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Immunity+ Sires: Disease Resistant Genetics

By Jay Shannon, Semex Global Dairy Solutions Manager
Have you ever had cows that just never seemed to get sick? It’s almost as if these cows were invisible. They didn’t get noticed because you never needed to give them extra attention. These cows were exposed to the same environmental conditions as other cows, but they appeared to have an inborn defense system that prevented infection and disease. What distinguished these cows and made them stronger than their herd mates? They had what is called a higher immune response.  
It’s fair to say that most, if not all, dairy producers would love to have more healthy cows. Unfortunately, the modern cow operates under an intense set of demands, and a continuous exposure to pathogens makes her more susceptible to disease. The incidence rates of many infectious diseases such as mastitis continue to rise, leading to additional treatment and labour costs, delayed conceptions, reduced production, discarded milk, more culls and deaths, higher replacement costs and reduced efficiency and profitability. A good herd health and vaccination program is certainly key to achieving a healthy dairy herd, but producers know that genetic selection for a healthy, resilient cow would be a great compliment to these programs. 
Unfortunately, current genetic traits have a very limited impact on dairy cow health with few, if any, being a definitive selection for health. Traits such as Productive Life/Herd Life and Somatic Cell Score (SCS) are good indicative traits, but not pure health traits. It’s also important to remember that health traits have only a 2-10% heritability, making them extremely difficult to improve genetically. Additionally, disease diagnosis and data collection is inconsistent, making proofs for individual disease traits difficult.  
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Semex 2012 Top Sellers In Demand Worldwide

In 2012 Semex sold over one million more doses than it did in 2011. The list of top selling sires is not surprising, offering dairymen in over 70 countries the diversity, profitability, longevity and the genetic solutions they expect from Semex as their partner. These sires are Genetics for Life. 
Semex’s 2012 Top Proven Sires:

  • 0200HO05592 Crackholm Fever: a Repromax™, HealthSmart™, Robot Ready™ and Show Time™ sire
  • 0200HO05929 Gen-I-Beq Brawler: a HealthSmart and Robot Ready sire and August 2012 Genomax™ graduate
  • 200HO03501 Gillette Windbrook: a Show Time sire
  • 0200HO03603 Gillette Stanleycup
  • 0200HO00402 Mainstream Manifold: a Repromax, HealthSmart, Calving Ease™ and Master Series™ sire
Semex’s 2012 Top Genomax™ Sires:
  • 0200HO07450 Amighetti Numero Uno: a Repromax, HealthSmart and Genomax sire
  • 0200HO05929 Gen-I-Beq Brawler: a HealthSmart, Robot Ready sire and August 2012 Genomax graduate
  • 0200HO02770 Sully Hart Meridian: a HealthSmart and Genomax sire
  • 0200HO03648 Domicole Chelios: a Repromax, Calving Ease and December 2012 Genomax graduate 
  • 0200HO02600 O-Bee Krusader: a HealthSmart, Calving Ease and Genomax sire
“The Semex line-up has never been more diverse or stronger,” says Brad Sayles, Semex Vice President Global Marketing. “And, Brawler is an excellent example of our program and of Genetics for Life. ... Read More...

2012 Marks Record Year At Semex

As the books close on 2012, Semex is proud to let its owners, partners and customers know that this was another record year for both sales volume and revenue, with more than one million more doses sold in 2012 than in 2011.

“This continued growth is a direct result of the Semex family executing our strategic plan globally,” says Paul Larmer, Semex Chief Executive Officer. “Our corporate mission is to create value by developing and delivering innovative genetic solutions, leveraging strategic planning and cultivating global leadership and partnerships. We do this on behalf of our owners, and we’ll return record profits to them once again this year.”

Semex’s Genetics for Life is all about delivering results and developing long-term success and profitability for our customers and owners. Once again in 2012 this promise was delivered upon, with the backbone of Semex’s success being record sales in beef, dairy, embryos and traditional markets, while significant growth occurred at home in Canada and in the US, cementing a solid foundation for its future. Additionally, Semex increased its global diversity with expansion in developing markets including Brazil, China and India.

“Our long-term goals are very aggressive and we’re on pace to meet them earlier than expected,” ... Read More...

Latest Beyond Borders Online!

Semex's latest Beyond Borders magazine is now online!

Click ici to read the online edition featuring...

  • Announcing Immunity+™ 
  • Diversity Fuels Jersey Genomax™ Program 
  • Genomax™ Graduate Chelios Arrives 
  • Beyond Borders: Brasil 
  • Focus On 1st Lactation
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New Semex Sire Videos On Youtube

If you're looking to see more on Semex sires, check out our Youtube channel by clicking here to see new videos on daughters of the following sires:

These videos not only showcase daughters of these sires, but they also show the value each one can bring to your breeding program. These sires represent our Genetics for Life™ philosophy and are identified as Genomax™ graduates, Repromax™, HealthSmart™, Calving Ease™ and Robot Ready™ sires.

To learn more about Semex, these exciting sires, our brands or Genetics for Life visit

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Semex Delivers Genetics for Life With December Proofs

Every day, and each proof round, Semex works deliver our customers the very best newly released daughter proven sires and exciting young genomic sires available anywhere in the world. These sires are Genetics for Life, representing genetic solutions, long-lasting partnerships, profitable herds and lifelong partnerships.

Following the December 2012 genetic evaluations, Semex is pleased to release the following sires as they are a direct result of what we’ve heard from you, our customers. Below are listings of these newest sires, categorized by their Semex brands.

Genetics for Life is all about reproductive solutions. Semex’s Repromax™ sires are proven to raise you herd’s reproductive performance because we know that without a pregnancy, you don’t have the life that is key to continued profitability. Fertility leaders 0200HO00402 Mainstream Manifold, 0200HO05548 Kerndt-Premier Butze and 0200HO05630 Comestar Lavanguard spearhead Repromax sires. Joining this group following the December evaluations are:

  • 0200HO00546 DE-SU BOWMAN (Baxter x O Man)
  • 0200HO03648 DOMICOLE CHELIOS (Baxter x Goldwyn)
  • 0200HO00528 SILDAHL JETT AIR (Baxter x BW Marshall)

Healthy cows are the foundation of all long-lasting and profitable herds. Semex’s Healthsmart™ sires’ daughters are are proven to last longer and live healthier, which means more money for the dairy. Semex’s HealthSmart sires including 0200HO00402 Mainstream Manifold, 0200HO05592 Crackholm Fever and 0200HO05929 Gen-I-Beq Brawler are proven to sire desirable, healthy cows. Joining this group following the December evaluations are:

  • 0200HO00546 DE-SU BOWMAN (Baxter x O Man)
  • 0200HO00554 RALMA FILMSTAR (Frosty x Shottle)
  • 0200HO00528 SILDAHL ...


All dairy producers want more healthy cows. The challenge has been that until today, health traits have been very difficult to improve genetically.

For over a decade, Semex has been supporting immune response research at the University of Guelph in Canada under the direction of Dr. Bonnie Mallard, BSc (Agr), MSc, PhD, Professor Immunogenetics, Department of Pathobiology. This research has resulted in a new product at Semex known as Immunity+™ sires.

With heritability comparable to productivity traits, Semex's Immunity+ sires will produce cattle with a broad based resistance to the bacterial and viral based pathogens that cattle are exposed to on a daily basis. Additionally, their daughters will produce colostrum that passes on more antibodies and they will respond better to vaccination protocols.

"This is an industry first. And, Semex is proud to exclusively offer a product that will dramatically change the way our clients look at developing their own operation's genetic strategies," says Brad Sayles, Semex Vice President Global Marketing. "Producers know that some cows just go unnoticed.... They don't get sick, they don't cause problems and they don't cost producers extra money. We're excited to be the exclusive genetic company globally to offer this product, and to deliver a new solution for disease control to the marketplace."

For more information on Semex, Genetics for Life, Immunity+ sires or any of Semex's brands visit:

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Semex Sires Receive Holstein Canada Awards

With each genetic evaluation Holstein Canada recognizes sires that reach elite standards in production, conformation and also genetic indexes through their Superior Production (SP), Superior Type (ST) and Class Extra (EXTRA) programs.

Superior Production The following Semex sires have been recognized in December 2012 as Superior Production sires having combined genetic indexes for Fat and Protein in the top 5% of the Canadian sire population. Sires must have a reliability of at least 85%.

  • BENNER JUDO (Oliver x Titanic)    
  • DE-SU BURNISH (Baxter x O Man)
  • DESLACS MCQUEEN (Roumare x Freelance)
  • GEPAQUETTE MESQUIN (Baxter x Champion)
  • GLEN-TOCTIN AIR LANDING (Airraid x Champion)
  • MACO FRED (Baxter x Reggie)
  • SUNNYLODGE SHARK (Mr Burns x Morty)
  • WILLSONA SURE THING (Mr Burns x Titanic)     

Superior Type The following Semex sires have been recognized as Superior Type in December 2012. Sires winning this award are within the top 5% of the sire population for their conformation proof (Conformation, Mammary System, Feet & Legs, Dairy Strength, Rump) and with a reliability of at least 85%.

New Semex Ayrshire Is Genetics For Life

Every day, and each proof round, Semex works to deliver our customers the very best newly released daughter proven sires and exciting young genomic sires available anywhere in the world. These sires are Genetics for Life, representing genetic solutions, long-lasting partnerships, profitable herds and lifelong partnerships.

Following the December 2012 genetic evaluations, Semex is pleased to release one of the most highly anticipated Ayrshire sires in the industry, 0200AY00680 Kamouraska Rockstar, as the #1 new release LPI Ayrshire sire and #2 LPI Ayrshire sire overall. 

Rockstar arrives as a HealthSmart™ sire, siring daughters that are productive and thrive. They are proven to last longer and be healthier, which means more money for the dairy. He is also a high fertility Repromax™ sire, with a proven ability to raise you herd’s reproductive performance. Rockstar is backed by four generations of brood star cows and his granddam, Kamouraska Jerry Virvana EX, is also the dam of Semex’s 0200AY00659 Kamouraska Mandarin. We also find some of the Ayrshire breed’s top bulls in his sire stack including Modem, Peterslund, Jerry, TBruno, Cornelius and Heligo.

“After inspecting many daughters, there is only one word to describe them… Uniform!” says Chris Studer, Semex Ayrshire Coordinator. “With around 50 daughters scored, he is at 72% GP+ with six VG two year olds. They are nice framed, average stature cows. He will transmit great feet & legs and mammary systems, and his daughters are milking well and breeders have commented on their high components.”

Rockstar is the total package and will work well in every dairy environment, transmitting high herd life, high conformation, high components, low somatic ... Read More...

Semex's Genomax Program Delivers Results With December Proofs

Genetics for Life is about delivering the best possible product to Semex’s clients. Genomax™ sires are just that, being the best of the best with only one in seven bulls that enter a Semex stud qualifying for Genomax status.

Semex’s rigorous selection process used to select the Genomax lineup has resulted in some of the most in-demand progeny proven bulls in the world. These bulls are proof positive that Genomax bulls are the best source to maximize genetic gain and profitability. 

These young guns are following in the footsteps of other breed-influencing Genomax graduates including: 0200HO05929 Gen-I-Beq Brawler, 0200HO05588 Comestar Lauthority, 0200HO05575 Gillette Jordan, 0200HO02427 Ardross Sterling *RC, 0200HO02331 Mr Marvelous, 0200HO05630 Comestar Lavanguard and many, many more. Following the December genetic evaluations Semex is pleased to announce two more exciting graduates from the Genomax program to the proven lineup: