Company News

EastGen Update - August 2017

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EastGen Youth Event Results

Keen competitors vie for top honours in conformation, showmanship and education at EastGen's annual youth events GUELPH, ON - This July 438 participants had the opportunity to take part in one of the most anticipated 4-H events of the year. EastGen's Showcase and Challenge events include education, skill enhancement with fun and friendly competition. Participants spend time team-building while learning at education sessions and then entering the ring for showmanship and conformation evaluations on show day. Overall points are comprised from a written test following education as well as show-day results. EastGen organizes a series of four regional events across their service area in Spencerville, Ontario; Markham, Ontario; Stratford, Ontario; Truro, Nova Scotia, focused on 4-H youth ... Read More...

Thank You Dr Chesnais!

Dr Jacques Chesnais' last day at Semex will be Monday, July 31. Dr Chesnais, Semex Senior Geneticist, first joined Semex in 2003 and has led our genetics team on many fronts. Most importantly, he pioneered genomic studies with industry partners and supported the research behind many key Semex tools and programs. Semex thanks Dr Chesnais for his steadfast dedication and the entire Semex Family wishes him all the best in this next chapter of his life.     When asked about changes he has seen since 2003 he comments, "Without question it has been the introduction of genomic selection. One of the main reasons I joined Semex in 2003 was that I believed, based on the science available at the time, that genomic selection would revolutionize selection in dairy cattle."   "Semex was willing to let me start a research program to investigate this idea, even if at the time few people in the industry thought that genomics could have a large impact on dairy cattle breeding. The next year, in 2004, we started what was the first AI-driven research project in genomic selection in North America, in cooperation with the University of Guelph and Pyxis Genomics, based on 4,500 markers. By 2006, following the sequencing of the bovine genome, we were using 10,000 markers. Soon after, we realized we needed more markers and more bulls and became part of the USDA genomics project led by Curt Van Tassell, which used DNA from the Collaborative Dairy DNA repository (CDDR)."   "This led to North American genomic evaluations in 2008 on a research basis, and in 2009 on an official basis and the rest is now history."    Thank you Dr Chesnais and best wishes!  ... Read More...

EastGen UPDATE - July 2017

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PATTY JONES TO BE INDUCTED INTO CANADIAN AGRICULTURAL HALL OF FAME

Semex is pleased to announce that famous dairy cattle photographer Patty Jones will be inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.   The inductee notice reads, "Patty Jones has built a world-renowned business with a seasoned skill for photographing dairy animals that has changed the way they are marketed in Canada and around the world. For more than 44 years, Patty has been expertly capturing a visual history for Canadian dairy breed improvement as one of the most respected and well-known livestock photographers in the world. Her library contains more than 70,000 animals from all breeds, and she's trained many aspiring livestock photographers to carry on the craft. Her official photographer status extends to major shows, including 4-H and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Patty's passion for the dairy industry includes her own Silvercap Holsteins farm where she buys, sells and breeds. Patty Jones lives in Puslinch, ON."   Semex CEO Paul Larmer comments, "On behalf of Semex and our owning partners, it was our pleasure to nominate Patty Jones to the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. When reflecting on Patty's 44-year career, it was easy to garner strong support for her nomination, as her contribution to Canada's dairy cattle industry is immeasurable. Her skill for photographing female and male dairy animals to perfection has changed the way animals are marketed in Canada and around the world."   "Patty built a world-renowned dairy cattle photography business, and the benefactors are dairy cattle breeders and the Canadian and global dairy industries," says Larmer. "Semex was honoured to nominate Patty Jones to the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame and we're pleased the Selection Committee has recognized her for her extraordinary contribution to the dairy cattle industry, youth programs and Canadian agriculture."   Patty will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony on ... Read More...

EastGen UPDATE - June 2017

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DR MICHAEL LOHUIS NAMED SEMEX VP GENETICS R&D

Semex is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Lohuis has commenced the role of Vice President, Genetics R&D. Reporting to Brad Sayles, Vice President, Product Development & Genetic Solutions, Dr. Lohuis will join the Product Development Team, leading Genetic and Genomics R&D. “We’re extremely excited to have Dr. Lohuis join our team,” says Sayles. “His vast and diverse industry experience will certainly contribute to the further development and execution of our genetic strategies. And, in our rapidly changing global industry, he will be key in the on-going development of programs and solutions for our clients worldwide.” Michael is no stranger to the genetics industry, as he obtained both his Ph.D. in Animal Breeding and B.Sc. in Animal Science from the University of Guelph, and started his career as a Sire Analyst with Eastern Breeders, Inc. Most recently, Michael was Monsanto’s Director, Environmental Strategy for Agriculture for its Corporate Engagement Team. This team coordinates Monsanto’s strategy to address the challenges and opportunities associated with agriculture and the environment. Dr. Lohuis began his Monsanto career in 1998 as Lead for their Animal Genomics & Breeding program and moved to the Global Plant Breeding Team in 2007. He has led teams of scientists in the fields of statistics, crop modeling, patent science, genomics and breeding. Prior to joining Monsanto, he was an Assistant Professor (Breeding Strategies) in the Animal Science Department, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and was Research Project Leader for the Canadian Association of Animal Breeders leading the use of multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) to accelerate genetic improvement in the Ayrshire and Holstein breeds. Michael, his wife Carol and their daughter Julia reside in St. Louis, Missouri and will be relocating to Ontario in ... Read More...

EastGen UPDATE - May 2017

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BOWERS NAMED MANAGER, JERSEY/COLOURED BREEDS & EMBRYO CLIENT SERVICES

Semex is pleased to announce that Melissa Bowers has been named Manager, Jersey/Coloured Breeds & Embryo Client Services effective May 1, 2017. Reporting to Brad Sayles, Vice President Product Development & Genetic Solutions, Melissa will join the Product Development Team while maintaining her role as Semex’s Embryo Client Services Manager. Melissa has led Semex’s Embryo Sales Team since April 2013, and will continue to be responsible for this program’s sales development and service. Working with Canadian breeders to source embryos for resale, she is the liaison between Boviteq and Semex’s product development team and Semex’s network of OPU centres and clients utilizing Boviteq services. Melissa joined Semex in May 2012 as a Sales & Product Specialist, working closely with the both the Embryo and Product Support Teams. Prior to that, Melissa worked for Semex's partner, Centre d'insémination artificielle du Québec (CIAQ) as an Agricultural Technician. Melissa also worked with Cargill Ltd and Agribrands Purina. Additionally, Melissa is fully bilingual in English and French, and hails from the accomplished Lencrest Jersey Farm in Coaticook, Quebec, Canada. “Melissa’s experience at Semex and her real-world Jersey knowledge make her the ideal candidate to oversee our growing Jersey program,” says Brad Sayles. “During her tenure at Semex, Melissa has shown exceptional leadership and communication skills. We look forward to the growth and development of both programs under her guidance.” ... Read More...

EastGen Showcase Spencerville Participant Package

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