Select Mating Service (SMS)
A SMS consultant will help your herd identify where to start.
The initial step when beginning the SMS program is to create breeding goals that provide SMS consultants with direction to aid in sire selection. These can include genetic preferences, price range, the mix of proven versus genomic young sires you wish to use and the program you would like to choose.
Once your goals are in place, the next steps to implementing the SMS program are to identify the current genetic base and influence of the herd and evaluate your herd. This can be accomplished through a number of approaches depending on the herd's records, history and needs.
"Our evaluator mates the cows that have calved since the last time he was here. We sit down and pick out the group of bulls we want to use and then let the mating program use them the best way. Part of the success of SMS is having a good person doing a good job. The evaluator needs to understand your goals and help you get there. I have seen an improvement in type and I think SMS really helps develop consistency and uniformity within your cows."
-Mitch Breunig, Mystic Valley Dairy, Sauk City, Wis.
Options to Establish a Starting Point Include:
- Evaluation of past semen purchased to identify genetic influences
- Review and study herd record systems
- Genomic and/or parentage testing of the herd or random cross segment of the herd
- Linear evaluation of all cattle or walk-through evaluation