Company News

Building Strength With Immunity+

Immunity+ disease-resistant genetics now represents 37% of Semex dairy sales. What started as a research project more than 20 years ago, before Semex was established, has indeed changed the game.

Semex Geneticist and Business Analyst Dr. Steven Larmer believes there are many reasons for the growth of Immunity+, but the ultimate measure of the genetic program’s success is the confidence dairy producers have in its ability to improve the health of their herd.

Recently, research work with the University of Guelph has put a dollar value on the return producers can expect from their Immunity+ investment. These studies show Immunity+ sired daughters show less disease, saving dairymen $72 per cow, from birth to the end of first lactation.

BENEFITTING FROM HIGH IMMUNITY
Larmer says measuring financial payback is important but when he talks to producers it’s obvious that Immunity+ has an event greater impact. “High immune response means cows get sick less often, they are more productive and more profitable. Ultimately, no farmer wants to deal with sick cows. You can spend your time on the farm doing other things that are much more productive and satisfying.”

Many producers point to fewer cases of mastitis and less lameness when describing Immunity+ benefits, but Larmer believes it’s the total package that gives this technology an edge. “Overall, we try to not focus too much on the individual health event. The big difference with Immunity+ is we’re selecting cows that are going to be resistant to any disease that comes their way,” explains Larmer. “We really focus on how the whole immune system works, and making sure an animal’s entire immune system is robust, and effective.”

When animals have strong immune systems, farmers will see a positive impact on every disease present on a dairy operation, not ... Read More...

264 REASONS TO USE IMMUNITY+®

In December, Semex is proud to announce it now has 264 reasons to use Immunity+! "We're excited about our Immunity+ lineup," says Semex's Paul Krueger, VP, Global Key Account & Solutions Strategy. "We now have 264 sires that have been tested to be Immunity+. This is your fastest, best option to breed a healthier herd. And, with this many choices, we know Semex has the Holstein, Jersey or Ayrshire bull that will meet your genetic criteria."   Dr. Steven Larmer, Semex Geneticist & Business Analyst concurs, "Despite all of the improvements made with dairy animal husbandry there continues to be worse health performance. When all else is equal, the thing that's going to differ between two cows on your dairy is, 'how strong is their immune system? How able are they going to be to respond to that challenge?' Because no matter how well-managed a dairy is, every cow is going to encounter both bacterial and viral pathogens almost every day," Larmer says. Launched on December 4, 2012, Immunity+ was billed as an industry first - an exclusive product that would dramatically change the way dairymen developed their own breeding strategies and managed herd health. Six years later, dairymen worldwide are seeing the results. A study of Semex sired animals from 35 commercial dairies in 2017 showed improvements in a number of areas on about 30,000 cows and 75,000 heifers tested. The reductions were seen in eight health incidences, with the most significant being a 20% reduction in mortality and 17% reduction in persistent mastitis. The improvements in immune response would have resulted in $72,330 savings for herds milking 1,000 cows during one lactation period. In December, Semex is proud to offer 264 Immunity+ sires including: 41 Holstein sires over +2600 GTPI 14 Holstein sires over +800 NM$ 46 Jersey Immunity+ sires 11 Ayrshire Immunity+ sires As Semex's lineups ... Read More...

Semex Giving Away Two Calves Genomically Tested For Immunity At World Dairy Expo

The best giveaway at World Dairy Expo is healthier than ever! Semex is breaking ground once again by giving away two heifers that are genomically tested to be high immune responders.

“We all know that a healthier herd is a more profitable herd,” says Michael Hurst, Semex Director, US Sales & Business Development. “And this year at our tent, we’re actually giving away two high GTPI heifers that have been genomically tested to be more resistant to disease. They’re healthier than other calves and their genomics proves it. We’re the only company that has this test and the only exhibitor at World Dairy Expo that can literally give you a healthier herd…. All you need to do is come and enter!”   

Launched in early 2018, Semex’s Elevate™ program is a genomic testing program that is unique in many ways, including that it is the only test that offers an Immunity female test. This means producers no longer have to guess which cows are their healthiest. Instead, Elevate helps tailor their breeding program with both genomic information and Immunity results, making faster genetic progress towards a stronger, more disease resistant herd.

“We used Elevate for our own testing,” says Paul Krueger, VP, Global Key Account & Solutions Strategy. “The results are easy to follow, with a designation of low, medium or high for Immune Response. These heifers were high responders, meaning they’re more resistant to common diseases. Stopping by the Semex Tent at World Dairy Expo and entering to win one of these calves could be just the start of a healthier herd for you with Semex!”

Enter to win one of these calves at the Semex Tent during World Dairy Expo, join us for hospitality from 5:00-7:00 pm on Thursday and Friday nights, with a live calf draw at 6:00 pm both nights. Winners need not be present to win.
... Read More...

SEMEX INTERNATIONAL SALES & SUPPORT DEPARTMENTS GROW

Semex is pleased to announce the appointment of two individuals to key positions within the organization:


Matthew McCready has accepted the role of Director, International Sales & Business Development, effective September 10, 2018
Peter Van Beek has accepted the role of Key Account Manager, effective September 1, 2018


Reporting to Drew Sloan, Vice President, International Sales, Matthew McCready will lead Semex’s Asian business unit, providing leadership for the ongoing development of our product portfolio, including both Semex’s genetic products and solutions.

“We look forward to Matt contributing to our growth and profitability in these key markets,” says Sloan. “This market, including China, is key to Semex’s future. His passion for connecting with clients and global marketing experience make him a valuable asset to our team.”

Most recently Matt was Director of Business Development, Hybrid Turkeys at Hendrix Genetics, leading their global marketing and working closely with global sales directors and region managers. Previous to that, Matt held several positions at PepsiCo Canada. A graduate of the University of Guelph with a bachelor of commerce, agriculture business, Matt comes from an agricultural background.

Reporting to Paul Krueger, Vice President, Global Key Account & Solutions Strategy, Peter Van Beek will be the lead key account management resource for all of Semex’s European sales teams. Peter will have a hands-on role in our key account strategies and will serve as Semex’s technical expert, working closing with our sales teams to provide our clients with custom solutions.

Peter is excited to return to the AI business after managing a portfolio of calf milk replacers for Nukamel. Previous to that, he was an International Sales Manager and International Elite ... Read More...

SEMEX'S ELEVATE™ PROGRAM DELIVERS FEMALE IMMUNITY+ TEST

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 ... 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...

IMMUNITY+®: THE INDUSTRY'S ONLY SOURCE FOR DISEASE RESISTANCE THAT IS PROVEN ON FARM

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 ... Read More...

SEMEX PROMOTING FROM WITHIN

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." ... Read More...

DR. MEHDI SARGOLZAEI APPOINTED SEMEX SENIOR GENETICIST

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...

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. "We're 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 Semex's 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 ... Read More...