Butch Lerum and Don Mullen - 2011 SMS Genetic Consultants of the Year

PLAIN CITY, Ohio, June 3, 2011 - Butch Lerum of Minnesota/Select Sires Co-op Inc. and Don Mullen of NorthStar Cooperative, have been honored as the Select Mating Service™ (SMS™) genetic consultants of the year. Lerum and Mullen received this award at Select Sires, national SMS Consultant Conference held in Texas and New Mexico in early May.

SMS Evaluators of the Year, Don Mullen and Butch Lerum Don Mullen, left, of NorthStar Cooperative and Butch Lerum, right, of Minnesota/Select Sires Co-op Inc. were honored as the Select Mating Service™ (SMS™) genetic consultants of the year.

This national award is presented annually to genetic consultants who exemplify the qualities that make SMS known world-wide as the premier mating program in the industry to assist dairy producers in developing genetic business plans. The recipient must have years of superior service, a history of high-quality evaluations and the ability to build and maintain successful relationships with dairy producers.

"Butch Lerum and Don Mullen each display a passion for their customers' success and their passion for great cattle is evident through their work," states Lon Peters, vice president of dairy sire product services and international for Select Sires. "They both have earned the respect and confidence from their dairy customers for their assistance in designing breeding programs that fit each customer's genetic goals."

Lerum began his career with Select Sires in 1977 as only the second sales representative to begin a new venture in Minnesota. He was responsible for sales and service along with A.I. training, enrolling Program for Genetic Advancement™ (PGA™) cooperator herds and helping to launch SMS in Minnesota. As the Minnesota/Select Sires Co-op was founded and created, the cooperative experienced tremendous growth and at the same time so did the SMS program. Lerum took on a new role in 1990 as an SMS consultant to fill the need. Lerum's contributions to the development of Minnesota/Select Sires reach far beyond his sales, service and genetic consultation to customer-members. He has also been a leader in the development of the cooperative and has been willing to do whatever was needed to build Select Sires in Minnesota and North Dakota.

Mullen began his career with NorthStar Cooperative in 1993 as a sales representative in west-central Wisconsin and five years later moved into his current role of SMS consultant. Since that time, Mullen has worked with countless dairy producers to develop the type of cows that will be long-lasting and profitable. The relationships and trust he has built with customers has always been on a highly-detailed level, with the goal of achieving the best results possible for his customers. Mullen's mission for his customers has always been to develop great cows, and he does this with such passion for results, it is as if the herd was his own. This passion is a common trait that is shared among Select Sires' SMS genetic consultants.

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.

™Select Mating Service, SMS, Program for Genetic Advancement and PGA are trademarks of Select Sires Inc.