Investing in YOUR Future

by Mel DeJarnette, director of technical research, Select Sires Inc.
SELECTIONS - Winter 2007

How often has someone presented you with a big wad of cash to go put in your retirement fund? Although we are not necessarily going around stuffing everyone's 401(k), no other A.I. organization invests in the future of dairy and beef producers like Select Sires.

Select Sires has the most active competitive grants research program in the A.I. industry. For more than 30 years, Select has allocated in excess of $60,000 per year in competitive research grants to universities from coast to coast. With total contributions now approaching $2 million, these funds have been largely directed to the study of novel technologies to improve the efficiency and profitability of dairy and beef production.

Industry-Leading Research

No other A.I. organization has a more active in-house research program. Select's team of in-house research scientists have a combined total of more than 130 years of research experience in areas ranging from semen quality and male fertility, to nutrition and management for optimum fertility in beef and dairy cattle and to precise control of estrus and ovulation.

Supporting these in-house research efforts is the most intensive fertility field trial program in the A.I. industry. Select's Program for Fertility Advancement™ (PFA™) is an organized group of 110 herds containing more than 120,000 cows that routinely assist in the field testing of novel extender compositions, extender additives, fertility associated proteins or other semen quality attributes. In the five short years since inception, PFA herds have received more than 75,000 doses of research semen across 12 different field trials. Like clockwork, these cooperator herds have converted approximately 85 percent of these semen doses into useable data points and done so within an amazing six month interval from project initiation. This prompt completion of each study facilitates Select's ability to convert research into standard procedure and move on to the next project.

No other A.I. organization ties in-house and university research together like Select. Select has sponsored an annual "meeting of the minds" for 11 years that has become known as "Think Tank." This symposium brings together leading researchers in the field of bovine reproduction for an informal two-day session of idea sharing. Each university presents and discusses their most recent research with critique from peers. Many participants have indicated that after leaving this session, they don't necessarily have all of the answers, but certainly are able to ask better questions in their next research trials.

Ensuring High-Quality Semen

No other A.I. organization has a more intensive semen quality control program than Select. Numerous research trials have indicated that semen viability and motility after a period of thermal stress has a much greater correlation with fertility than when measured immediately after thawing. Yet no other A.I. organization invests as much additional effort in these thermal stress tests of semen than does Select. To ensure only the highest quality semen reaches inventory and our customers' tanks, Select's quality control program discards more semen than many A.I. organizations produce. That's not to mention the number of bulls that were removed from collection or culled due to semen quality problems. The success of these efforts is evidenced by the fact that no other A.I. organization has more bulls that are positive for fertility than does Select. In the most recent evaluation of active A.I. bulls, Select had more Holstein and Jersey sires positively ranked for ERCR than any other stud.

People Make the Difference

No other A.I. organization has more intense employee training and development program. Select Reproductive Solutions™ (SRS™) is a multifaceted approach to ensure Select can provide "whatever it takes" to improve conception and profitability in our customer's herds. A foundation is Select's employee Reproductive Certification Program. In this program, all of Select's sales representatives and field employees are provided with collegiate level training resources and the latest research in reproductive technologies. Staff are then tested bi-annually for comprehension. This program ensures no other A.I. organization provides more reproductively competent advice and consultation than Select Sires. Supporting these staff are more than 30 highly trained Reproductive Solutions Specialists. These individuals have advanced training and expertise in records analysis and reproductive troubleshooting. These specialists are strategically based in all geographic regions of the United States, which facilitates routine follow-up visits and monitoring of progress, as opposed to "fly across the country" consultants that may or may not show up again. The impact of these efforts has been magnified with the development of Select RePRO Analysis™ program which imports herd data from all the major record keeping programs for a unique and standardized analysis of herd performance. However, these efforts are only useful in identifying problems. The solutions are provided through many avenues including full-service tail-striping technicians, education resources for training on-farm employees in various aspects of herd- and reproductive-management and supplemental products and services that improve the probability that each A.I. service will be a successful one.

The items above are just a few of many examples of how Select, more than any other A.I. organization, "Invests in your future."

Whether it is semen collection or research or maintaining service programs that help customers get their cows bred, Select Sires invests in your future along every step of the way.

™Program for Fertility Advancement, PFA, Select Reproductive Solutions, SRS and Select RePRO Analysis are trademarks of Select Sires Inc.