Company News

Dr. Morris Freeman, Former Semex GM, Passes Away

Semex regrets to announce the passing of former Semex Canada General Manager, Dr. Morris Freeman.

Dr. Morris ‘Moe’ Freeman passed away peacefully on July 15 in Guelph, Ontario with his beloved wife of 57 years, Ruth, and loving family at his side. Born 80 years ago in Markdale, Ontario he was the loving son of Thomas & Annie (Graham) Freeman, cherished brother of June Falls (Ormond), Keith (Joan) and Doug (Eleanor); proud father of David (Laura), Michael (Odette) and Paul (Karen); and joyful and doting Grampa to Erin, Monica, Thomas, Danielle and John.

Moe was one-of-a-kind: a talented athlete, dedicated scholar and professor, successful businessman but, above all, a caring, kind and wonderful gentleman, who never forgot the lessons of humility, hard work, and compassion learned in a happy boyhood on the family dairy farm.

He was the first of his family to attend university when he started first year at the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), now the University of Guelph. He often joked that his parents, although supportive, were convinced homesickness would bring him home in a couple of weeks. Happily, they were wrong and Moe went on to distinguish himself athletically and academically as a proud graduate of OAC 1955, including an athletic letter and playing on the collegiate hockey team, the last two years as captain. Moe also met the love of his life, Ruth Cooke, on a blind date in first year. They married in 1956 and shared an incredible, loving relationship that stood the test of time.

Moe's undergraduate courses and early work experience convinced him that his future lay in the study of genetics. And so, in September 1966, Moe and Ruth and their family of three boys moved to Ithaca, New York so that he could earn his PhD at Cornell University. Moe returned to his alma mater in 1969 as an Assistant Professor in Animal Science. He continued to be a consummate advocate, fundraiser and benefactor of the University of Guelph for the ... Read More...

Lowell Lindsay To Be Inducted Into Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame

Semex and EastGen are extremely proud to announce that Lowell D. Lindsay will be inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.

“It was with great and unreserved pleasure that Semex and EastGen, submitted the nomination of Lowell Lindsay for induction into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. Lowell achieved a great deal in his career, however, Canadian agriculture and specifically the dairy cattle industry has been the true benefactor,” says Paul Larmer, Semex Chief Executive Officer. “It is impossible to measure the economic impact that Lowell has had, however his career spanned 53 years, and when one looks at the genetic progress made in Canada over that time period it is immense. Working for a ‘Producer Owned’ company for his complete tenure, Lowell always knew who he worked for… The dairy producers of Canada.”

EastGen General Manager Brian O’Connor comments, “Lowell was influential in turning artificial insemination, sire selection and young sire testing programs into the most impactful breed improvement tools to date within the dairy industry. Furthermore he was a driving force in establishing Canada as the world leader in Holstein genetics, and became an international industry icon for sire selection, cattle evaluation, judging and exhibiting cattle while also inspiring young people to drive the industry further in these areas.”

This year four Canadians will be inducted into the prestigious Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. Lowell, along with John Oliver, the late John Wise and Donald Ziraldo will be formally inducted on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

 
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Be Part Of Semex's Photo Contest!

Semex is pleased to announce its Annual Photo Contest. Semex is looking for new, exciting photos featuring Semex-sired progeny to use in Semex
promotions such as calendars, posters, brochures, website and much more.

Preference will be given to photographs that include Semex cows and attire and will be judged on composition, quality and character of image, suitability and/or creativity in relation to a category theme and overall impression of the photo.

All competition finalists will be posted to Semex’s Facebook page to be voted on by our fans, making it a true ‘People’s Choice’ competition.

Prizes will be credits to be used on www.semexshop.com and awarded as follows: 1st Prize: $150; 2nd Prize: $100; 3rd Prize: $75 (Canadian dollars).

All entries must be received via the Semex website by September 1, 2013.

Click here to enter and to access full contest rules, terms and conditions.
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Semex CEO Paul Larmer Named Royal Board of Directors Vice President

Recently the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Association held its 91st Annual General Meeting in Toronto, Ontario. At this meeting, it was announced that the Board of Directors had elected Paul Larmer to the role of Vice President of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair for 2013.
Since 2009, Paul has been a valued member of the Fair’s Board of Directors, bringing decades of experience in the agriculture and food sector. Throughout his career, Paul has demonstrated strong leadership, management and strategic planning expertise. Paul has vast knowledge and expertise of the bovine genetics industry at a national and international level.
He has been an instrumental force in building the dairy industry in Canada. As a past General Manager of United Breeders, Paul worked closely with the Boards of Directors of United Breeders and Western Ontario Breeders to facilitate the merger and formation of Gencor in 1995 (known as EastGen today). Paul was also key in the formation of the Semex Alliance in 1997, where he currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer, championing their growth as a global leader.
Paul is also a strong promoter of youth and has served on the Board of Trustees of the Ontario Youth Trust Fund, is a past chair of the Ontario 4-H Foundation and the OAC Alumni Association.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Association is honoured that Paul Larmer has accepted this role of Vice President.
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In Summerís Heat Keep Breeding Window Open A Little Longer


Brenda Lee-Turner, Semex Alliance Marketing Communications Specialist



With temperatures topping +90˚F in many parts of the North America, dairymen are struggling to get their cows bred back on time.  Heat and its partner in crime, humidity, wreak havoc on dairies, pushing milk production and pregnancy rates down and herd health problems up.  Incidences of stress on cows can occur at temperatures as low as 72˚F when combined with higher humidity, dramatically reducing profitability on the dairy.   



Looking for solutions to keep the window of breeding opportunity open a little longer and combat these issues, Semex has designed its Repromix™ product to help get those problem, repeat breeders back into calf, reducing days open and into their next lactation and the milking line.



The theory behind Semex’s Repromix product is related to a phenomenon called capacitation.  Capacitation is a series of changes all sperm from mammals must undergo while in the female reproductive tract in order to fertilize an egg.  This process includes the modification of proteins on the outside of the sperm cell by the cow’s reproductive tract.  Without this process, sperm cannot fertilize an egg.  As timing with all reproduction is key, the time needed for the capacitation process to occur varies from species to species and in our case, bull to bull. 



“Based on our theory, bulls can have different capacitation profiles,” says Tom Kroetsch, Semex Alliance Director Production & Quality Control.  “But (all sires) will still have very good fertility when used in normal fertility cows in most herds with good reproductive management.” 



In general the timeline for capacitation in bull semen is generally 4 to 12 hours, but ... Read More...

Semex Jerseys In The Driver's Seat!

Aaron Henderson, Semex US Jersey Specialist/Corporate Accounts Manager The Jersey breed is the fastest-growing dairy breed on the planet and as we accelerate into the next decade, Semexís Jersey program is truly in the driverís seat!† While many of our competitors have focused on individual traits such as inbreeding, JPI, JUI and show type, Semexís Balanced Breeding philosophy and global sampling program have worked to provide a diversified lineup that meets the needs of dairymen everywhere.† The Semex Jersey lineup is well suited to meet the needs of dairymen everywhere, whether they milk 50, 500 or 5,000 cows.† Our genetics are poised to reach individual requirements and to help dairymen reach their profitability needs, efficiency goals and durability requirements.† Reducing Inbreeding: Outcross ability is measured by EFI (Expected Inbreeding Coefficient) and bulls that have a 6.0 and lower EFI are widely considered to be genetically diversified.† Semex has four bulls in its active line up under 6.0 EFI: 0200JE0103 Valleystream Julian; 0200JE0420 Pine Haven Senior; 0200JE0129 Bridon Jamaica; and 0200JE01310 Bridon Remake Comerica.† These sires are all outcross sires to imported Danish and New Zealand bloodlines.† JPI (Jersey Performance Index):† Many dairymen select on JPI and try to focus on the breedís top 25 sires.† A list dominated by Jace sons, Semex has three bulls ranked in the top 25, none of which are Jace sons: 0200JE00990 Sunset Canyon RP Militia (Perimiter x Haug); 0200JE00944 Maackdairy Region (Legion x Lemvig); and 0200JE00992 Jenks Paramount Summit (Paramount x Bold). JUI (Jersey Udder Index): Semex is home to four of the top 20 ranked JUI sires, as much as anyone in the industry, with three ranking in the top six.† Following the April 2009 proofs the breed average for JUI was 3.33, 18 Semex sires are above 3.33 JUI with our active lineup averaging 5.00 JUI.†† Show Type: In 2008 Semex was honored to be the home of the World ... Read More...

Semex Premier Program Impresses California Dairyman


Michelle Nelson, Semex USA West Coast Premier Consultant



Hilltop Holsteins in Oakdale, California is owned and operated by partners Michael and Carrie Dotinga and John and Susan Vander Schaaf. Michael takes care of the daily operations of the dairy and some of the farming.



Michael grew up and worked on his family dairy. In 1998, Hilltop Holsteins began. The Dotinga’s and Vander Scaaf’s purchased the current facility along with the dairy’s 800 cows. In addition, Hilltop Holsteins also purchased 600 bred heifers to help grow the herd to the current size of milking 1,350 Holsteins with a rolling herd average of 22,983 milk 3.7% 847 fat 3.3% 719 protein.



In 2003, the facility was completely remodeled; new freestall barns were built along with a brand new double 20 parallel milk barn. To help relieve heat stress in the summertime, fans are provided for the fresh cow pen, close-up dry cow pen, and far-off dry cow pen. Fans, misters, and soakers also were installed in the milk barn.



Hilltop Holsteins farms 220 acres of corn and oats. In addition, 220 acres are currently used for pasture. There are 8 employees working on the dairy: 5 milkers, 1 feeder, and 2 herdsmen who work closely with Michael. All heifer calves are sent to a nearby calf ranch at 1 day old; the calves return to the dairy at 5 months old. At a year old heifers are sent to another nearby heifer raising facility to be bred; heifers return to the dairy when they are approximately 5 months pregnant.



Hilltop Holsteins has been using Semex sires and participated in the Premier Young Sire Program since 1998. Recently, they have partnered with the Semex Premier™ Club Young Sire Program. Currently, the herd is using 70% Semex sires and is very pleased with their results.



“I am using ... Read More...

Semex Sires Popular Worldwide

In a recent survey conducted by Holstein International, Semex sires were proven to be extremely popular worldwide.



Dairymen everywhere list Semex sires as tops in their choices as most used in the last 6 months, which sires they would like to use more heavily in retrospect and which sires make their best 2 Yr Olds. 



Semex sires showed their strength and popularity with dairymen when asked which proven bulls have Holstein International readers used in the past 6 months…  Dairymen answered that they’ve preferred a Semex sire 29% of the time.  Semex sires identified as those preferred by dairymen worldwide were Goldwyn (#3), Dolman (#8), Bolivia (#15), Talent *RC (#17), Ashlar (#18), Samuelo (#20), Jasper (#28) and #Spirte (#30).  Most interestingly it is only Semex that can claim to be truly international superstars with its 29% containing sires that are proven on three separate continents!  … Semex Works Everywhere in its truest sense!







Not surprisingly, breeders also chose Semex sires more than any other when answering which bulls they would have liked to have used more heavily in retrospect.  Four of the eight sires listed as most common responses are Semex sires.  Semex’s superstar Goldwyn ranked #2, with Semex greats Outside, Allen and Rudolph also listed.   This shows dairymen’s desire for reliable, well-proven sires.  These sires were all popular for multiple reasons, but certainly none more important than their high reliability.  Each of these bulls remain superstars of our industry, siring high producers, beautiful cows, sires of sons and most importantly the kind of real cows dairymen want more of in their herds.



Looking towards the future of the breed, dairymen also commented on which sires were making ... Read More...

April New Release Sires Ready To Add Value

The April 2009 proof release placed the stamp of approval on reliable second crop Semex sires, while ushering in new release sires that expand Semex’s line-up. This expanded product offering meets the needs of dairymen everywhere, with sires designed to positively impact the bottom line.



Semex has added sires that are well-positioned to make a positive impact to the dairy’s bottom line and add value to your herd, including a 5% CE, 2.55 SCS Oman son, high milk sons and sons by Semex greats Talent and Titanic. For more information on all new April releases click here or view each bull below.


Holstein:

0200HO01937 West Port Bookman Red GP-CAN ST (Talent x Rubens)
0200HO05239 La Presentation Denzel VG-CAN Extra (Champion x Emerson)
0200HO09804 Crockett-Acres Eight EX-91-CAN SP (Oman x Mtoto)
0200HO00379 Morsan Frontrunner *RC GP-CAN ST (Talent x James)
0200HO09711 Regancrest Kingsley GP-CAN ST (Ramses x Convincer)
0200HO05340 Sicy Knowledge VG-CAN (Freelance x James)
0200HO05300 Comestar Lauvy VG-CAN (Titanic x Igniter)
0200HO05322 Gen-I-Beq Sahara *RC GP-CAN SP (Champion x Durham)
0200HO03404 Willsona Silas VG-CAN SP (Titanic x Convincer)


Jersey:



0200JE00944 Maackdairy Region (Legion x Lemvig)
0200JE00943 Wilsonview Shurbondy (Jace x Bold)
0200JE00015 Unique Belle’s Red Baron (Jace x Paramount)





Contact your Semex representative to put Semex to work in your herd today!
... Read More...

No Clear Winner In Fertility Race


In August 2008 the United States Department of Agriculture released Sire Conception Rates (SCR) for the first time ever, replacing Estimated Relative Conception Rates (ERCR). The SCR evaluation has proven to be better than ERCR as it is a more accurate measure of a bull’s ability to actually get a cow in calf, as opposed to just measuring non-return rates. Repromax™, Semex’s lineup of high fertility sires, benefits from this new system, as the SCR evaluation is included, forming the world’s only international fertility information.



Semex sires rank well above average for SCR, adding to the confidence breeders can have in using our Repromax™ lineup. The Sire Conception Rate (SCR) rating is an important fertility figure, but should just be part of the decision making process when choosing a mating sire. Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind just what the SCR figure represents. With SCR, the average conception rate for the Holstein and Jersey breeds has been set at 0, therefore a bull that scores 1.0 SCR can be expected to have a 1% higher conception rate than the average bull. And, the opposite is true for a bull with a -1.0 SCR score.



Looking at the industry snapshot of numbers like 1.9… 2.0… 2.1… and 2.3… one wonders how much difference is there between these bulls?



There is a difference of less than half a percet separating the top four competitors in the Holstein breed, and an even smaller difference among the top four competitors in the Jersey breed. These small margins do not lend themselves for any one company to claim complete dominance in SCR rankings.



When is a Bull “Good” or “Bad”?

If only small differences separates so many bulls, technically it is difficult to label one bull better or worse than another for ... Read More...