle,” explains Annette.

J Annette Trescher

Like Bobby, she shared her knowledge of cooperative board governance, strategic planning and risk management. “We also discussed the need to make their co-ops into profitable businesses. Some had the mindset of operating only to fulfill their immediate needs. They lacked the vision to see the advancements or profits they could make from progressing technologically. The discussions provided them the opportunity to consider another perspective.”

Learning While Teaching

For both Bobby and Annette, viewing agriculture in Africa and talking with producers was also a learning experience.

“One thing I learned,” comments Annette, “is that no matter where in the world you are agriculture faces many of the same issues. Agriculture and farming are affected by the economy, high input costs, animal rights activism, government subsidies and more.” For Bobby, getting outside the tourist point of view and getting to know the people had the largest impact. “We visited with some wonderful people. They were so glad to have someone on their farm and show off all their work. Getting to know these people and their culture, it proved to me that - just as it is in America - agriculture and agricultural producers are the backbone of Africa.” As for CDP participation, Annette believes that “if CRI wants to remain a global leader, this type of outreach and education is crucial.” Bobby ads, “In fact, we need to do more in more parts of the world to try to pass on the knowledge we have acquired. It’s not just about the products this cooperative offers, but about sharing our knowledge gained from our experiences.” 

H O R I Z O N S

|

1 7


TA I NB LT EH EO FN E CW O N S T E N T S

Born: May 7, 2001 Died: November 27, 2014

WORLD-RENOWNED

TOYSTORY

BULL HAS DIED

Daggett Brook Toy Dyery, EX-91

1

HO07235 TOYSTORY, the well-known Genex and CRI bull, has passed away at the age of 13 after producing over 2.4 million units of semen and positively impacting dairy herds around the world.

“The death of TOYSTORY means the passing of the industry’s most prolific sire,” states Keith Heikes, Genex Chief Operating Officer. “This bull was one of a kind for many reasons.” TOYSTORY was born at Mystic Valley Dairy near Sauk City, Wisconsin, in May 2001. At his November 2005 debut in the artificial insemination (A.I.) industry, TOYSTORY was noted as “the new must-have sire, whether your breeding goals are profitability or show-type.” His daughters provided a level of productivity, profitability and improved conformation that impressed producers as well as show judges across the globe.

Co-op Toystory Peace 2409-ET

In addition to his outstanding genetic qualities, TOYSTORY possessed an unmatched semen production ability. In April 2009, he joined an elite group of bulls throughout the industry that had produced 1 million units of semen. Then, in May 2011, he became the industry’s all-time semen production leader surpassing the previous world record of 1.767 million units held by the Dutch bull Sunny Boy. By May 2012, TOYSTORY had furthered his impact on the A.I. industry reaching a remarkable 2 million units. At the time of his death, TOYSTORY had produced 2.415 million units. “In his lifetime, TOYSTORY reached a level of semen production that might never occur again in history,” remarks Heikes. “With the genetic progress possible in the dairy cattle industry today, through technologies such as bull evaluations based on genomics, it is very possible that no other bull will ever surpass his record.”

Savage-Leigh Lavisha-ET, VG-89

While the story of TOYSTORY ends today, his legacy lives on through his many offspring; he remains a sellout bull with semen sold in more than 50 countries. “TOYSTORY produced 2.415 million units and was known for his genetic credentials and above average sire fertility. He was an incredible story,” remarks Heikes. 

1 8

|

H O R I Z O N S

©2014 CRI

Schmitt Toystory 529


H E R D

M A N A G E M E N T

GIVE CALVES

THE PUSH

THEY NEED By: Katie Wolf // Product Program Manager, CRI

C

alves are the future of any farm. Therefore, producers understand the importance of calf health.

This fall, Genex unveiled a new product, which can help producers ensure their newborn calves get off to a good start. The only product of its kind in the USA, Push™ is a fast energy source available in paste form. Push, based on the properties of colostrum, is a blend of highly digestible proteins and energy components formulated to help calves overcome stress and disease challenges. Why is Push beneficial to newborns? First, it’s important to remember calves are born without circulating antibodies. Antibodies are a body’s primary immune defense. Since a newborn calf doesn’t produce its own antibodies until later in life, it is important the calf receives those antibodies via colostrum. When given Push immediately after birth, the product – with its energy components – can provide a calf with the get-up-and-go to consume colostrum. It also provides support to the calf while colostrum is being warmed or while the cow is being milked and colostrum collected. Push does not replace quality colostrum, colostrum replacers or supplements. Instead, the readily available energy and protein within Push assists in jumpstarting and supporting the immune system before colostrum is given. The specialized formula of Push is complementary to colostrum.

CALF CARE PRODUCTS Use CRI Calf Coats to provide extra warmth to help calves survive harsh weather conditions. CRI Calf Coats are Amish-made in the U.S., waterproof, feature Velcro front closure and buckle leg straps for easy on and off, and are available in three sizes: small, large and x-large.

©2014 CRI

Provide Push to Newborns When … • A quick energy source is needed to get them on their feet. • Colostrum is being collected or warmed. • It is not possible to give the calf a full dose of colostrum at birth. • Quality of colostrum is questionable. • Calves are born at times when only limited care is available. • The calf seems depressed and has little interest in standing within the first hour of life. While Push was designed for newborns, it can also be beneficial to a calf later in life. Any calf that is recovering from disease or infection, is not consuming adequate feed and acting lethargic, or has been transported over distances and is depressed/less alert can benefit from an extra push of energy. For more information on Push or to purchase, visit the profit shop or contact your Genex representative.  A Author Bio: Katie Wolf is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She joined Genex and CRI in 2002 and manages the cooperative's array of herd management, nutrition additions and reproductive products.

SHOP NOW!

profitshop.crinet.com

Utilize NuLife Oral Electrolytes to help replenish lost fluids and electrolytes. Apply the Pre 14-14 program, a low dose feeding of electrolytes for 14 days, during the time period when calves are especially vulnerable to developing scours. Learn more at bit.ly/NuLifePre14-14.

H O R I Z O N S

|

1 9


H E R D

M A N A G E M E N T

GENEX INTRODUCES THE

SCR HEATIME

®

RUMINATION, HEALTH AND HEAT DETECTION SYSTEM By: Shane St. Cyr // Training & Field Support Manager, SCR Dairy Inc.

I

n October, Genex and SCR Dairy Inc. announced a new partnership in which Genex will market the SCR Heatime system. This advanced, real-time system enables dairy producers to power-up their cow monitoring capabilities. “We are excited to align with SCR Dairy, the market leader in cow activity and rumination systems,” says Roy Wilson, Genex Vice President of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, “and to deliver this innovative cow monitoring system to Genex members and customers so they can make better data-driven decisions.” The Heatime system combines one-of-a-kind rumination monitoring with accurate heat detection, allowing dairy producers unmatched access to information about cow health, nutrition, reproduction and comfort. The precise data allows for better individual and whole-herd management because health and reproductive problems can be identified early and addressed quickly.

Adding rumination information to heat detection indicators results in a powerful management tool for improved dairy cow health and reproduction. The SCR software constructs a parameter called the Heat Index. The Heat Index is a score that uses activity change and three other parameters, including rumination, to automatically calculate if a cow with an elevated activity change value is a true heat (Figure 2). Our ability to combine additional data and information into the heat algorithm provides increased accuracy when compared to activity alone. Figure 2. Rumination Changes Add to Accuracy of Heat Detection

SCR Dairy is the clear leader in heat detection and rumination technology. Since 2010, SCR Dairy has produced 2.5 million monitors, delivering superior service and expertise with outstanding on-farm success for both small and large farms.

Heatime Heat Detection is Easy to Use

It is easy to miss heats using traditional heat detection methods or secondary signs of heats. One advantage to the Heatime system is it watches cows 24/7. As research (Table 1) shows, 68% of cows show signs of heat at night. o Table 1. Times Cows Show Signs of Heat

Time 6 a.m.-noon Noon-6 p.m. 6 p.m.-midnight Midnight-6 a.m.

Cows showing heat signs 22% 10% 25% 43%

Source: Cornell University

Activity increases related to estrus are easily demonstrated on individual graphs (Figure 1) but can be driven completely by software, such as color-coded breeding reports or interfaced with dairy management software information.

Figure 1. Heatime Pro Heat Identification Graph with Estimated Ovulation Time Relative to Activity Peak

Activity in Green, Rumination in Purple

Not Just for Cows

While heifers are highly fertile, it’s not unusual to miss estrous events with visual heat detection alone. Since nearly all heifers show increased system activity, users can gain a quick return as heifers get bred sooner and calve at the desired age. Breeding during natural heats also spreads out calvings more evenly for the calving pen and can give producers more confidence to use genetically superior sires. Heifers also allow for a quick return on investment because after they are bred the monitoring collar can go to another heifer, allowing for several pregnancies from the same collar each year.

Harnessing Rumination Data for a Healthier Herd

Dairy producers, veterinarians and nutritionists have long relied on cud chewing—both the sights and sounds of rumination—as a key monitor of dairy cow health. That’s because cows normally ruminate about 450 to 500 minutes, or about eight hours, a day. A drop in rumination time signals something is impacting rumen function or animal well-being. Previously, rumination was typically monitored through visual observation, either live or via video. However, watching for the physical signs of rumination is labor intensive, and typically only a few cows can be monitored at a time.

2 0

|

H O R I Z O N S

©2014 CRI


H E R D

M A N A G E M E N T

Figure 3. Color Coded Reports Make Identifying Cows to Breed, Check or Treat Easy.

Research1 published in the December 2009 Journal of Dairy Science found SCR’s electronic rumination monitoring results were highly accurate. Using individual cow transponders and computer software, the electronic system looks for deviations from a cow’s “normal” trend. A drop in rumination time often precedes a drop in milk production and often occurs before physical symptoms of health disorders appear. This means users can monitor rumination time to anticipate potential health concerns before visual signs arise. One way to use this information is for early intervention and treatment during the transition period, including: • Intake monitoring. It can help identify cows with lower prepartum dry matter intake, which is important because cows with lower rumination time before calving often have lower rumination time after calving and suffer a greater frequency of disease than cows with higher rumination time in late pregnancy.2 The data can also offer early insight into ration or nutrition issues. • Earlier interventions. Visible signs of ketosis may not appear until much later than the actual onset of the disease. By monitoring rumination, producers can intervene earlier than if just watching for physical signs. • Management assessment. Rumen monitoring may also be helpful to assess a cow’s short-term response to grouping strategies or other interruptions on a dairy farm. This information can then be used to validate current practices or as a basis to adjust future grouping actions. By watching data trends, managers can quickly determine appropriate interventions and the timing of these actions to the benefit of individual animals and the betterment of their herd.

Healthy Transitions

Armed with the information provided by the Heatime system, users can learn about things such as pre-fresh and fresh cow health trends, TMR consistency and cow comfort during times of stress. Actions based on rumination data can lead to a decrease in post-fresh health issues, improved ration control and investigations into improved cow comfort. Furthermore, the activity and rumination monitoring data enables users to assess treatment performance when interventions are necessary. Herd managers can see if they are on the right track, and rumination time will increase. Conversely, if a cow isn’t responding to treatment as expected, she will show up again in the Health Report (Figure 3), and the user can make a judgment on the next steps to take.

Monitoring Feed Information and Rumination Alerts

Actionable data from this time-tested program has replaced more subjective measures of cow health. Predictive information also helps target group and herd-wide health, nutrition, reproductive and feeding programs to keep them on track. While most cows spend about eight hours ruminating each day, it’s not the total number that’s critically important to track; it’s the variability in your herd’s rumination time that should be monitored and used to assess potential challenges and solutions. You can track individual animals, groups or pens, and the entire herd to obtain a wide-scale view of what’s happening on your operation. When rumination variations occur outside your herd norm and you need to investigate the cause, begin with the easiest questions first. For instance, when exploring whether a nutrition challenge is causing an increase in health problems, ask: •

Is the mixer working properly?

Is the feed added properly to the mixer, and are correct mixing times being observed?

Is the feed delivered timely, in the right location and in sufficient quantities?

Is the milking schedule on time, allowing for access to feed at a routine time?

Is sorting occurring?

Once you’ve addressed these angles, then it’s time to explore areas like feed source consistency, ration ingredients, heat abatement, cow flow, grouping strategies and other feed and management-related factors. Nutritionists who have used rumination data say the tool is one more way to help them keep track of what actually happens in cows, noting the information significantly helps shorten the lag time between when a nutritional problem crops up and when issues with health or performance are identified.

Peace of Mind

Whether you are looking for a way to improve milk, cow reproduction, overall herd health and nutrition, heifer reproduction or just want another ‘set of eyes’ in the barn allowing you to focus on other areas of your operation, the predictive, precise and proven capabilities of the Genex-provided SCR Heatime system make it the solution to help you get to the next level! Make the investment to take advantage of optimal cow health, improved reproduction and greater peace of mind for years to come.  1 Schirmann K, et al. Technical Note: Validation of a system for monitoring rumination in dairy cows. J Dairy Sci 2009; 92(12)6052-6055. 2 Soriani N, et al. Relationships between rumination time, metabolic conditions and health status in dairy cows during the transition period. J Animal Sci 2012: June 28.

©2014 CRI

H O R I Z O N S

|

2 1


H E R D

S TO R Y

FAMILY, FOUNDATION FOR FUTURE

DRIVE HILLCREST FARM

G To provide better natural ventilation, the freestall roof has a 3 foot-wide opening along the ridge vent, and the roof height was elevated to 14 feet along the sides of the barn.

By: Brenda Brady // Communications Specialist, CRI

W

hile many farmers shy away from putting a spot light on their farm, Mark Rodgers of Hillcrest Farms Inc., in Dearing, Georgia, makes it a point to shine the light directly on their operation. He believes building a positive relationship with dairy consumers and the community as a whole, not only makes sense now, it sets up future generations of his farm and all those in the industry. It is important just like the improvements they continue to make on their operation to allow for increased production and efficiency.

Advocacy for Agriculture

Mark credits his advocacy beginnings to a program called the Young Dairy Leaders Institute www.holsteinfoundation.org, a national program to develop leadership and communication skills in young adults working in the dairy industry.

After completing the three-phase program, Mark returned to Georgia determined to share the activities of his farm and agriculture with the world. He began to speak for civic organizations in his area and started their farm’s Facebook page. The Hillcrest Farms Inc. page is a great combination of industry facts, memes and infographics mixed with authentic everyday events happening around the farm. Farm photos and videos get the best response from those that view the page.

g Mark Rodgers, third generation dairyman in Dearing, Georgia

Mark’s advice to those thinking about agricultural advocacy through their own social media account is, “Just have fun. It is so easy with a cell phone; you can catch the moment.” And the page certainly does just that. There are videos of cows dancing and enjoying having their backs scratched as well as photos of hay bale snowmen and new calves. All of these moments are ways to get non-farm individuals engaged with a farm and the men and women that operate them. Of course finding time to maintain a farm social media account can certainly be a concern. Mark uses lunch break as a chance to check up on the account. To keep followers engaged, Mark does a fantastic job of explaining farm vocabulary and practices in easy to understand terms. He also recommends always replying to those who may have commented or asked questions, and he adds, “Don’t be afraid to disagree without being disagreeable.” 2 2

|

H O R I Z O N S

©2014 CRI


H E R D

Milk Production

Hillcrest Farms has a lot more to be excited about than just its social media presence. Four generations of the Rodgers family milk 420 cows and raise 470 heifers. “This is an all-Genex herd, and I’m really proud of that, states Mark. For the last five years, they received the distinction of having the highest production per cow in the state of Georgia, and their rolling herd average is currently over 31,000 pounds of milk. This production feat is impressive for the heat of the Southeast and is a compilation of attention to details around the farm. By following three major rules, these details fall into place. Rule number one is always cow comfort. The conventional freestall barn constructed in 2009 was built with this rule in mind, including such amenities as sand bedding, a neck rail at the feed bunk instead of headlocks, rubber floors, automatic back scratchers, fans and a low pressure/high volume sprinkler system. Rule number two is repeatability. To Mark this means consistency with feed, milking personnel and veterinary, artificial insemination and milking procedures. Mark has noticed that his cows thrive on repetition. And rule number three is attention to the individual cow. This includes visually and/or physically inspecting cows daily that are not meeting production goals or norms.

S TO R Y

5 TIPS for Social Media Use 1. Start with one platform. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do too much at once. 2. Be authentic and write about what you know. 3. Post photos, links and short videos in addition to text 4. Respond to comments. 5. Have fun.

J At 72°F, the high volume/low pressure sprinklers wet cows in the feed alley for one minute, then turn off for 10 minutes. The soakers come on one minute sooner for each 2°F rise in temperature.

When asked about the new Ideal Commercial Cow Index (ICC$), Mark says, “I was always looking for the traits in ICC$. I like the idea of a commercial cow index because I think for too many years the show people have driven the commercial people. We are in the business to ship milk. I’d rather have a cow, that is a really nice, milking 40,000 lbs. These kinds of traits will allow us to hold cows here longer.” While Hillcrest Farms seems to have figured out the perfect combination of herd management and community relations, the Rodgers family is still working hard to improve. “I’m trying to provide a life and business that my daughter and nephew can grow into. As proud I am of the success we have made toward our own production goals, I think we are setting a foundation for these younger people to be more optimistic about farming in an area that historically has been losing farm numbers,” explains Mark.  ©2014 CRI

Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

A Author Bio: Brenda Brady is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a degree in agricultural education. She taught high school agriculture for 13 years before joining CRI. Brenda grew up on a small Registered Holstein farm in central Wisconsin and now farms with her husband and in-laws.

H O R I Z O N S

|

2 3


GENEX IS ALL IN TO SERVE YOU! People

s The Genex Team Genetics

Planning

s Calf Math™ s Sire Sorting s Female Index

Support

s Product and Repro s A.I. Team s Genetics s Technical Support

Genetics Fertility Commitment

s Conventional s GenChoice™ s Beef

Products

Training

s A.I. and Heat Detection Training s Breeder Refreshers/Audits s Bilingual Training Services

WE’VE WITNESSED THE PROFITABILITY OF THE JERSEY COW. WE ARE EXCITED TO BE A PART OF THE JERSEY GENERATION. Visit: http://genex.crinet.com.

s A.I. Supplies and Equipment s Herd Management Products

Genex

Cooperative, Inc. A Subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International

888.333.1783 • www.crinet.com ©2014 CRI


P R O O F

H I G H L I G H T S

JERSEY HIGHLIGHTS INTRODUCING FIVE NEW SIRES UNDERSTANDING THE JPI UPDATES 1 I

JE00892 VANDRELL is the highest JPI™ sire among Genex new releases at +205. This Visionary son out of PR Faria Brothers Action Dean Smith, EX-92% combines great yield (+1318 Milk) with reproductive efficiency (+0.5 Daughter Pregnancy Rate, +1.4 Cow Conception Rate and +2.8 Heifer Conception Rate). He also stands at +8.7 JUI™ and sports a +$486 Cheese Merit (CM) and +3.8 Productive Life. VANDRELL is JH1F J PR Faria Brothers Action Dean Smith, EX-92%, and JH2F. dam of VANDRELL and grandam of PROP JOE 1JE00889 PROP JOE is a standout debut who leads the lineup for CM at +$566. This outstanding sire is a Hilario out of a VG-88% Target from EX-92% PR Faria Brothers Action Dean Smith. PROP JOE complements his huge CM with an admirable +21.3 JUI. He posts a +4.5 Productive Life and huge component percentages (+0.33% Fat, +0.09% Protein) for a +107 combined Fat and Protein. He is JH1F and JH2F. 1JE00874 MATCH is the first 1JE00792 MACHETE son in the lineup. Backed by an EX‑90% Tbone from the Jer-Z-Boyz herd in California, MATCH debuts at +172 JPI, +10.1 JUI and +$467 CM. This JH1F and JH2F sire is +0.2 DPR and +5.1 Productive Life. 1JE00870 GAVIN is a second new-release Visionary son who adds all-round profitability. GAVIN delivers a +177 JPI and +11.7 JUI. He adds fluid pounds (+1186 Milk) and +107 pounds combined Fat and Protein. GAVIN, a JH1C and JH2F, is a maternal brother to the popular 1JE00861 COLTON. 1JE00885 QUIDDICH is the new standout sire for JUI at +24.8. This 1JE00803 SCORE son out of a VG-88% Legal hailing from the famous Ahlem Farm Partnership herd debuts at +180 JPI and +$467 CM. He is also a health trait leader: +6.4 Productive Life, +0.6 DPR, +1.5 CCR and +2.3 HCR. He is free for both JH1 and JH2. 

OVER 40 ELITE GENETIC MERIT SIRES! S 19 sires ≥ +0.0 Daughter Pregnancy Rate S 17 sires ≥ +4.5 Productive Life S 14 sires over +$450 Cheese Merit

S 12 sires over +15.0 JUI S 11 sires over +180 JPI S Unmatched pedigree diversity

CHANGES TO JUI

W

ith the December sire summary Jersey Udder Index™ (JUI) looks drastically different. First, JUI is now a direct representation of udder points contributing to an animal’s JPI. The scale for active bulls generally ranges from -50.0 to +50.0 points. Second, trait weightings within JUI have been updated. Table 1 compares traits weightings between JUI 2010 and the new JUI, which provides more emphasis on udder depth, strength of fore udder attachment, and teat length and placement.  ©2014 CRI

o Table 1. Trait Relative Weightings for JUI

Trait Udder Depth Fore Udder Udder Cleft Rear Udder Height Teat Placement Teat Length Rear Udder Width

JUI 2015 JUI 2010 37% 31% 19% 9% 15% 27% 14% 11% 7% 3% -7% 0% 1% 19%

n addition to the genetic base change, the December sire summary included an update to the Jersey Production Index™ (JPI). JPI is a breed-specific selection tool with the objective to increase lifetime net profit. It is updated every five years based on research and data compiled from the Jersey population.

The largest emphasis within JPI is on production traits. In this current update, PTA Protein receives a 43% weighting (increase of 1% over JPI 2010). The weighting on PTA Fat remains unchanged at 15%. ™ TheTraits remainder of JPI is combination of Included ina JPI health, udder, body and mobility traits. Fat 15%

Protein 43%

e Lif ve cti % u d 0 Pro 1 SCS 6%

G Traits Included in JPI

DPR 7%

Functional Trait Index 15%

Cow Conception Rate 2% Heifer Conception Rate 2%

Productive Life, with a 10% weighting, is the highest single contributor among health traits. This is a decrease of 3% from the previous formula. Productive Life means “time in the milking herd before removal by voluntary culling, involuntary culling or death.” DPR, defined as the percentage of non-pregnant cows that become pregnant during each 21-day period, is weighted at 7% (decrease of 3% versus JPI 2010). The SCS weighting remained constant. Additionally, Cow Conception Rate (CCR) and Heifer Conception Rate (HCR) were added. Both have a weighting of 2%. The addition of CCR and HCR impacted the decision to lower the DPR weighting. ©2014 CRI

G-08464-14

The final 15% of the new JPI formula comes from the Functional Trait Index (FTI) which includes udder, body and mobility. This index is designed to separate the impact of production and conformation traits on lifetime profitability. FTI was introduced in 1992 and has been updated in 1998, 2006 and most recently 2014. The most recent FTI calculation has the highest weight on udder traits (13.8%), followed by body traits (1.0%) and finally on mobility (0.2%). 

H O R I Z O N S

|

2 5


H E R D

S TO R Y

THE JERSEY GENERATION

FOR THE ENDRES FAMILY, IT BEGAN IN THE EARLY 1990s By: Jenny Hanson // Communications Manager, CRI

O

n a recent frigid Monday morning, I headed off to visit Dave Endres of Endres Jazzy Jerseys in Lodi, Wisconsin. The dairy, located about 20 minutes north of Madison, Wisconsin, is home to 700 Jersey cows.

Getting Started

When asked how he got his start in dairy farming, Dave explained that he and his late wife had began by renting a 50-stall barn and 140 acres back in 1986. At that time, their herd consisted of Holsteins. As he continued, I smiled, because his next statement echoed comments I’d heard from Dena Schmidt of S&S Jerseyland Dairy earlier this year. He said, “If you would have asked back then, I never would have said that today I’d be milking Jerseys.”

One of the reasons both the Schmidts (featured in the August Horizons) and Dave transitioned to Jersey cattle was because of their facilities. Dave specifically noted that “as my first twoyear-old Holsteins began to calve in, I found the stalls were too small. Making the stalls larger would take up space and having fewer stalls was not conducive with our plans to expand.”

Why Jerseys?

Dave currently serves as president of National All-Jersey Inc. (NAJ) which, as he is puts it, “works to make the Jersey cow more profitable” through the creation and servicing of equitable markets for Jersey milk, education, lobbying and more. With his involvement in NAJ and his transition from Holsteins to Jerseys, I wanted to know Dave’s thoughts on why now is the time for Jerseys. Why is this the Jersey generation? Why is the Jersey breed expecting to expand to 25% of the dairy cattle population by 2020? He didn’t hesitate in his response. “The only growth in the dairy industry is in components. What good does ‘water’ do in a global milk market?” He went on, “Jerseys also have an earlier calving age and calving ease. Reproduction naturally comes along with those traits. There's also feed efficiency.”

After reading an article about a high producing Jersey herd, Dave had done the math. He found if he had a herd of Jersey cows that produced even 30% less than that record production herd, he’d still come out ahead. With that in mind, he bought his first Jersey cow in 1990. By 1992, his herd was entirely Jerseys. “In addition to my calculations, as I toured Jersey herds back in the late 80s two things were obvious. First, Jersey cattle producers are as friendly as can be. Second, from talking to Jersey producers, I got the sense that their herds provided financial stability.”

g Dave Endres of Endres Jazzy Jerseys in Lodi, Wisconsin.

The Endres family bought their current farm in 1994 and grew in herd size to approximately 200 Jerseys. Since, they’ve expanding to 700 cows and 1,500 acres. 2 6

|

H O R I Z O N S

©2014 CRI


H E R D

S TO R Y

Jazzy Jerseys

Several of Dave’s reasons for the Jersey generation directly relate to the type of cow he breeds for at Endres Jazzy Jerseys. “I want a cow that stands on good feet and legs, has a good udder and breeds back. Breeding back and calving again with the least amount of stress possible is more important to me than getting more production out of the cow.” To produce that type of cow, Genex Territory Sales Manager Scott Schultz mates the herd. A team of Genex Breeding Program Specialists – Don Andrist, Tim Harms, Dan Theodori and Greg Sarnow – provide the heat detection and artificial insemination (A.I.) service. Cows are given lutalyse and tail painted for visual heat detection. Those that need to be (less than 5% of the herd) are enrolled in Ovsynch and bred off timed A.I. In an effort to attain maximum value from calves produced and to plan for the future, the breeding program utilizes a lot of sexed semen. At the same time, Dave has found a niche market for the bull calves he does produce. They are sold by the trailer load as roping calves for rodeos.

ALL IN, ALL OUT One aspect of the dairy Dave is especially proud of is the calf barn. Built in 2006, the barn mimics the all in, all out management style of hog operations. The heated calf barn contains a large common area which houses the batch milk pasteurizer. The commons area connects four separate sections of the calf barn. Each section is closed off from the others and has its own ventilation system. The layout helps to alleviate the spread of disease and respiratory illnesses through all calves and instead keep issues contained to one group of calves. From my visit, I have found that resourceful, numbers-driven and backed by common sense are words that describe Dave and his dairy management style. Penciling out the transition to Jerseys and finding that market for bull calves are just two examples. He’s also found owning a milk truck and hauling his own milk is beneficial to the dairy’s bottom line. Similarly, a three-way split on tillage and harvest equipment with his brother and cousin keeps equipment costs in line. And, shortly after my visit, Dave was taking the next step to plan for the future of the family dairy. He was headed to a workshop to learn about options in transitioning the farm to the next generation – his two sons and daughter. 

©2014 CRI

As calves (both heifers and bulls) are born, they are moved into a single section until all 52 individual calf pens are full. All calves remain in that section until the whole group is weaned and moved outside into super hutches. At that time, all manure and bedding is removed and the entire section of the calf barn is pressure washed. All areas of the barn are made of washable surfaces.

A Author Bio: Jenny Hanson is a graduate of the University of WisconsinRiver Falls with a degree in agricultural communications. She joined Cooperative Resources International in 2005 and has served as editor of the Dairy Horizons since 2006.

H O R I Z O N S

|

2 7


GENESIS IN THE BEGINNING …

25 YEARS LATER: CELEBRATING OUR SILVER ANNIVERSARY


S  T

H E R D

S TO R Y

DIMENSIONS OF

DIVERSITY

he GENESIS Cooperative Herd plays a role in developing diverse genetics for cooperative members and customers.

“Females within the GENESIS herd are managed to develop the next generation of bulls that transmit genetic characteristics of high profitability for today’s dairy operations,” explains Angie Coburn, Genex Associate Vice President of Dairy Genetics. “These GENESIS donor females provide not only elite genetics, but unequaled genetic diversity.” Just how does GENESIS deliver a dimension of diversity? It’s through matings focused on diversity, the development of new family lines and the ability to “draw water from a deep well.” In other words, Genex works with the best GENESIS females from more than 45,000 milking cows and breeding age heifers. The result is sires that provide you the opportunity to easily improve the genetics of your herd and a no fuss means to manage inbreeding.

While it would be typical for each organization to have a proportion of around 10% in the upper and lower deciles for GFI, the graph illustrates the emphasis Genex has placed on genetic diversity. It shows GENESIS leadership as well as Genex leadership in 1HO sires that do not hail from the GENESIS Cooperative Herd.

Cooperator Herd Contribution

The cows and heifers within the 14 GENESIS cooperator herds provide a world of opportunity in the search for and creation of genetic diversity.

1HO11071 Brandvale Co-op LEADED-ET (Layne x Observer x Sharky) is a bull contributing to the proportion of GENESIS sires with a low GFI. LEADED, born in 2013, at cooperator herd Brandvale Dairy Farm in Ellsworth, LEADED Wisconsin, has a GFI Angie goes on to state that “when comparing GENESIS bulls of 6.6%. He made with others in the industry, the emphasis on genetic diversity is his debut in the unmatched.” Genex lineup back in August and currently More specifically, a greater proportion of GENESIS bulls in the stands at +$674 LNM 90th percentile for Lifetime Net Merit (LNM$) are also low (99th percentile) and for Genomic Future Inbreeding (GFI). In this instance, a lower number is desired because a bull’s GFI indicates the likelihood of +$778 for the Ideal his offspring to inherit common genes due to his general use as Commercial Cow (ICC) index. a service sire.

The graph below shows the proportion of a stud’s 90th percentile LNM$ Holstein bulls born in 2010 or later that are in the lower 10% for GFI (bulls ≤ 6.6% GFI) and the upper 10% for GFI (bulls ≥ 8.0% GFI). v Graph 1. Proportion of Stud’s Bulls in the Lower and Upper Deciles for GFI

Low GFI

LEADED and AMOR-P are two examples of recently-released GENESIS sires contributing high merit, diverse genetics to members’ and customers’ herds.

High GFI

25% 20% 15% 10%

“However,” states Angie, “singling out genetically diverse sires like these for your breeding program is not necessary. Since we pay attention to genetic diversity, you only have to worry about using the high genetic merit bulls.” 

5% 0% GENESIS

OTHER 1H

7H

11H

14H

29H

200H

*Data based on 90th percentile Holstein bulls born in 2010 or later that have an assigned NAAB stud code CDCB-AGIL 12/14

©2014 CRI

1HO11370 Heidifarm ER AMOR CRI-P-ETS (Earnhardt-P x Proper x Encino) is another example of a high genetic merit, low GFI GENESIS sire at +$539 LNM, +$579 ICC and 6.6% GFI. AMOR-P hails from AMOR-P cooperator herd Heidi Farms Inc. in Bainsville, Ontario, Canada.

Continued on page 30

H O R I Z O N S

|

2 9


H E R D

S TO R Y

Brandvale Dairy Farm, Ellsworth, Wisconsin

Heidi Farms Inc., Bainsville, Ontario, Canada

Steve and Mary Brand and family of Brandvale Dairy Farm began working with GENESIS back in 2006. Of course, their family farm history extends back further.

Heidi Farms Inc., home to the family of AMOR-P, is owned by Paul Sr., Heidi, Paul and Walter Oeggerli. Paul Sr. and Heidi emigrated to Canada in 1969 from Switzerland. They purchased the original farm (250 acres and 110 cows) in 1971. Since then, the farm has been in ‘expansion mode’ with land and quota purchased when available and affordable. Presently the farm consists of 300 cows and 740 acres of land. Expansion plans are on the horizon to accommodate the next generation.

Both Steve and Mary grew up on dairy farms. Steve moved to the location of their current farm in 1988 and started with 40 cows in a tiestall barn. Then, Steve and Mary were married in 1992. A few years later they decided to expand and grew to 100 cows. By 2001, they j Steve and Mary Brand expanded further reaching 300 head. Today, following several additional expansions, the family is milking 1,000 Holstein cows. They also raise all their own calves and heifers. As the Brands‘ herd has grown, so has their family. Steve and Mary have four children: Alex (18), Lauren (13), Austin (10) and Logan (9). When talking cattle genetics, Steve talks of the now retired Genex Sire Procurement Manager Lloyd Simon. “Back when Lloyd first stopped here, it was because we happened to have daughters of a certain bull he was interested in. Since, we have continued to strive to produce A.I.-quality sires.”

j Dany Fontaine of Genex Canada (at left) visits with Paul Oeggerli and his sons Benjamin and David of GENESIS cooperator herd Heidi Farms Inc.

In addition to producing bulls, the Brands are looking to improve upon their herd’s genetics through GENESIS involvement. Today, Steve works with Genex Sire Procurement Specialist Jon Lantz. Jon lines up GENESIS matings, herdsman Randy Wolf takes care of all breedings, and Steve organizes the flushing and lines up recipients. Characteristic of the kind of cows desired as GENESIS bull dams, Steve explains that individual cows with GENESIS matings don’t earn special treatment. “Actually, if Jon says we have a really special cow, I usually have to go out and look for her. The only cows I know are the problem cows.” That type of low maintenance, healthy genetics are just what Brands strive for.

The Oeggerli family began as a GENESIS cooperator herd in 2010. “I had gone to a presentation that Angie Coburn of Genex had given about the GENESIS herd,” comments Paul. “I found it very interesting. At that time I had asked her about plans for growing GENESIS. Half a year later as our nutritionist Dany Fontaine switched and became a Genex representative, he followed up on our interest. And, today we are part of the GENESIS herd.” Genex and Heidi Farms are a good match. Paul notes the sort of cows they breed for are “good commercial dairy cows, which means as trouble-free as possible.” That breeding philosophy corresponds with the genetics the cooperative strives to produce through GENESIS and offer to members and customers around the globe. When asked about AMOR-P, Paul shares, “He was a surprise to us because he came from an ordinary family.” But, the family has created some good offspring, and he hopes the bull has the opportunity to pass the polled gene on to future generations. 

GENESIS COOPERATOR HERDS s Aardema Dairies, Jerome, Idaho s Brandvale Dairy Farm, Ellsworth, Wis. s Brown-Star Farms, Gillett, Wis. s Double A Dairy, Jerome, Idaho s Dryhouse Farm, Belleville, Pa. s Dykstra Dairy, Maurice, Iowa s Fairmont Farm Inc., East Montpelier, Vt. 3 0

|

H O R I Z O N S

s Harmony-Ho Holsteins, Stratford, Wis. s Heidi Farms Inc., Bainsville, Ontario, Can. s Hyde-Park Holsteins, Zumbro Falls, Minn. s River-Bridge Holsteins, Brillion, Wis. s Rosedale Farm LLC, Jeromesville, Ohio s Schmidt’s Ponderosa, Bonduel, Wis. s United Pride Dairy, LLC, Phillips, Wis. ©2014 CRI


Congratulations to our 1 st Place Coloring Contest Winner! Heather, age 10, from Hawkins, Wisconsin. A special thanks to all who entered. We thoroughly enjoyed all of your hard work!

Let John Deere Financial Color Your World! Rely on us for all of your financing needs.

Genex and John Deere Financial are pleased to provide unique finance options to meet the specific needs of your operation. Whether you’re thinking about the next day or the next generation, John Deere Financial is a name you can rely on.


PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID Columbus, WI Permit No. 73

P.O. Box 469 Shawano, WI 54166 Phone 888/333-1783

CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Less Intense

LABOR

for Cows and Employees Choose From 12 Bulls Under 5.5% Sire Calving Ease 1HO10396 CABRIOLET 1HO10738 JITTERBUG 1HO11215 LADYSMAN 1HO10895 PRAISE 1HO11200 LOMBARDI 1HO09853 SOBIESKI 1HO10085 YANO 1HO10837 FLYN 1HO10662 FEEDBACK 1HO10247 GERVASE 1HO02789 SASON 1HO10806 SHENZI

USDA-CDCB/12-14

©2014 CRI

B-08347-14

Product of the U.S.A.

Dairy HORIZONS December 2014  

Dairy HORIZONS December 2014