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Select Sires Honors Four with Reproductive Awards
October 16th 2009

PLAIN CITY, Ohio, October 16, 2009 — Excellent reproductive performance is essential to the long-term success of any dairy operation. That's why Select Sires has made it a high priority to help dairy and beef producers improve reproductive efficiency.

On Oct. 1 Select Sires hosted the third annual RePRO Invitational in conjunction with World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. A standing room only crowd was on hand to learn about reproductive services, products, programs and consulting that are available from Select Sires to help solve reproductive problems and improve pregnancy rates.

Dr. Ray Nebel, senior reproductive and herd-management specialist for Select Sires, introduced the first winners of Select Sires' RePRO Award. Based on nominations from Select Sires reproductive specialists from across the country, four regional winners were recognized. These dairy producers have successfully implemented management procedures recommended by a Select Reproductive Solutions™ (SRS™) Specialist and as a result have achieved improved reproductive performance. This year's winners represented the East, Midwest, Southwest and Northwest regions of the U.S., and as a reward for their hard work and dedication they were invited to attend World Dairy Expo to accept their awards and take part in a round-table discussion to inform other breeders about how they have improved the reproductive performance of their herds.

Select Sires Honors Four with Reproductive AwardsRepresenting the Eastern region of the U.S. was Myers Farms Inc., Union Grove, N.C. Ethan Myers traveled to Madison accompanied by his SRS Specialist, Dave Whitlock, Select Sire Power. Myers Farm currently milks 1,175 cows maintaining average daily milk production of 82 pounds per cow and a 21-day pregnancy rate of 31 percent. "When Dr. Nebel visited our farm for the first time, we didn't really think we were doing a bad job with our reproductive program," said Myers. "The truth is our pregnancy rate at that time was about 10 percent. Thankfully, Dr. Nebel and Dave were there to help. We sat down with our entire team and together made some decisions about how we might improve our reproductive program. In the end, we saw some drastic improvements pretty quickly. That made it easy to listen to any suggestions that Dr. Nebel or Dave had for us." Myers went on to explain, "Probably one of the biggest reasons that we have been successful is that each and every member of our farm team is aware of the herd goals and we stick to recommended protocols day in and day out."

Sticking to suggested protocols and taking the advice of his SRS Specialist have also been important to Midwest region winner, Kevin Kruchten, Kruchten Dairy, Lodi, Wis. Milking 300 head, Kruchten's current 21-day pregnancy rate is 28 percent and the average daily production per cow is 75 pounds. At the recommendation of his SRS Specialist, Phil Dieter, East Central Select Sires, Kevin implemented a Presynch 14/12 system with Ovsynch 56. "Following the protocol is important. All shots are done at the same time each week," tells Kevin. "When our breeder comes we are prepared with cows locked up, marked and ready. We are there helping. The key is to get the cows bred and quickly unlocked so they can go back to eat or lay down. Cow comfort is a high priority for us!"

"I just wanted Cris Hatch (SRS Specialist for All West/Select Sires) to come and breed cows in my herd for awhile and I knew things would get better," joked Charlie DeGroot, representing Southwest region winner, John DeGroot and Son, Fresno, Calif. The DeGroot's currently milk 2,500 cows and have raised their 21-day pregnancy rate from 14 percent to 22 percent and maintain average daily production per cow of 75 pounds.

"The biggest motivating factor in us seeking help with our reproductive program was a pregnancy rate of 14 percent," DeGroot told the crowd. "I was not happy with that. It was unacceptable. I was fairly new to the family business and wasn't sure how to fix the problem but I learned you don't have to do it by yourself, these guys are here to help, and with a little trust in them, they can make a big difference."

The depressed economy and low milk prices may have set Northwest region winner Lance Bateman, Bateman Mosida Dairy, Mosida, Utah, on the path to better reproductive efficiency. "The first time Dr. Nebel came to our farm he told me that we should consider making a few changes, but I thought we were doing a pretty good job and I didn't take his advice," Bateman told attendees to the conference. "When we got our January milk check, we realized that we needed to cut expenses or we were not going to survive. We took a serious look at every expense we have on the dairy, including our A.I. program, and with the help of Brad Meek (Cache Valley/Select Sires SRS Specialist) we decided to make some of the changes that Ray had suggested. We implemented a synchronization protocol in 2000 and stuck to it, never making changes. Ray showed us new research and suggested a program that pushed the voluntary waiting period back and required less shots. It has not only saved us money, it has made us better."

Bateman Mosida Dairy had been averaging around a 15 to 16 percent 21-day pregnancy rate since 2005 and in July of 2009 (the date of their last Select RePRO Analysis™) their pregnancy rate had climbed to 23 percent with 5,200 cows in production.

Select Reproductive Solutions offers a Portfolio of Reproductive Solutions™, including reproductive troubleshooting, professional turnkey technician service, estrus-synchronization programs, heat detection training, English and Spanish training resources and professional A.I. training in addition to heat detection aids and nutritional supplements. These tools, along with the guidance of SRS specialists, support producers in accomplishing the SRS mission.

Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc., is North America's largest A.I. organization and is comprised of 10 farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America's best genetics at a reasonable price.

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