Company News

August 2021 Component Breed Highlights

Our expansive Ayrshire lineup continues to improve with the addition of Plein Soleil HIGHGEAR. HIGHGEAR is a son of Yellow from a VG-2YR Chelyotte who stems from Plein Soleil Animate Hylla EX-92-2E. HIGHGEAR joins our list with
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August 2021 Holstein Highlights

As we enter into the fall harvest season, dairy farmers prepare to reap the rewards of their work and perseverance. The same happens with our genetics industry, only we harvest our results in the form of new sires at proof time. It is accurate and fair to say with this most recent August proof round, our harvest was huge. We had an absolute bumper crop of generational proven sires and we have added an expansive list of new elite genomic, sexed, and Immunity+ sires for our breeders. We will start with Canada’s new #1 GLPI, #1 Pro$, #1 Fat and #1 Combined F&P sire
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We are pleased to announce that Jonathan Merriam will be joining Semex August 16, 2021, as Jersey Program Manager, reporting to Jay Shannon, Director, Genetic Programs & Solutions.  

“Jonathan is renowned in the Jersey breed for his extensive knowledge, experience and proven leadership in genetics,” says Jay Shannon. “He will utilize all of his acquired skills and extensive knowledge to lead Semex’s genetic programs, working with our elite genetic partner herds to keep raising the bar of our industry-leading Jersey program.” 

Jonathan most recently was the Genetics Manager at the 7000-cow Ahlem Farms in Hilmar, California. In this role he led the sire selection, mating and the marketing program for this globally famous Jersey farm and genetic resource. Under Jonathan’s management, Ahlem Farms put over 150 bulls into stud and sold high-value heifers annually in national sales. Previously Jonathan was an agricultural instructor at Utah State University, managing their dairy herd management vocational training program, and was the Dairy Extension Specialist for the University of California Cooperative Extension, advising producers regarding dairy nutrition, reproduction, management, employee relations and environmental regulations. 

Jonathan is the current President of the American Jersey Cattle Association, a position he has held for the last three years. He has a rich history of involvement in the dairy industry at local, state and national levels, working on national show and sale committees as well as providing tremendous leadership to youth programs.

Jonathan earned his master’s degree in Dairy Science, Dairy Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his bachelor’s degree in Dairy Science from California Polytechnic State University.

Jonathan resides in Hickman, ...


The EastGen Youth Ag-Stravaganza wrapped up in mid July, and we are still excited about the accomplishments of our participating youth! The Ag-Stravaganza was a virtual event created to nurture the development of future-ready skills for youth in agriculture despite the ongoing pandemic. It attracted close to 100 4-H beef and dairy members from across five provinces.

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With the cost of rearing heifers, managing a herd’s inventory is more critical than ever on modern dairy farms. Additionally, some breeders are using sexed semen increasingly on groups of animals that they want to raise the next generation from and beef on those that they do not. This strategy can make sense on an inventory management level but the devil is in the details. How do
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EastGen Announces Virtual Beef and Dairy Competition for Youth from Ontario and Atlantic Provinces. Accepting the reality that EastGen’s four traditional
youth events could not be safely held this summer, we’ve pivoted to create the EastGen Youth Ag-Stravaganza. This exciting virtual event for beef and dairy 4-Hers will be held
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EastGen Announces Virtual Event for Beef and Dairy Youth from Ontario and Atlantic Provinces

EastGen Youth Ag-Stravaganza - A virtual, future-ready skills competition for 4-H beef and dairy members across five provinces. ENTRY DEADLINE: JUNE 27th (8:00 p.m. EST) REGISTER NOW: CLICK HERE  GUELPH, ONTARIO - Accepting the reality that their four traditional youth events could not be safely held this summer, EastGen has pivoted to create the EastGen Youth Ag-Stravaganza. This exciting virtual event for beef and dairy 4-Hers will be held July 6th and 7th, 2021. Details will be finalized soon for this free event, to be held over two successive evenings. The four components of the competition are: 1) TikTok-style video entries; 2) a recorded speech submission; 3) judging of dairy and beef classes; and 4) completion of a written quiz. Pre-event how-to sessions, educational presentations from experts in their field, celebrity judges, and a plethora of prizes will entice and reward participants. In addition, all youth who successfully complete the competition will receive, via courier, their own swag box chock full of surprises. A live announcement of the winners will take place later in July, and will include a reveal of the top teams and the first time-ever grand champion competitor over all five provinces. The EastGen Youth Ag-Stravaganza was created with the following goals in mind: Support agricultural youth by providing educational and competitive activities. Connect beef and dairy enthusiasts in the same fun event. Create a safe venue for 4-Hers to develop their future-ready skills while embracing virtual opportunities and technology. Bridge the distance for EastGen’s first-ever interprovincial event. “Even during these trying times, EastGen is dedicated to the future of our industry, with an unparalleled commitment to youth programs,” said Brian O’Connor, EastGen General Manager. “We are excited that Ag-Stravaganza will provide a rewarding, challenging learning experience for our future dairy and beef agriculturalists in five ... Read More...


At an EastGen Board of Directors Meeting held immediately following the EastGen AGM on Monday, April 5, 2021, EastGen’s 2021 Board Executive, including a new
President, was elected as follows: President - Gerrit Wensink, Vice-President - Phil MacLean Other Members - John den Haan and Amanda Jeffs. Phil MacLean and Curtis McNeil were previously electedas Directors of the Semex Board for a two year term. Tom Pasco and Gerrit Wensink remain Directors of the Semex Board for a one year
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Boviteq is extremely excited to announce the opening of Boviteq California in Hilmar, California. Open now, Boviteq California is a fully-operational, accredited Boviteq satellite center offering elite donor housing with OPU and ET services. This location is uniquely equipped to handle young genomic donors, lactating dairy show cows and has robust handling facilities for beef donors.  

“With the growth we’ve seen nationwide for our IVF services and the extreme service demand on the West Coast, California was a logical choice for expansion,” says Dr. Shantille Kruse, Boviteq Director Embryo Business, North America. “Boviteq, and our parent company Semex, have a long-standing relationship with the folks at Vierra Dairy, making them a natural partner for Boviteq California.”

“Our world-class, state-of-the-art IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) facility in Madison, Wisconsin, is ready to accept oocytes from California and for the first time, offer the industry’s best IVF service and results to the West Coast,” says Kruse. “We have seen first-hand the care and quality that Vierra puts into their dairy, and we’ve worked together every step of the way to ensure that this facility, its people and its services meet and exceed industry standards.”

“We’ve been hearing from dairymen for months, asking when we will be ready for them and we’re so excited to let them know that we’re open and ready for business!” says Peter Cipponeri, Vierra Dairy Manager & Boviteq California General Manager. “We really feel that we are offering the very best in donor housing, and coupled with the next level results from Boviteq, Boviteq California will be the most in-demand OPU service provider on the West Coast.”

For additional information on Boviteq please visit ...


Although we are facing relentless challenges again in 2021, our persistence and tenacity as an industry continues to be rewarded with unprecedented genetic results. This most recent proof round is evidence to that rivaling any other in recent history in Canada. We will start with Canada’s ground-breaking newly proven Westcoast Alcove. Alcove, Canada’s new #1 GMACE LPI and Pro$ sire, debuts
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