Company News

Popular Sire Pursuit September Storm *RC Passes Away

Semex regrets to announce that popular Red & White sire, 0200HO03067 Pursuit September Storm *RC recently passed away.

As one of several Maughlin Storm sons proven at Semex, September Storm *RC was unique not only in his *RC status, but also because he was a son of the popular Shower family.  His dam was a VG-85-2YR-CAN 4* Astre from the EX-CAN 13* Glen Drummond Shower herself.  This pedigree made him the outcross sire many Red & White breeders had been looking for worldwide, making him popular before he even received an official proof in October 2002. 

September Storm *RC quickly gained popularity in the Red & White show circles and sale rings.  His daughters dominated heifer and milking classes, earning several Premier Sire banners including the coveted Premier Sire Award at World Dairy Expo in 2007 and 2008.  Sale topping daughters by September Storm *RC have made their mark as well, reaching record breaking prices, with Fradon SS Jordan being at the top of the list at $150,000 in 2007.

Most recently September Storm also sired several Black & White show winners including the 2008 Res. All-Canadian Jr. 2 Yr Old, ABF September Cheese VG-89-3YR-CAN, the 2008 Kingsmill Futurity Champion at World Dairy Expo, Miss Macland Sept Juliet EX-91-USA and the 2009 Grand Champion of the European Holstein Show, Planillo September Sara EX-92-ESP, showing his appeal to all bloodlines. 

“Not very often do you have a Red Carrier sire that could compete with the best Black & Whites, so September Storm became popular very fast with Red & White breeders,” says Pierre Laliberte, Semex Alliance Senior Vice President, Genetics and Research.  “His largest contribution to the Red & Whites may be that he was used by many Black & White breeders.  He will spread the red gene ... Read More...

SEMEXX: It's Worth It!

Aaron Henderson, US Jersey Specialist

In the USA and around the world low milk prices, plummeting equity and lingering high feed costs have left many dairy operators taking a hard look at all costs associated with their businesses, knowing that to be profitable today you have to be more than just efficient.

Cows once worth $2500 US or more are now being sold across the country for $1000 US or less, and springers are now valued at half of what they were once selling for… many times bringing less than $1200 US.

Tough conversations are happening in offices and around dinner tables every day in an effort to increase profitability, whether they’re milking 50 or 5,000 cows.

One of those conversations is whether or not it is worthwhile to pay a premium price for sorted semen, and the added value of producing your own replacements.

Each dairy’s situation is a slightlydifferent, but for Aardema Dairies in southern Idaho, the extra dollars spent is one cost they’re not willing to sacrifice.

The Aardema family along with their General Manager Jeff Wendler, and herd managers John Andersen and Jordan Leak continue to sort through
pedigrees and proofs to find bulls to meet their criteria to use in their herds to make top genetic heifer replacements.

This sifting and winnowing process includes using Semex’s SEMEXX™, gender selected semen.

Click here for the entire story.
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Buckeye: Definite 2nd Crop Success!

Mike West, Semex Alliance Product Support Specialist & Sire Analyst

Approximately seven years ago the AI industry as a whole purchased many sons sired by the popular Marathon BW Marshall. In October of 2005, Semex graduated several BW Marshall sons, but just one rose to the top of the TPI listing. 0200HO04779 R-E-W Buckeye has maintained his top TPI rankings, making him one of Semex’s most successful sires and another example of Semex’s strong USA proving program.

Today he’s reached another milestone being named a Second Crop success. Buckeye himself was one of the earlier BW Marshall sons to be proven at Semex, and quickly drew international attention as not only a mating sire, but sire of sons. Out of a VG-86-2YRUSA

GMD DOM 2* Rudolph dam, and then a 67,000 kg EX-94-2E-USA Luke, his family’s production capacity has transmitted through the generations. His emergence as a superstar on the international scene was due to his success on the TPI rankings and pedigree appeal with six more generations of VG or EX after the Luke, but also because of the tremendous promise dairymen saw in their Buckeye daughters.

Click here for the whole story.

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In Summer's Heat Keep Breeding Window Open A Little Longer

Brenda Lee-Turner, Semex Alliance Marketing Communications Specialist With temperatures topping +90˚F/32˚C 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/22˚C 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 as shown in Figure 1 there appear to be early, average and late capacitating bulls.  “Semex’s Repromix combines the semen from three bulls with complementary capacitation ... 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 10,425 milk 3.7% 384 fat 3.3% 326 protein kgs.

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 Semex young ...

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 their best, ... Read More...

Semex On Target In Fertility Race

In August 2008 the United States Department of Agriculture released for the first time Sire Conception Rates (SCR), 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 and how to use it to your advantage.

For more information on SCR and Semex's Repromax™ product click here.

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R. Peter Heffering to join Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2009

Renowned dairy breeder R. Peter Heffering will join the ranks of Canadas most influential individuals as the 2009 inductees into the prestigious Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. The formal induction ceremony will take place later this year at the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame awards banquet on Sunday, November 8, 2009 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario.

Although not raised on a farm, R. Peter Heffering showed an early interest in agriculture on his uncles farm and continued through his 4-H activities. After early years spent in the U.S., R. Peter established Hanover Hill Holsteins in Port Perry, Ontario in 1973, which bred the famous Hanoverhill Starbuck the most influential bull in Canadian Holstein history with 60,000 registered daughters in Canada alone. Throughout his career, R. Peter represented and actively promoted Canadian agriculture and genetics in the show ring with multiple Premier Exhibitor and Premier Breeder honours at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. His travels on international trade missions and judging assignments furthered his ambassador activities for Canada and its prized Holstein genetics. And R. Peter mentored many young people from many different countries at Hanover Hill Holsteins.

The Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association honours and celebrates Canadians for outstanding contributions to the agriculture and food industry. Portraits are on display in the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Gallery located at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
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Crowley Selected As Semex Alliance Marketing Intern

Semex is pleased to announce that Christina Crowley has been selected as the 2009 Semex Alliance Marketing Summer Intern.

Christina is a recent graduate of the University of Guelph, with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, majoring in agricultural business.  Christina brings with her dairy cattle knowledge and agricultural experience, growing up on her family’s registered Holstein farm, Crovalley Holsteins, in Hastings, Ontario.  Christina is an active 4-H member, was the President of the College Royal in 2008 and will be part of the team representing the University of Guelph in the National Agri-Marketing Association competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

While at Semex Christina will gain hands-on experience, working with Semex’s global marketing department in developing and producing materials to assist sales through both print and website venues.  This work includes market research analysis and collaborating within the marketing department to produce 2009 marketing materials.
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Semex Alliance Enhances Corporate Structure

The Semex Alliance, a global leader in international bovine genetics, is pleased to announce an enhancement to its corporate structure, streamlining our leadership framework within a global focus, while taking steps to fulfill our objectives through an expansion of our marketing division.

Effective immediately, all aspects of our marketing will be under one roof within our corporate structure with Brad Sayles taking on an a new leadership role within the executive team as Vice President, Global Marketing. Brad will oversee all aspects of Semex’s product marketing, programs, pricing, branding, promotion and communication on a global basis.  Brad will lead the Marketing Department to ensure all aspects of global Semex marketing closely align with the strategic corporate objectives and initiatives.  Brad joined the Semex Alliance in November 2007 as Director of International Sales & Business Development, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Australia & New Zealand, and will continue to service these key clients in addition to his marketing leadership responsibilities. 

Brad has a lifetime of industry experience beginning as a Sire Analyst for United Breeders and leading Semex’s Jersey sire procurement. Brad’s leadership roles continued through the Semex family, being named Marketing Manager at Gencor, a Semex Alliance partner, developing leading edge programs and services for its producers while managing all marketing and product support staff.   Brad also served as Marketing Manager at Holstein Canada, initiating highly successful business development and growth programs for both the domestic and international markets before returning to the Semex family.

Further streamlining operations within Semex, Vince Bosquet, current Semex Chief Finance Officer will also add Vice President Operations to his leadership role.  ... Read More...