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HORIZONS Beef Edition

Fall 2017


Cow Sense & Science


Fall 2017 Vol. 21/No. 2 Published bi-annually for U.S. beef producers ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE Genex Cooperative, Inc. P.O. Box 469, Shawano, WI 54166 888.333.1783

18 On the Cover

BOARD OF DIRECTORS John Ruedinger, President Van Dyne, WI, 920.922.9899 Bobby Robertson, 1st Vice President Tahlequah, OK, 918.822.0020 Harold House, 2nd Vice President Nokesville, VA, 571.722.3356 Ronald Totten, Secretary Stafford, WI, 585.344.0758 Jon Wayne Danielson Cadott, WI, 715.289.3860 Patrick Dugan Casa Grande, AZ, 520.251.6455 Terry Frost Roundup, MT, 406.323.3415



CONTENTS 06 In the News

14 New Acquisitions

Israel Handy St. Johnsville, NY, 518.568.5476

Heikes Named CRI CEO Te Plate Named GENEX COO

18 The Answers to Your Most Asked

Lamar Gockley Mohnton, PA, 717.283.5586

09 Tips for a Successful

Kay Olson-Martz Friendship, WI, 608.564.7359 Jody Schaap Woodstock, MN, 507.215.2257 Daniel Tetreault Champlain, NY, 518.298.8690

Breeding Project 10 Fall Specials 13 Give Calves a Push!

Synchronization Questions 20 Lessons Learned Through Advocacy 22 Here to Serve You Featuring independent contractors

Pushâ„¢ calf nutritional paste

Bill Zimmerman Foley, MN, 320.355.2191

HORIZONS STAFF Lindsay Johnson, Editor, Brooke Handy, Assistant Editor, Andy Graf, Graphic Designer

REPRINTS Material may not be reproduced in any fashion without permission from GENEX. Genex Cooperative, Inc. 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 WA R R A N T I E S O F A N Y K I N D W H AT S O E V E R E X P R E S S E D O R IMPLIED WHICH E X TENDS BE YOND THE DESCRIP TION OF THE PRODUC TS A ND HEREBY DISCL A IM A L L WA RR A NTIES OF MERCHANTABILIT Y AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICUL AR 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.

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.

Bringing more value to members and customers by leveraging CRI’s global scope, resources and leadership.

An industry-leading supplier of science-based animal genetics and customized reproductive solutions.




Your trusted supplier of practical, science-based and customized animal reproductive solutions.

Applying experience, science and data-driven knowledge to provide innovative products and services.




Heikes Named CRI CEO

Our Commitment to the Future of Agriculture As six college students head back to school this fall, GENEX will help to fund their education. GENEX, part of Cooperative Resources International (CRI), offers a college scholarship program to youth who are actively engaged on a member’s farm or ranch. The six recipients of this year’s CRI Collegiate Scholarship were asked to share what agriculture means to them. Their answers demonstrate the future of agriculture is bright:

Brooke Engstrom

“Agriculture means many things to me: family, friends and most importantly all of these people working together towards the noble goal of feeding the world.” Emma Gwidt

The Cooperative Resources International (CRI) board of directors announced Keith Heikes as the agricultural holding cooperative’s new CEO. Heikes succeeds Doug Wilson, who retired in August after 39 years with CRI. Keith, who previously served as the GENEX chief operating officer, will now lead CRI, an organization with more than $189 million in annual revenue and 1,350 employees across the globe. CRI consists of brands that strive to meet the needs of individuals linked to the land through plant and animal production. Brands that are part of CRI include GENEX, AgSource, MOFA GLOBAL, CENTRAL LIVESTOCK and FARM SYSTEMS. Prior to this new appointment, Keith spent 36 years in the cattle genetics and artificial insemination industry. He served as the chief operating officer for GENEX predecessor NOBA, Inc. and then led the development of CRI’s global marketing program. In 2014, he was named GENEX chief operating officer and led the cooperative through exceptional market share growth. 




“The meaning of agriculture – to me, as a dairy farmer – is to provide safe and high‑quality food products to consumers.” “You are the caretaker of animals that completely depend on you.” Shelby Schiefelbein

“Agriculture is the answer to how we will effectively provide for and meet the needs of 9.7 billion people in 2050.” “Agriculture means more than just a job. It’s not only the practice of providing for the biological needs of humans but is also a way of life. It’s a group of passionate people that have dedicated their lives to providing for others.” “Overall, in my opinion, agriculture means opportunity.”

Those students earning the $750 scholarships include: Brooke Engstrom of Renville, Minnesota; Emma Gwidt of Pulaski, Wisconsin; Shelby Schiefelbein of Kimball, Minnesota; Ellen Schilderink of Hart, Texas; Genevieve VanWye of Lancaster, Missouri; and Collin Weltzien of Arcadia, Wisconsin. 

Genevieve VanWye

Ellen Schilderink

Collin Weltzien

GENEX Appoints New Vice President of Production

Te Plate Named GENEX COO Huub te Plate joins cattle genetics cooperative GENEX as chief operating officer after more than 15 years in international sales for CRI.

Kristi Fiedler of Cecil, Wisconsin, has been named the vice president of Production for GENEX. In her new role, Kristi will provide leadership in the areas of bovine semen collection and processing, livestock management, and crop production. “I am excited to serve the cooperative in this new role,” states Kristi. “This gives me the opportunity to help build on the cooperative’s reputation for high quality and fertile dairy and beef cattle semen.” Previously, Kristi served as the GENEX Associate Vice President of Technical Services managing a dedicated team of dairy account consultants. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and has a master’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix. Kristi began her new role July 1. The former Vice President of Production, Glen Gilbert, will serve in a mentorship role until his retirement. 

“Huub’s quarter century of cattle industry experience, his knowledge of the GENEX product line and his past success managing the cooperative’s international marketing arm will be valuable as this organization continues its mission of meeting the needs of progressive dairy and beef cattle producers across the United States,” said John Ruedinger, president of the GENEX board of directors. Te Plate is a graduate of the agricultural university Wageningen in The Netherlands and conducted graduate work at North Carolina State University under Dr. Ben McDaniel. He began his career at Holland Genetics, before joining CRI in 2000. During his tenure with CRI, he managed the marketing of GENEX cattle genetics through a network of distributors and owned businesses in more than 70 countries. His efforts contributed to an all-time high in export market share. 

GENEX to Market Sexed Semen with Twice as Many Sperm Cells In April, GENEX announced the addition of GenChoice™ 4M semen to its product offering. This new sexed semen product contains twice the number of female sperm cells than traditional GenChoice™ semen. While the traditional GenChoice™ semen is packaged at 2 million sperm per unit, the new 4M version contains 4 million sperm and is expected to positively impact conception rates. GENEX will collect and analyze sire-specific fertility data for the 4M product to equip customers with accurate information for sire selection decisions. Sires available in GenChoice™ 4M are designated by a 601 stud code. The traditional GenChoice™ semen uses the 501 code. Both sexed semen products are processed by Sexing Technologies with SexedULTRA™. For availability, contact your GENEX representative or call customer service at 888.333.1783. 

GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Now Available

Watch for additional sires this fall






Nauman to Manage GENEX Facility in Montana

Production Centers Renamed

Jeff Nauman has been named the new manager of the GENEX Production Center in Billings, Montana. Nauman will provide leadership for bull care and health testing, GENEX beef semen production and custom semen collection services.

The commitment to GENEX as a brand meant that facilities across the country should also reflect the GENEX rebrand. Therefore, custom collection facilities have been renamed GENEX Production Centers. The GENEX Production Centers in Strafford, Missouri, and Billings, Montana, have collected some of the finest bulls in the world. In the last few years, updates have been made to facilities and significant investments in staff training and quality control. GENEX is committed to producing the same high quality product you have come to expect. While the name has changed to better represent the GENEX brand, the purpose and commitment to members and customers remains the same. 

Plan to Attend the Annual Meeting

“His background in and knowledge of the cattle industry will ensure the GENEX Production Center continues to uphold its reputation for producing high-quality, fertile semen,” states Steve Trantham, Associate Vice President of Regional Production Services. Nauman was born into a commercial cattle operation near Augusta, Montana, before relocating to Idaho where he earned a degree in agricultural education and gained teaching experience. Most recently, he worked for a large cattle operation where he was responsible for the health, nutrition and growth of bulls. 

Save the Date! Fall Input Meetings Scheduled Delegates and alternates are invited and expected to attend a fall meeting to provide input. The dates and cities for this year’s meetings are listed below. Additional information will be mailed at a later date. October 18, Albany, New York October 19, Syracuse, New York October 20, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania October 31, Alexandria, Minnesota

Members currently elected as delegates and alternates are invited to the annual meetings of GENEX and CRI to be held January 23-24 in Bloomington, Minnesota. The event also includes educational sessions on industry topics as well as a banquet. Watch for more information to be mailed. 




November 1, Rochester, Minnesota November 6, Neenah, Wisconsin November 8, Las Vegas, Nevada November 9, Kansas City, Missouri 

Cow Sense & Science GENEX Beef E-Newsletter

Sign Up Today Visit

My top tip

for a successful A.I. breeding project: We asked GENEX Beef Facebook fans to share their top tip for a successful A.I. breeding project. The responses were AMAZING, and we wanted to share a snapshot of those responses.

GENEX to Change Delegate Election Cycle Based on delegate input, the GENEX board of directors is changing the annual membership qualification period and delegate election timeframe. Starting in 2018, the membership qualification period will be May 1 through April 30. For example, to qualify as a member in 2018, a customer must spend $500 on GENEX semen, products and/or services between May 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018. In addition, they need to have a membership agreement on file. Delegate nominations will then take place each June with elections held in July. Only those who qualify as a member can self-nominate and be elected as a delegate. The current delegates and alternates (elected in December 2016) will serve through the 2018 annual meeting and until the next elections are held in July 2018. 

Use high accuracy, proven bulls that sire the performance and characteristics you desire to breed your top proven cows. We use a synchronization schedule and ESTROTECT™ heat detectors – what a difference this has made for our program! Without the cattle being in the proper condition everything else is wasted, or at least poor conception results. Keeping stress levels low. Give all shots accordingly. Start with a good mineral program! Follow sync protocols to the “T” We use GENEX chute-side service, of course! We love our GENEX rep and she has worked with us diligently to improve our conception rates over the past few years. She genuinely cares and is very passionate and knowledgeable about what she does! Handle semen in the appropriate manner! Quality and precision. Quality semen, quality heifers and do everything right and on time. Don’t cut corners. Be as prepared as you can be. Cleanliness Low stress handling / patience Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition! Join us at HORIZONS






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Give Calves

a Push!

By: Suzanne Lois, Resale Product Advisor

A newborn calf’s first few hours on earth and how quickly it suckles down Mother Nature’s energy and protein drink, the dam’s colostrum, will likely determine how healthy it will be for the next few months. Colostrum provides the calf with two key components: antibodies and ENERGY, ENERGY, ENERGY! Often not highlighted when talking about the first feeding of colostrum is the energy source it provides the calf. A newborn calf has limited storage of fat reserves; in fact, it doesn’t even have enough reserves to survive less than 24 hours in a stressful environment. In order for the immune system to work properly, energy is crucial. Colostrum provides a jolt of energy similar to that of an energy drink. The colostral milkfat provides the required source of energy to help jumpstart a calf’s immune system. Calves should consume colostrum as soon as possible; however, we do encounter circumstances where the calf doesn’t have enough energy to get up and nurse. It could be for a number of reasons, including the calf being born in muddy, cold conditions, suffering from a hard calving or being born a twin. And, of course,

there are always those circumstances where you wonder if the calf did or didn’t get up and suckle yet. So, what can you do to get the calf up and suckling? At GENEX, we suggest giving the calf a little “push.” Push™ calf nutritional paste, that is. Push™ paste is made from high quality, pasteurized bovine colostrum and contains both globulin proteins and colostral fats found in colostrum. While it does not replace colostrum, it does provide plenty of energy and can help with immune stimulation at the cellular level. A tube of Push™ paste will provide a calf with enough nutrients to support energy needs for up to a 12-hour period, depending on the condition the calf is in. Those who have tried Push™ paste are amazed how the product can increase a calf’s energy to help combat challenges it may experience in the first few hours of life. A dam’s colostrum is nature’s perfect first meal, providing the necessary antibodies and energy to get the calf off to the best possible start. Yet, sometimes calves need a little nudge to get started, so why not give a tube of Push™ calf nutritional paste? 







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The Answers to Your Most Asked

Synchronization Questions By: Sarah Thorson, Beef Marketing and Education Manager

There are many components to synchronization protocols, so I’m not surprised when I receive a phone call with questions nearly every week. To help with your next synchronization project, I’ve compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What is the best synchronization protocol for cows and heifers? There isn’t an easy answer to this question. Yes, research suggests some protocols perform better than others, but just because research says it’s the best protocol, doesn’t necessarily make it the best protocol for your operation. I always advise people to ask themselves three questions before choosing a synchronization protocol: How many times am I willing to put the female through the chute? How much am I willing to spend on synchronization drugs? What are my expectations for results? Once you know the answers to these questions you can objectively analyze which synchronization program is the best fit for your operation. No matter what the research or experts tell you, the best protocol for your operation is one that aligns with your goals and you are 100% confident you can perform perfectly from start to finish.




The best protocol for your operation is one that aligns with your goals and you are 100% confident you can perform perfectly from start to finish.

What criteria should I use to ensure females are good candidates for A.I.? The answer depends if you are synchronizing heifers or cows. Criteria for synchronizing heifers: Should have achieved at least 65% of mature body weight Minimum of 50% should have reproductive tract score of ≥ 4 at six weeks before breeding

If you don’t have a veterinarian in your area that offers reproductive tract scoring, don’t panic! You can achieve the same thing by visually observing your heifers for heat in the weeks and months leading up to breeding. You want to observe at least 50% are cycling six weeks prior to breeding.

Criteria for synchronizing cows: Body Condition Score of ≥ 5 at calving Cows to be synchronized should have a mean postpartum interval of ≥ 40 days at the beginning of the protocol

second time. The next time you are tempted to do this, ask yourself what another A.I. calf is worth to you. My guess is that it’s a lot more than $5 to $6.

Can I give vaccines/dewormer while I’ve got the cow in the chute and am inserting the CIDR®? A pre-breeding vaccination program is an important part of an overall successful A.I. program. However, several studies have shown injection of naïve heifers with a modified live vaccine (MLV) around the time of breeding resulted in ovarian lesions and decreased pregnancy rates. Therefore, I recommend that all pre-breeding vaccinations be given at least 30 days prior to breeding. While there isn’t any research that suggests administering dewormer at breeding will have a negative impact on fertility, I recommend doing that at least 30 days prior to breeding as well. The less stress you put on females around breeding time, the better your success. To achieve optimal results, it’s best to do as little as possible to the females during the synchronization and breeding process.

Each cow should be a minimum of 21 days postpartum at the time of Eazi-Breed™ CIDR® insertion

How long should I wait to move the cows after insemination?

Low incidence of calving difficulty

The most critical time periods for embryonic development occur between day five, when the embryo begins its migration from the oviduct to the uterus, and day 42, when the embryo has made definitive attachment to the uterus. Research indicates shipping cows during this critical time in embryo development can cause a 10% decrease in pregnancy rates. The best time to move cattle is prior to insemination or days one to four post breeding. If you can’t move them within this time period, it’s best to wait until after day 45. To learn more about shipping cows during this critical time period, visit the GENEX website to read a full article by Sarah Fields and Dr. George Perry (

Where is the best place to give synchronization injections? What needle size should I use? Synchronization drugs should be given in the muscle (IM), with the exception of LUTALYSE® Hi-Con which can be administered IM or subcutaneously. When administering synchronization drugs, I recommend using a 1-½ inch, 18-gauge needle. And people don’t often ask, but I always mention you should wear gloves when handling any synchronization drugs to avoid contact with skin.

Can I reuse CIDR® inserts? CIDR® inserts are labeled as a one-time use item by the manufacturer, and I recommend following this guideline. I know CIDR® inserts are one of the most expensive parts of a synchronization protocol, retailing at $10 to $12. It is tempting to cut that cost in half by using a CIDR® for a

Despite what research might say, no single synchronization protocol fits every operation. Know your operation, follow the suggestions above and trust your gut. And if you ever have any other questions, remember I’m only a phone call away. 




Lessons Learned Through Advocacy By: Ryan Goodman, Director, Grassroots Advocacy & Spokesperson Development National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff

Are you an advocate for agriculture? If you are involved in any aspect of our community, from producer to allied industry or retailer, you should be able to answer this question with a resounding ‘Yes!’. In one way or another, good or bad, we all advocate for agriculture through how we represent our business toward others. Agriculture advocacy can often be associated with social media or youth initiatives, but this is an action that has implications on all our ability to continue doing business. As consumers speak up about their concerns, they are influencing our markets and way of life. These changes often are sought through policy, purchase decisions and social pressure on retailers and restaurants. As agriculture advocates, and as a minority of the population, we have a responsibility to utilize our strengths and advocate through our own means – be it on social media or in our local communities. Advocacy makes good sense for social interactions just as it does for good business planning. During the past decade, I have encountered many unique experiences with customers through advocacy. People are asking questions and expressing concerns because they want to know more about where our food comes from and how it is raised. These concerns are often rooted in emotion because food is a very personal subject for most individuals. We all feed our children and fuel our bodies through the food we consume. We want to make sure it is safe for




us, the animals involved and the environment we depend upon to live. When agriculture advocates respond to these emotional concerns with facts and science, that response often misses the mark. This is the point where conversations often end or become heated. Connecting on a personal level is important when responding to these emotional concerns before leading with facts and science. We must speak the same language. This includes the need to provide a foundation and context for better understanding for both parties involved. A few tips to help further these conversations include being able to: Listen respectfully with the intent to understand Respect one another’s views, even if you disagree Criticize ideas, not individuals Commit to learning, not debating Avoid blame and speculation Avoid inflammatory language Once you learn to utilize these steps, at the end of the conversation, learn to summarize and reflect. Then, always leave the door open for followup conversations. If you would like to learn more about advocacy or connecting with our customer, reach out to me on social media as @beefrunner and I will be glad to carry on the conversation. Ryan Goodman lives in Parker, Colorado, and works with farmers, ranchers and consumers through grassroots advocacy projects. 


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Here to

Serve You

GENEX has a great team of Independent Contractors who serve members and customers across the country. These individuals work with purebred and commercial producers to improve beef producers’ profit potential. GENEX Independent Contractors also offer the industry’s best chute-side service by providing personalized genetic and reproductive programs. These Independent Contractors are well-seasoned and skilled at what they do because they are cattle producers themselves and understand the day-to-day challenges their customers face. However, these individuals are more than cattle producers; they are also active members of their local community. One Independent Contractor recently organized a fundraiser for a family undergoing a medical emergency, and earlier this spring GENEX Independent Contractors donated supplies to producers affected by the wildfires in Kansas. GENEX Independent Contractors have a sincere desire to provide local beef producers with services such as heat detection, synchronization assistance, artificial insemination and sire recommendations. Here’s a glimpse at four of our 150 representatives. Contact us today to find the representative near you! 




Health Benefits

Health Benefits

Health Benefits

Lorie Dunagan

Kevin & Darla Sedgwick

Rick Coffman

Park City, Montana

Douds, Iowa

Greenville, Virginia

Kevin & Darla Sedgwick have been serving GENEX members and customers in south central Montana since 1999. They enjoy working with customers and helping them find success with their breeding projects. For this husband and wife team, one of the most rewarding aspects of their job is seeing the resulting progeny in their customers’ herds.

In the southeast corner of Iowa, you’ll find Rick Coffman working with the area’s cattlemen. It’s talking to the people, learning about their programs and helping them plan for the future that Rick enjoys most. For 21 years, he has worked with GENEX and predecessors to provide cattlemen with A.I. expertise.

Tom McCall is well-known among beef producers in Virginia and West Virginia. He graduated from Virginia Tech with an associate’s degree in ag business. Then, after working for a seedstock operation for 10 years, he started his own registered Angus herd and in 2000 Tom began working for GENEX. Tom truly enjoys the work he does with GENEX. That work – as he puts it – is “helping people make genetic advancement in their herds and meet their goals.” That advancement is exciting to see year after year.



Whitehall, Montana

Photo by Darcy Krick.

Since 2008, Lorie Dunagan has been working with the beef producers of southwest Montana. She received her A.I. training from Montana State University and has been breeding for over 25 years. She is a graduate of Eastern Wyoming College where she studied veterinary technology. Lorie states the best part of her jobs is having the opportunity to work with some amazing producers because “there really are no better people than those in the cattle business.” In her free time you’ll find Lorie spending time with her family. Whether it’s running down the road to a rodeo event or fishing, they enjoy being together.

Health Benefits



Tom McCall

When he’s not with his customers, he’s working elsewhere – with the cattle in his own purebred Red Angus operation, working his team of horses or putting his border collies to work.

In their free time they enjoy golfing and snowmobiling.

In his free time, Tom enjoys spending time in the show barn with his family.


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Call 888.333.1783 to find a GENEX representative near you.




Genex Cooperative, Inc. PO Box 469 Shawano, WI 54166



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HORIZONS, Beef Edition  

HORIZONS, Beef Edition