COMPANY NEWS

Immunity Female Genomics Are Here!

Semex is now offering female genomic testing for all commercial traits. Along with every genomic test, clients will also receive Immune genomics estimates for every tested female. Tested females will be classified as having High, Average or Low Immune genomic status. Those animals classified as High will receive the official Semex Immunity Female designation. Female Immune Genomics have been validated in commercial herds in the United States.

How are genomic values calculated?
Single-step methodology (Misztal et al., 2009) is used to combine genotypes and phenotypes of thousands of animals to estimate genomic values for Anti-Body Mediated and Cell-Mediated Immune Response. Applying all animals tested for Immune Response using the University of Guelph's patented High Immune Response™ test as a reference population, genomic values for any genotyped Holstein animal can be calculated. Immune Response is highly heritable, and so genomic selection with a moderate size reference population is highly accurate. Animals that exceed 1 standard deviation above population mean are classified as High. Animals less than 1 standard deviation beow the population mean are classified as Low.

What is the impact of Immunity Female on farm? 
Fifteen large commercial herds in the United States were analyzed to assess the impact of Female Immune Genomics on disease incidence. Mastitis, lameness and total disease frequency in heifers and cows (any case of routinely recorded disease) were analyzed as the most prevalent and consistently well-recorded traits. Disease frequencies reflect the current population average, including some animals in early lactation. A model was fit to determine the effect of High Immune Genomic females compared to herdmates, after fixed effects for herd, age, and parity. All traits investigated were found to be significant (p<0.05) (Table 1 above). Semex will continue to ... Read More...

Semex Giving Away Two Calves Genomically Tested For Immunity At World Dairy Expo

The best giveaway at World Dairy Expo is healthier than ever! Semex is breaking ground once again by giving away two heifers that are genomically tested to be high immune responders.

“We all know that a healthier herd is a more profitable herd,” says Michael Hurst, Semex Director, US Sales & Business Development. “And this year at our tent, we’re actually giving away two high GTPI heifers that have been genomically tested to be more resistant to disease. They’re healthier than other calves and their genomics proves it. We’re the only company that has this test and the only exhibitor at World Dairy Expo that can literally give you a healthier herd…. All you need to do is come and enter!”   

Launched in early 2018, Semex’s Elevate™ program is a genomic testing program that is unique in many ways, including that it is the only test that offers an Immunity female test. This means producers no longer have to guess which cows are their healthiest. Instead, Elevate helps tailor their breeding program with both genomic information and Immunity results, making faster genetic progress towards a stronger, more disease resistant herd.

“We used Elevate for our own testing,” says Paul Krueger, VP, Global Key Account & Solutions Strategy. “The results are easy to follow, with a designation of low, medium or high for Immune Response. These heifers were high responders, meaning they’re more resistant to common diseases. Stopping by the Semex Tent at World Dairy Expo and entering to win one of these calves could be just the start of a healthier herd for you with Semex!”

Enter to win one of these calves at the Semex Tent during World Dairy Expo, join us for hospitality from 5:00-7:00 pm on Thursday and Friday nights, with a live calf draw at 6:00 pm both nights. Winners need not be present to ... Read More...

SEMEX INTERNATIONAL SALES & SUPPORT DEPARTMENTS GROW

Semex is pleased to announce the appointment of two individuals to key positions within the organization:


Matthew McCready has accepted the role of Director, International Sales & Business Development, effective September 10, 2018
Peter Van Beek has accepted the role of Key Account Manager, effective September 1, 2018


Reporting to Drew Sloan, Vice President, International Sales, Matthew McCready will lead Semex’s Asian business unit, providing leadership for the ongoing development of our product portfolio, including both Semex’s genetic products and solutions.

“We look forward to Matt contributing to our growth and profitability in these key markets,” says Sloan. “This market, including China, is key to Semex’s future. His passion for connecting with clients and global marketing experience make him a valuable asset to our team.”

Most recently Matt was Director of Business Development, Hybrid Turkeys at Hendrix Genetics, leading their global marketing and working closely with global sales directors and region managers. Previous to that, Matt held several positions at PepsiCo Canada. A graduate of the University of Guelph with a bachelor of commerce, agriculture business, Matt comes from an agricultural background.

Reporting to Paul Krueger, Vice President, Global Key Account & Solutions Strategy, Peter Van Beek will be the lead key account management resource for all of Semex’s European sales teams. Peter will have a hands-on role in our key account strategies and will serve as Semex’s technical expert, working closing with our sales teams to provide our clients with custom solutions.

Peter is excited to return to the AI business after managing a portfolio of calf milk replacers for Nukamel. Previous to that, he was an International Sales Manager and International Elite ... Read More...

Healthy Cows Lead To Healthy Returns: A Visit With Lloyd & Daphne Holterman

Paul Meyer, Westgen Sales & Marketing Manager

Rosy-Lane Holsteins LLC in Watertown, Wisconsin, USA was all about health traits long before most people talked about selecting for healthier cows. And, while the US was focusing on TPI (jokingly referred to by Lloyd in those days as being synonymous with tall, pretty and infertile cows) as the way to improve longevity, Lloyd and Daphne Holterman began blazing their own trail, breeding cows that worked for them, and keying in on a brand new genetic trait called Productive Life (PL) and shortly thereafter, Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR).

After all, says Lloyd, “You need to select directly for the traits that make cows last,” as opposed to indirectly via type traits. Becoming a NM$ enthusiast, Lloyd’s pursuit of profitable cows was based on using his own on-farm data to guide selection decisions. Today, most of the rest of the world has caught up to this philosophy and the importance of health traits within a breeding goal. Still, with a big head start, clearly it is immensely satisfying for Lloyd to have AI companies and individual breeders interested in top ranked genomic animals from his herd.

It was 1992 when Lloyd first opted for the road less travelled; that proverbial fork in the road. For many years he continued to work within his own breeding program, selecting the types of bulls that worked for him. With bulls like Manfred, Oman, Lynch and Ramos, he blazed his own trail. Increasingly, this led to disappointment during classification visits where his kind of cows, the kind that worked best at Rosy-Lane, were often not appreciated. However, the health traits he focused on steadily improved. This selection philosophy, along with his diligent focus on management, netted enviable results. With death losses now typically in the 3% range, a culling rate hovering around 20% and somatic cell counts averaging just over 100,000 on his 1,000 ... Read More...

LEUM JOINS SEMEX AS JERSEY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT LEAD

Semex is pleased to announce that Jacob Leum has joined the Semex Team as the Jersey Product Development Lead effective August 1.   Reporting to Jay Shannon, Director, Genetic Programs & Solutions, Jacob will implement and monitor Semex's Jersey product strategy, aligning with changing international market demands. Additionally, he will work with the Product Development Team to develop long-term relationships with genetic suppliers globally, coordinate Semex's internal female program and provide integral product support to foster sales worldwide.   "Jacob brings both the knowledge and passion for the Jersey breed we've been looking for," says Shannon. "We're excited to have him join our Product Development Team and lead our growing Jersey product lineup. As Semex's global client base continues to grow, so does the demand for more great Jersey bulls. Jacob is the ideal candidate to meet this growth and propel our 200JE lineup further!"    Most recently, Jacob was the US and Canadian Business Development Manager for Evolution International, a French AI company. In this role, he developed the organization's first North American sales network, built relationships with associations, finalized research partnerships and developed key infrastructure for additional employees. Previous to that, he was Accelerated Genetics' Jersey Marketing Specialist, linking the marketing, sales and genetics teams to maximize communication flow and effectiveness. A lifetime Jersey enthusiast, Jacob grew up on his family's Jersey farm before receiving his animal science degree with an emphasis in dairy and minor in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.    ... Read More...

Immunity+®: A Trait With No Equal

Born from the need to finally solve on-farm disease, Immunity+’s +20 years of scientific research at the University of Guelph in Canada, and additional five years of real world, on-farm data tell us that Immunity+ is a trait with no equal.   “It really is a unique trait that does not change proof round to proof round,” says says Dr. Steven Larmer, Semex Dairy Solutions Coordinator. “Once a bull is tested and designated Immunity+ it never changes. That’s it. He’s Immunity+ forever.”   At 30% heritable, and with data collected from over 35 large, commercial herds that analyzed 30,000 cows and 75,000 heifers, the results spoke for themselves.   “Immunity+ has no equal,” says Larmer. “We saw reductions in every major disease seen, ranging anywhere from 5-20% in animals by Immunity+ sires. Most often it was mastitis, lameness and mortality.”   Five years ago Semex answered the call of dairymen everywhere who wanted to breed more healthy cows with the launch of Immunity+, offering a true genetic solution to health traits. Since then dairymen around the world have seen for themselves the results of breeding healthier herds with Semex’s Immunity+ lineup.   “Worldwide dairymen are frustrated with how to best manage disease,” says Paul Krueger, Semex Vice President, US Sales & Global Marketing. “They want to know that what they’re  using as a method to improve their herd’s health is working, and that the goal posts aren’t changing. With Immunity+ they know what they’re getting and that it will not change. It’s proven both scientifically with the results to back it up. There is no equal when it comes to breeding for disease resistance.”   “Dairymen expect the best genetics ... Read More...

SEMEX'S ELEVATE™ PROGRAM DELIVERS FEMALE IMMUNITY+ TEST

Five years after the introduction of Immunity+®, the revolutionary, award-winning genetic technology that was developed by Dr Bonnie Mallard at the University of Guelph, Semex is taking the next step and bringing it to clients worldwide. With the Elevate program, Semex is now offering a genomic test that ranks and selects cows based on their genetic merit along with their Immunity+ genomic test results!   Immunity+ results speak for themselves with results achieved on large commercial herds comprised of 35,000 cows and 75,000 heifers being analysed for disease reduction. It was found that Immunity+ sired animals had anywhere from 2%-20% less disease, depending on which disease was analysed. The most significant reductions in this dataset were found in the traits with the biggest economic impacts, including a 20% reduction in cow mortality among the Immunity+ sired animals. Dairy producers worldwide have seen healthier herds as a result of using Immunity+ sires, resulting in less treatment costs, less drug and antibiotic use and less time spent dealing with sick cows. The introduction of Elevate only speeds up the process.   “With Elevate and its Immunity+ genomic test, producers no longer have to guess which cows are their healthiest,” says Gordon Miller, Semex Sr. Vice President, Sales & Business Development. “Instead, they’re able to tailor their breeding program with both genomic information as well as Immunity+ results categorized as high, average or low health. They’re able to make faster genetic progress towards a stronger, more disease resistant herd, reducing losses and drug use. Immunity+ heritability is 30%, similar to that of milk production. We’re excited for herd health gains that can be made by both identifying female health and utilizing Immunity+ sires!”   Currently available in Canada, the US, Germany and the UK, Elevate ... Read More...

Recombinetics and Semex Form Alliance to Improve Animal Well-Being

Recombinetics has formed an alliance with Semex, a Canadian-based, farmer-owned cattle genetics organization, to implement a precision breeding program that improves animal health and well-being through hornless dairy cattle genetics. The dehorning of calves is a routine procedure, designed to prevent injuries both to other animals and to handlers. This is uncomfortable for animals and is an unpleasant task for farm personnel. By using precision breeding technology, polled genetics can be reliably introduced into elite dairy lines, eliminating the need to dehorn calves. Dairy farmers prefer hornless (polled) cattle, but traditional breeding for this trait, more commonly found in certain breeds of beef cattle, is inefficient and reduces productivity. The alliance's objective is to seamlessly integrate the polled trait into high-merit dairy genetics through precision breeding. The project is being led by Tad Sonstegard, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Acceligen, Recombinetics' agriculture division. Sonstegard states, "The polled trait has been part of bovine genetics for more than 1,000 years, and it has been conventionally bred and selected for in some cattle breeds, but not in most high-merit dairy breeds.  We have proven we can safely introduce the polled trait into any breed of horned dairy cattle with complete precision. This new partnership will provide unique opportunities for dairy farmers and artificial insemination companies to introduce polled genetics without losing genetic diversity or production potential." Precision breeding uses gene editing to make small adjustments to the genome of an animal to delete, repair, or replace individual elements of DNA. In this case, the cell's natural repair function is used to replace the horned gene with a naturally occurring polled gene. The result is dairy calves that are born naturally hornless, providing a direct benefit to the animals' well-being and ... Read More...

IMMUNITY+®: THE INDUSTRY'S ONLY SOURCE FOR DISEASE RESISTANCE THAT IS PROVEN ON FARM

First offered in December 2012, Semex's exclusive Immunity+ lineup continues to expand in April 2018, offering dairymen worldwide the  sires they need to breed healthier and more profitable herds. 

Proven on farm, recent research concludes that Immunity+ is the key to the future of herd health.

In North America, over 30 herds comprising ~35,000 cows and ~75,000 heifers were analyzed for disease reductions (Larmer et al., 2017). It was found that Immunity+ sired animals had anywhere from 2-20% less disease (depending on which disease was analyzed).

The most significant reductions in this dataset were found in the traits with the biggest economic impacts, including a 20% reduction in cow mortality among the Immunity+ sired animals. Reductions in ... Read More...

SEMEX PROMOTING FROM WITHIN

As the bovine genetics industry continues to change, Semex also continues its growth trajectory. We're focused on our people, our strategy and our genetic solutions. We believe that people are the cornerstone of our success and we're pleased to announce the following promotions from within:  Semex is pleased to announce Michael Hurst has been named Director, USA Sales & Business Development. Most recently, Michael has been the Senior Sales Manager for Semex in the US, working closely with the sales team since his return to Semex in 2016. In this business unit leadership role, Michael will report directly to Gordon Miller, Sr. Vice President, Sales & Business Development.   Concurrently, Paul Krueger has been appointed to the new position of Vice President, Global Key Account & Solutions Strategy. Key to Semex's global growth, Paul will provide leadership and direction within Semex's key growth drivers. He will work closely with Semex's Business Unit Management Team, being responsible for key account strategy and management, our global IVF strategy, Immunity+® program management as well as strategizing and managing Semex's Solutions Suite to our global clients.  "We're extremely excited to have Michael assume full management of our US Sales Team and for Paul to take on this new global role," says Gordon Miller, Sr. Vice President, Sales & Business Development. "Semex is proud to develop our leaders from within and we look forward to their continued contributions. Both gentlemen have the hands-on experience working with dairymen and our sales teams that make them ideal to deliver the industry's most innovative solutions to our clients." ... Read More...