Company News


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.
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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 possible,” says Krueger. “With Immunity+ there’s no worries. These bulls must pass the same stringent requirements we have for all 200 stud code sires. The difference is that these bulls have a unique, constant trait that makes them even ... Read More...


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 and its Immunity+ genomic test supplies Semex clients with the same information as other commercially ... 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...


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 disease incidence have also been shown in herds across Europe, South America and Asia.  One of the keys to Immunity+'s effectiveness is its high heritability. By testing the direct immune response capabilities of sires, much of the environmental variation is removed, leaving only the genetic component of disease resistance.  At 30%, the heritability of Immunity+ is similar to that of milk production, a trait that has seen enormous genetic progress leading to a 13% increase in per cow milk production in the last 10 years.  In April, Semex's Immunity+ lineup is stronger than ever! Visit for the full lineup.                         
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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."
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Semex Saddened With Passing Of Bertram Stewart

"Our hearts are heavy with the news of Bert Stewart's passing," says Paul Larmer, Semex Chief Executive Officer. "Bert was an international icon, promoting Canadian genetics everywhere dairy cattle could be found. To Canada, he was beloved by generations of dairy cattle enthusiasts. He was a consummate promoter of youth, being a coach and mentor to anyone that wanted to wear white pants or judge a show! At Semex, he was an influential mentor to many, many current and past employees, myself included. We were proud to have him be our representative on the Canadian 4-H Council and serve as their President. To say he will be missed is an understatement. Instead, we will honour him through our corporate and personal commitments to youth, in Canada and worldwide. Godspeed Bert, you have taught us well.”

Pictured above is Bert Stewart (right) with Semex legend Lowell Lindsay (left) at the 1989 Royal Winter Fair. 


Please find the obituary for Bertram Graham Hunter Stewart Below: 

Peacefully, at the Groves Memorial Hospital In Fergus, Ontario at the age of 85, surrounded by family, Bertram G. H. Stewart, beloved husband of the late of Hazel Stewart(201 I) of Elora, formerly of Hornby, Ontario and loving father of their four children, Paul, Lynne (Jim Moore), Donna (Tom Dotson), and Kelly French & Jason French. Proud grandfather, of Kristen (Scott Greenhill) & Adam (Erin) Dotson; Brian (Kim), Brent (Laura) & David (Alex) Moore, and Connor & Blaire French. He was blessed with great-grandchildren, Caden Greenhill, Evelyn Moore, Porter Moore and Andrew Dotson. 


Bertram was the seventh child of Ernie and Jennie Stewart of Better. Mourning his loss are his brothers Henry (Jean), Murray (Marnie), and his sister Dorothy (Lorne Paisley-deceased) He was predeceased by his brothers Andrew (Adele), R.J. (Betty-June), Hillard (Marguerite) and his sister lsobel (Elmer Russell). He was a loved ... Read More...


Semex is pleased to announce that Dr. Mehdi Sargolzaei was promoted to the position of Senior Geneticist at Semex, effective January 1, 2018.   Reporting to Dr. Michael Lohuis, Semex Vice President, Research & Innovation, Dr. Sargolzaei continues working with Semex's Genetics Research Team, expanding his responsibilities to include genomics project management and platform development.     Dr. Sargolzaei is extremely familiar to the Semex family, having first joined Semex's Research & Development Team at Boviteq in June 2009 as a Research Genomicist. In January 2014, he joined Semex's Genetic Team as Research Genomicist.   "We are excited to have Dr. Sargolzaei take a leadership role in Semex's genetic and genomic programs," says Lohuis. "Mehdi brings a wealth of experience in genomic evaluations, imputation and software development that will enable Semex to provide an even greater array of products and services to the global cattle breeding industry."   An accomplished geneticist with a Ph.D. in Animal Breeding & Genetics from Niigata University in Japan, an M.Sc. in Animal Breeding & Genetics from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, and a B.Sc. in Animal Science from Sistan & Baluchestan University, Iran, Sargolzaei's extensive career began as a Research Assistant, National Animal Science Research Institute, Karaj, Iran. He later joined the University of Guelph, Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock in 2006 as a Research Associate. In this position, he developed several statistical methods and software tools, including 'FImpute' and 'snp1101', aiming at analyzing large scale genomic data encountered in livestock populations. The driving force behind his software developments has been a keen interest in applying newer statistical methods and advanced programming techniques for analyzing big genomic data.   He has authored/coauthored 65 peer ... Read More...

What Is Immunity?

By Dr Steven Larmer, Semex Dairy Solutions Coordinator  In 2012 Semex launched the Immunity+® sire line, a group of sires selected to create cows that will be more resistant and resilient to disease challenges faced every day by commercial cows. The question is, how does Immunity+ work and what does having better immunity really mean? Answering this question is not simple. It can be a lack of clear information. Here lies an important role for vets, feed advisors and hoof trimmers. Also, there seems to be a tunnel vision among farmers and advisors that stops them from seeing the shortcomings of the barns. Thirdly, fear of investing money and time will be involved, even though good management doesn't have to cost more than bad management. Here also lies a task for advisors: ideally they can not only provide the right information, but they can also help clients change.   The immune system of all animals is complex, and there are many factors that impact how an animal is able to respond to different disease challenges. There are several branches to the immune system. The two branches of the immune system most important for resistance and resilience to disease are the innate and adaptive immune systems.    The innate immune system is responsible for detecting any threat to the individual and initiating an immune response. The adaptive immune system is then responsible for determining the best response depending on the specific pathogen that has invaded the cow. Going a little deeper there are two separate components of the adaptive immune system. The antibody mediated adaptive immune response, or AMIR, is responsible for responding primarily to bacteria. Bacteria generally cause the more common on farm diseases, usually the ones that can be more easily treated. These include diseases such as mastitis, metritis, and digital dermatitis. Cell mediated adaptive immune response, or CMIR, on the other hand is primarily responsible for ... Read More...

Semex & Immunity+ Lineup Grows Stronger In December

Five years ago Semex answered the call of dairymen everywhere who wanted to breed more healthy cows with the launch of Immunity+, offering a genetic solution to health traits. Since then dairymen worldwide have seen firsthand the results of breeding healthier herds through the Immunity+ lineup. Five years later, real world data backs up the decades of research Semex supported at the University of Guelph in Canada under the direction of Dr. Bonnie Mallard, BSc (Agr), MSc, PhD, Professor Immunogenetics, Department of Pathobiology. We have taken data from over 35 large commercial herds, and analyzed data from over 30,000 cows and 75,000 heifers, says Dr. Steven Larmer, Semex Dairy Solutions Coordinator. The results have been astonishing. Reductions in every major disease have been seen, and range anywhere from 5-20% reduction in animals sired by Immunity+ sires compared to all others. Mastitis, lameness and mortality saw especially large decreases in frequency. We hear from dairymen worldwide on a daily basis that their Immunity+ sired calves out-perform their herdmates, says Paul Krueger, Semex Vice President, US Sales & Global Marketing. Were actively selecting sires that offer both Immunity+ and the genetic package needed. And in December, this lineup is stronger than ever. 13 Holstein sires over +2700 GTPI 24 Holstein sires over +2600 GTPI 14 Holstein sires over +800 NM$ 10 sires over 1000 DWP$ 10 sires over +3.00 PTAT 41 sires under 7% SCE 32 Jersey Immunity+ sires 12 Ayrshire Immunity+ sires Semexs lineups are growing with both proven and Genomax sires reigning popular and valuable worldwide: 70 over +800 NM$ 54 over +2700 GTPI 45 over 1000 DWP$ 45 over +2000 PTAM 45 over +3.00 PTAT #1 PTAT Sire 0200HO10036 OH-River-SYC Byway #3 PTAT Sire 0200HO06480 Val-Bisson Doorman 10 of the Top 50 UK Type Merit Sires 0200HO10659 Stantons Applicable #1 UK Type Merit 0200HO10757 Westcoast Lighthouse #2 UK Type Merit 0200HO06267 ... Read More...