AETA President’s Report – Winter 2022

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Published on: December 6, 2022

Congratulations to Greg Schueller and the Convention Committee for putting together a great program that made our 2022 annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky, a huge success. A BIG THANK YOU to all of our sponsors, exhibitors, and members who continued to support our association and industry for the last two years. It was great to see everyone in person again, and plans are already being made to make the 2023 annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, a meeting everyone will want to attend!

The last four years of participating on the AETA board of directors has been an amazing experience. As I was thinking through how I would make an impact on the AETA and on the board of directors, I remembered watching my dad do the same thing for a breed association. I remember he was always working for the membership and wanting to make sure the association and the board of directors made decisions that benefited the membership. This year has reinforced to me that the AETA, its committees and committee members, and FASS with the direction of Morgan Montgomery are dedicated to working as hard for you as you do for your clients. For example, the Cooperator Committee is doubling the amount of QSP projects it is attempting to fulfill in 2022 and 2023, the Government Liaison Committee is hands-on involved in working with USDA APHIS to develop new export protocols to new markets and streamline those that already exist, the Education Committee is working to bring current content and information to you in an easily accessible format, the Certification Committee has greatly improved our ability to ensure certified members are practicing at the level needed to maintain certification by developing the recertification session at the annual meetings, and the newly developed Research Committee has awarded its first research project to one of six proposals that were submitted to them this year. I encourage everyone to look forward to that announcement and continue to follow or participate in this program as it continues to grow and benefit this association and its members!

The future of our association is built around education, certification, and membership. All of the committees and projects are working to improve those three pillars of our association every day. I am confident that this association is headed in the right direction and will continue to benefit its members for years to come. Thank you for allowing me the chance to be a part of it.

Respectfully Submitted,

Clay Breiner

2022 AETA President

The AETA Announces 2023 Board of Directors

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Published on: December 6, 2022

Champaign, IL, December 2022 – The 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Embryo Transfer Association was held October 27-29 in Louisville, KY. More than 400 national and international attendees came together in-person to learn more about the most recent advances in advanced bovine reproductive procedures and technology.

The incoming 2023 AETA Board of Directors is listed below.

Board of Directors

President – Dr. Greg Schueller, Whitewater, WI

Vice President – Dr. Daniela Demetrio, Riverdale, CA

Secretary-Treasurer – Dr. Matthew Bartlett, Hesston, KS

Immediate Past President – Dr. Clay Breiner, Westmoreland, KS

Director – Dr. Brad Lindsey, Midway, TX

Director – Dr. Charles Gue, Belgrade, MT

Director – Dr. Lee Jones, Tifton, GA

Director – Dr. Kent Bindl, Plymouth, WI

Director – Dr. Scott Larsen, Valentine, NE

In addition, the AETA announces its 2023 joint annual convention with the Canadian Embryo Transfer Association (CETA), to be held from October 26-28, 2023 in Orlando, FL.


The purpose of the AETA is to unite those organizations and individuals in the United States engaged in the embryo transfer industry into an affiliated federation operating under self-imposed standards of performance and conduct. Members aim to present a unified voice of the industry to promote the mutual interests and ideals of the members; to protect the users of the embryo transfer industry to the extent technically and ethically possible; to educate the public properly on the status and capability of the United States embryo transfer industry; and to encourage others to engage in the pursuit of this industry. For more information about the AETA, please visit

Thank You to the 2022 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Convention Sponsors and Exhibitors!

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Published on: December 6, 2022

AETA and CETA/ACTE would like to extend a special thank you to the 2022 AETA-CETA/ACTE joint convention sponsors!







ABT 360

Agtech, Inc



eDonor Software

E.I. Medical Imaging, Inc

ICPbio Reproduction

IMV Imaging

IVF Bioscience



Multimin USA


Partnar Animal Health


Reproduction Resources

Stroebech Media

Trans Ova Genetics

Universal Imaging




Dr. George Seidel Jr. Honored by the International Embryo Technology Society

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Published on: December 6, 2022

The International Embryo Technology Society (IETS) board of governors voted unanimously to rename the keynote address at their annual conference the “George E. Seidel Jr. Keynote Lecture.” This act is a tribute to Dr. George Seidel Jr., who made numerous highly regarded scientific contributions in the field of reproductive physiology and died in September of 2021.

The keynote lecture is given by a prestigious speaker who is very notable and significant in the field. It is the final lecture of the IETS annual conference and is one of the most important and most attended sessions of the meeting. It is fitting, then, that this lecture be named after Dr. Seidel.

Seidel grew up on a dairy farm in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, and attended a one room school. He went on to receive his BS from Penn State University and his MS and PhD from Cornell University in 1968 and 1970, respectively, studying reproductive physiology in cattle. He completed is post-doc at Harvard Medical School before accepting a faculty position at Colorado State University (CSU). There, he established himself as a cattle rancher and a highly respected scientist. In 1993 he was named University Distinguished Professor, and while at CSU, he took sabbaticals at Yale University and the Whitehead Institute at MIT.

His research and contributions to the field included work with bull semen, in vitro embryo production, and embryo transfer in cattle and development of methods for sexing semen. Dr. Seidel established the CSU Bovine Embryo Transfer Laboratory, where much of the early research on superovulation, nonsurgical embryo transfer, and embryo freezing was conducted. He also created a company called XY Inc. and conducted research that resulted in many patents, the royalties of which he gave to CSU to support students and research.

Dr. Seidel received numerous awards for his notable career, including being elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors. He helped establish the IETS and received its Distinguished Service Award and the Pioneer Award.

The IETS is honored to attach his name to their keynote lecture in recognition of his dedication to the Society and significant contributions to science.

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About the International Embryo Technology Society

The International Embryo Technology Society (IETS; formerly the International Embryo Transfer Society) was formed in 1974 in Denver, Colorado, USA, to serve as a professional forum for the exchange of information among practitioners, scientists, educators, regulatory officials, livestock breeders, suppliers of drugs and equipment, and students. The purpose of the IETS is to further the science of animal embryo technology by promoting more effective research, disseminating scientific and educational information, fostering high standards of education, maintaining high standards of ethics, and cooperating with other organizations that have similar objectives. Members of the Society are engaged in the practice of embryo transfer in a variety of species, and in research on embryo production, transgenesis and cloning, mechanisms regulating embryo development, and development following embryo transfer. Species studied include domesticated and laboratory animals and endangered species.

Research Update: Does the number of ova in a culture group impact embryo development?

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Published on: December 6, 2022

Texas Tech University – School of Veterinary Medicine

John Gibbons, Jessica Looman, Lyric Waugh, Zowie Rodriguez

  • Oocytes were recovered from slaughterhouse ovaries
  • Oocytes matured in groups of 10 (50 μL drops) for 18 – 20 hours
  • Oocytes randomly allocated to 500 μL wells (50 / well) and comingled with colloid prepared frozen / thawed sperm from a single bull for 18 – 20 hours
  • Presumptive zygotes cultured for 6-7 days in randomly assigned groups of 5, 10, or 20 (50 μL drops) over three replicates
  • Embryo cleavage and development to the blastocysts stage evaluated


Bovine In Vitro Embryo Cleavage and Development to the Blastocyst Stage for Slaughterhouse Ova Cultured (50 mL drops) in Groups of 5, 10, and 20.

Culture GroupPercent CleavedPercent BlastocystStatistics
563.0 ± 0.05 (63 / 100)19.0 ± 0.04 (19 / 100)NS
1054.4 ± 0.05 (49 / 90)20.0 ± 0.04 (18 / 90)NS
2066.0 ± 0.05 (66 /100)22.0 ± 0.04 (22 / 100)NS


Although very preliminary, it appears that the number of ova, 5, 10 or 20, cultured in 50 μL culture drops does not impact embryo cleavage rate or development to the blastocysts stage of ova recovered from slaughterhouse ovaries.  Future research will evaluate the existence of a “helper effect” among ova within a culture environment, by manipulating the size of the culture environment, or by allowing exchange of small molecules (< 75 μm) among ova that are physically separated by a barrier but within the same culture environment.

Survey: Training opportunities in embryo transfer

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Published on: December 6, 2022

The intent of this survey (TTU-IRB Protocol Number IRB2021-971) is to explore potential training opportunities for veterinary students, new graduates, and laboratory technicians interested in embryo transfer.

Crops Crossword

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Published on: December 6, 2022

Test your skills!

2022 Student Scholarship Winner: Austin Byrd

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Published on: December 6, 2022

As a current DVM student at the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine, it was an incredible experience to attend the 2022 annual meeting of the AETA. The conference afforded me the opportunity to expand my knowledge, represent my program, network, and learn from like-minded individuals.

I had the privilege of attending the preconference seminar to hear the presentation from Drs. Rachael Gately and David Matsas on small ruminant artificial insemination. Of the talks I was able to attend, this was my favorite. As someone who has an interest in pursuing small ruminant reproductive services in the future, I found the presentation very beneficial and informative. In my current curriculum, there are not many opportunities to learn small ruminant reproductive techniques. This presentation offered a unique opportunity to answer some of my questions and further grow my knowledge in this area.

The “Student and Technician” session presented by Dr. Tyler Dohlman and Marianna Jahnke was also incredibly beneficial to me. I was able to learn about the preparation and collection of an embryo and the processes that different institutions utilize. This session also introduced me to the opportunity to apply for a small ruminant reproductive rotation offered by Iowa State University during my fourth year. While attending the poster presentations, I was able to meet and discuss potential opportunities with Dr. Cara Wells, as well as learn about several exciting future reproductive technologies that she is working on.

Lastly, attending the 2022 AETA annual meeting allowed me to network with many fantastic veterinarians and doctors who are experts in their fields. Not only was I able to broaden my understanding of alternative methods of artificial insemination and assisted reproductive technologies, but I was able to find mentorship through the connections I made at the conference. These doctors are practicing the kind of medicine I aspire to practice and are paving the way in an industry that still has so much left to discover. Being granted this opportunity was an incredible experience and allowed me to make connections with future colleagues and discover new research and opportunities for my future veterinary practice.

Thank you so much, AETA, for allowing me to be a 2022 scholarship recipient; this was an incredible experience. I am forever grateful for everything I had the privilege to learn and for the connections I was able to form!

Austin Byrd

Texas Tech University

2022 Student Scholarship Winner: Emily Girka

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Published on: December 6, 2022

My dissertation research on oocyte maturation has the potential to benefit commercial in vitro embryo production; however, it can be difficult to bridge the gap between molecular-based studies and production-minded applications. My objectives for attending the 2022 AETA convention were to improve my techniques for follicle aspiration and embryo transfer, learn about efficient management of donor cattle, and network with professionals in the industry.

As I do not come from a background in production, attending the presentations and “Student and Technician” session has greatly improved my knowledge of how oocytes and embryos are handled in the industry, where conditions are not always favorable to maximize pregnancy rates. In the past few years, I have learned to perform follicle aspiration, collecting oocytes both for in vitro maturation and after in vivo maturation. Many of the problems I have encountered during this research were addressed during the troubleshooting section of the preconference seminar. This knowledge will help improve my recovery rates, especially with the challenges associated with collecting large ovulatory follicles. Along with learning to aspirate, I have become involved in the synchronization and management of donor cattle. Incorporating the use of cattle in my research has heightened my interest in follicle stimulation protocols and the effects of FSH on the developmental competence of oocytes. It was interesting to hear the differences in collection protocols between stimulated and nonstimulated donor animals, especially because the majority of my current research depends on FSH treatment. The presentations on donor management and synchronization, recombinant FSH, and human IVF have also prompted new ideas for current and future experiments.

Between sessions and during the socials, I was able to connect with practitioners from across the nation. It was also an amazing chance to connect with other graduate and veterinary students with similar interests. I particularly enjoyed meeting alums from both my alma mater and current institution (Boiler Up and Geaux Tigers!).

I would like to thank the selection committee for choosing me as one of the scholarship recipients and the AETA members for being so welcoming and sharing their expertise. I hope to see everyone again next year in Orlando!

Emily Girka

Louisiana State University

2022 Student Scholarship Winner: Megan Hoover

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Published on: December 6, 2022

I was honored to be able to attend the 2022 AETA and CETA/ACTE joint annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky. From the moment I arrived, everyone was warm, welcoming, and willing to share information and answer my many questions about advanced reproductive techniques. My goals for the meeting were to seek out professionals in the industry who might be willing to act as a source of mentorship during my years as a new graduate, as well as speak with different supply companies to gain knowledge on equipment needed for future use. I can wholeheartedly say that every person I spoke with was willing to serve as a mentor or source of information, and I cannot express my gratitude enough for the members of this organization and their camaraderie. I was also able to speak with veterinary and PhD students who share the same aspirations and passion as me.

I attended the “Oocyte and IVF Embryo Evaluation” preconference seminar, and it was incredibly insightful and educational. I was also directed to several online resources that can assist me in improving my staging and grading skills. Being exposed to different lectures that presented the latest research and recommendations was an incredible experience and can serve as a helpful resource. 

The knowledge gained from this conference is invaluable to my career in cattle reproduction, which will begin in just a few short months. I want to thank the AETA for this opportunity and their generosity in sponsoring my convention experience. I cannot wait to give back to this organization in the years to come, and I hope to see everyone again next year!

Megan Hoover

Purdue University

2022 Student Scholarship Winner: Cole Liggett

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Published on: December 6, 2022

As I reflect back on my experience at my first AETA convention, I can’t help but be thankful to be a part of an organization that invests so much in the students who are the future of the AETA, and how valued our participation is to this program. I would like to start by saying “thank you” to AETA leadership and members for allowing this opportunity for so many students. Without a doubt, I enjoyed my experience and will encourage others to attend this conference, as I will continue to be in attendance.

As I continue to move through my academic years in preparation to embark on a career in the embryo transfer industry, I knew this meeting would give me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and equip me with the network of professionals needed to excel in this industry. There were two objectives that quickly came to mind prior to attending the conference, and as I started to debrief my experience, it was evident these objectives were met through the learning, networking, and mentorship I received throughout the convention.

While having developed a foundation of knowledge through school, different externships, and being involved in my family’s beef cattle operation, this convention gave me the opportunity to hear from industry leaders on the applications of embryo transfer, new and emerging technology, and the current procedures and techniques used. Listening to speakers talk about the practical application of beef embryos in commercial dairy facilities brought light to how we, as professionals, are continually working to produce a high-quality protein source in an effective and sustainable way. In addition, attending the student session on tips and tricks for successful bovine embryo collection and transfer enhanced my knowledge of the protocols and techniques that are used to be the most successful from collection to the lab and eventually to transfer.

Just as importantly, the opportunity to network with individuals with the same aligning passion for embryo transfer allowed for valuable connections to be made. Whether talking with industry professionals about how they perform different techniques and setting times to visit them for externships to conversations with industry leaders at the breakfast table about how they progressed through their careers and the ups and downs they faced, the insight was greatly appreciated. During the student–mentor lunch, the advice given and stories told about the steps they took upon graduation have allowed me to solidify my plans as I move forward as a professional in this industry. Most notably, the connections I made with the other students, whom I now consider friends and soon-to-be colleagues, as we move through our careers in this industry together were unmatched.

My time at the AETA convention has given me motivation as I make the push through my academic career. Based on my interactions with all involved in the association and the values placed on students and their participation, I only see myself continuing to get more involved as I start my professional career. Thank you again to AETA leadership and membership for making this opportunity possible. My positive experience at this event only solidified my passion for embryo transfer. I look forward to future events and attending AETA meetings as an active future member.

Cole Liggett

The Ohio State University

2022 Student Scholarship Winner: Nico Menjivar

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Published on: December 6, 2022

I would first like to extend my sincerest gratitude and appreciation to the selection committee for the opportunity to attend the 2022 AETA annual convention as a selected recipient of a Student Scholarship Award. The critical knowledge, practical applications, industry-based perspectives, and technical approaches coupled with the interactive aspects of the agenda to facilitate connections are among some of the top highlights from my time spent in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s a rarity to be surrounded by so many inspired individuals devoted to furthering assisted reproductive technologies and the field of embryo transfer, so I can confidently say it was an honor to have experienced this opportunity among so many world-renowned leaders.

The driving force and primary objectives that initially piqued my interest in attending the annual convention stemmed from my desire to network with industry-leading scientists to better gauge the functional applications of my primarily in vitro work. Moreover, the opportunity to bridge scientific connections with the diverse speakers and attendees could aid in propagating an optimal postgrad transition, whether it be to a postdoctoral position or an industry-based professional occupation.

The agenda put forth by the organizing committee was diverse in many aspects, spanning from concepts of utilizing beef embryos in a dairy setting to delving into embryo production at the level of a human IVF clinic. The overwhelming presence of practitioner perspectives was truly a highlight, and the discussions facilitated from session to session were proactive, with very relevant inquiries and areas of focus needing a more grounded understanding. A highlight I won’t soon forget was the student–mentor lunch. Having the opportunity to connect with other students from different institutions to discuss interesting topics such as DVM vs PhD and research vs applied application, not to mention our desired career paths, was an opportunity to gain immense perspective as a trainee. With that, I’d like to personally thank Dr. Brad Lindsey for his insight and willingness to be transparent with any and all inquisitive questions. His knowledge in the realm of embryo transfer is immeasurable, and the field is better off because of his direct contributions.

Of all of the sessions I attended, I gained insight from each, and I commend the speakers on their keenness to disseminate their work on such a scale. Of the many who spoke, I highly resonated with two individuals for more reasons than one. First, Dr. Pablo Juan Ross, who discussed the advancements in sex-sorted semen from the industry perspective of STgenetics™. It is quite refreshing to see someone as accomplished as Dr. Ross flourish from the perspective of conducting research at an institution to an industry-based position where his work still continues to push the field forward. Second, Dr. Jordan Thomas, who discussed the caveats of system management. Prior to attending the AETA convention, I was familiar with Dr. Thomas’s work, but following the convention, I have a greater appreciation for folks who, even at such a young age, are able to instill inspiration among the next generation and do so in the most articulate manner.

Overall, leaving Louisville, I feel inspired by the people leading the efforts of the AETA and motivated by the work presented at the 2022 annual convention. In closing, I’d like to once again thank the folks who made this opportunity available to me and my peers, and I look forward to attending many more conferences in the years to come!

Nico Menjivar

Colorado State University

2022 Student Scholarship Winner: Madeline Moen

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Published on: December 6, 2022

As I begin, I would like to first and foremost express my utmost gratitude to the AETA, its members, and the scholarship committee for granting me the opportunity to attend this year’s annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Having the opportunity to attend a conference that was so highly spoken of by my mentors and professors is something I will continue to remain grateful for. I am very pleased to say that this year’s conference not only met my expectations but far exceeded them. The sessions, the people, the food, and the venue continued to impress throughout the convention.

Some of the goals I had set for myself prior to arriving in Louisville included learning something new regarding reproduction every day (if not every session), networking with future colleagues, and getting in touch with future mentors, as well as catching up with some old ones. My final goal was to walk away with a greater appreciation of the AETA and to look forward to attending many conferences in the future.

It wasn’t hard to take something away from every session I attended, from the preconference seminar where I was able to take an in-depth look at small ruminant laparoscopic AI to the student session that provided a very well-rounded introduction to bovine embryo transfer to the sessions where successful practitioners discussed how to incorporate embryo transfer into any practice I might work at postgraduation.

The members of the AETA are one of a kind; having the opportunity to get to know them over the course of those three days and pick their brains for any and all knowledge and advice was worth the drive in itself. The overall willingness of members to get to know students and offer them the chance to learn more about reproduction is something you won’t find anywhere else.

As I look forward to the remaining years of my DVM program at Iowa State University, I’m excited about the opportunity to continue to expand my knowledge in an industry that strives to advance itself every year. I’m also eager to continue to develop relationships with people passionate about the reproductive industry, all based on the foundation I received from topics discussed and people I was able to meet at this year’s convention.

In closing, I would like to thank the AETA for putting on an amazing conference that any student would be lucky to attend. To my fellow scholarship recipients, I so enjoyed getting to know all of you and look forward to all the amazing things you’ll all accomplish in the coming years. The future of this organization is in great hands thanks to the great leaders and mentors who’ve helped shape the next generation and given them opportunities to be successful.

Madeline Moen

Iowa State University

2022 Student Scholarship Winner: Hannah Nelson

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Published on: December 6, 2022

I will be forever grateful to the AETA for providing scholarship opportunities to students to attend the AETA/CETA annual convention. I was overwhelmed by the generosity and inclusiveness all of the AETA members expressed toward me as a veterinary student, from their willingness to explain and discuss protocols with me to their advice and invitations for preceptorships. I have never felt so welcomed by such an accomplished group of professionals.

I really enjoyed learning more about small ruminant advanced reproduction techniques during the preconference seminars. This is an area of the industry to which I have not yet had much exposure, but it has sparked a career interest for me.

The student and tech lunch talk by Dr. Tyler Dohlman and Marianna Jahnke was a great way to learn some tricks of the trade and provide a good overview of the embryo transfer industry. We were also appreciative of the mentor lunch! It was a great way to start relationships and conversations about the industry, get advice from seasoned veterinarians, and meet other students.

Earlier this year, while at a clinic for a short externship, I had the opportunity to learn more about genomic selection and the use of beef semen in dairy cows to help improve the productivity and profitability of the herd. I was excited to hear talks about Slaughterhouse Beef Embryo Production by Dr. Brady Hicks, and Beef Embryos on Dairy by Dr. Clint Walhof. I appreciated the discussion on pregnancy rates and the comparisons between the use of Angus embryos and AI. I look forward to working with clients in the future utilizing both techniques to maximize their productivity and profitability in their own herds. I am grateful to be involved in an industry that looks to increase sustainability through these advanced techniques.

The practitioner panel on embryo collections, beef donors, and ET in general dairy practice with Drs. Kirk Gray, Scott Larsen, and Kent Bindl was eye-opening. Hearing a diverse group of practitioners discuss their focus in the ET industry was a great way to broaden our understanding of the industry as a whole and the different career paths within it.

I would like to thank the AETA, its board, members, and sponsors for putting on such a great event. The networking and connections made through this conference will be of great benefit to me as I start my career in the veterinary and embryo transfer industries. I look forward to watching the growth in technology and advancements in ET and IVF, and I am excited to be involved in such a progressive industry!

Hannah Nelson

Iowa State University

2022 Student Scholarship Winner: Brette Poliakiwski

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Published on: December 6, 2022

I would like to thank the scholarship committee for giving me the opportunity to attend the 2022 AETA/CETA joint annual meeting. The AETA/CETA joint annual meeting was not just a learning opportunity for me; this meeting also provided me the opportunity to network and establish connections with professionals in the field from around the world. This meeting provided many opportunities for members to attend social events throughout the meeting and, therefore, made it possible to meet and communicate with individuals who were actively interested in my research, professional development, and goals. It was through these conversations that I developed numerous research ideas, goals for my future career, and worthy relationships that will assist me in the future. One prime example of this was the student–mentor lunch, as it was a valuable networking tool that allowed me to develop more of a personal relationship with some of the mentors.

There was always something I took away from every presentation, whether it involved the scientific content, different ways to organize data, or simply how to structure a scientific talk for a technical audience. Prior to attending the meeting, I felt I had a good base understanding of the embryo technology field. However, through this meeting, I learned that there is still much more knowledge for me to gain. For example, growing up on a dairy farm, I had a good understanding of beef on dairy, but it was not until the presentation, “Beef Embryos on Dairy,” that I truly understood the numbers of why and how implementing beef can increase the profits of a dairy operation. In addition, the numerous presentations on different ovum pickup protocols regarding the usage of FSH were highly informative, as I can apply this knowledge to my current studies and future work. Hearing the scientific data presented at the convention triggered me to think critically about my current data and aided me to design future research projects in my line of work.

Another specific session I enjoyed was the “Student and Technician” session because we discussed tips and tricks for a successful bovine embryo collection and transfer as well as how to troubleshoot when things do not go as planned. This session was a nonformal discussion, which allowed trainees to interact with one another, explain the diverse ways we have been taught, and review what is right vs what is wrong. I also appreciated the open-ended conversations after each presentation, since I felt the advice from not only the presenter but from the professionals within the audience was highly engaging.

Being in my second year of my PhD, I am continually going back and forth on whether I want to pursue either industry or academia. This meeting provided me with great insight into both avenues, as I was able to discuss potential opportunities in academia with professors at numerous universities around the United States. I was also able to communicate with some of the leading businesses in the reproductive field and discuss the opportunities that a reproductive physiologist could have. This meeting taught me that no matter which profession I choose, I need to be involved in an active learning and educational environment, such as the AETA.

Brette Poliakiwski

Texas A&M University

2022 Student Scholarship Winner: Masroor Sagheer

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Published on: December 6, 2022

I want to start by congratulating the entire AETA team that made this year’s meeting a huge success. It was a pleasure to be able to interact with and learn from the experiences of the leaders of the embryo transfer industry.

I am a veterinarian from Pakistan and am currently pursuing my PhD in reproductive physiology and embryology at the University of Florida. Hailing from the fourth-largest milk-producing (61 million tons) country in the world, I intended to come to the US and equip myself with state-of-the-art skills in the field of embryology so that I could improve the local breeds of cows and buffaloes in Pakistan. As a graduate student, the rigorous training I am getting at the University of Florida in designing research and data analysis will help me set new standards of research and teaching embryology in Pakistan. However, I still needed a better understanding of the field application of embryology to uplift the nascent embryo industry in Pakistan. Therefore, I applied for a student scholarship to learn the best embryo production practices on a commercial scale. My other inspiration for attending the AETA conference was to learn the basics of laparoscopic AI in small ruminants. The thought-provoking and encouraging talks from Drs. Rachael Gately and David Matsas on laparoscopic AI were an absolute delight. The knowledge sharing in terms of synchronization protocols, anesthesia protocols, and basic handling of a laparoscope was very much appreciated. I am sure that the learning points from this session will be very helpful in the successful execution of my PhD projects.

I was delighted to learn the results of recombinant FSH from Dr. Scott Jaques. I am hopeful that, in a few years, we will see more data on recombinant FSH usage in dairy cows. It would be great to know their findings, as the availability of a recombinant FSH would reduce the cost of superovulation in conventional flush and superstimulation in ovum pickup-based IVF embryo transfer programs. The lessons from the session on slaughterhouse beef embryo production by Alex Blonski and Dr. Brady Hicks could potentially open a lot of new opportunities for research and business. As researchers, we have always struggled with embryo transfer from slaughterhouse embryos due to the unknown genetics of the female animals. However, the availability of a slaughterhouse exclusively for Angus cows (as mentioned by Dr. Hicks) can certainly eliminate this issue and help researchers design more controlled experiments on pregnancy success rates of IVF embryos. Beef on dairy is one of the hot topics in the dairy industry these days, and I was amazed to see the data on thousands of beef embryo transfers in dairy cows by Dr. Clint Walhof.

The success story of a small-scale ovum pickup setup by Dr. Bethany J. Funnel at the CETA/ACTE session gave me a lot of confidence to start an embryo transfer practice on my return to Pakistan. I realized that it is possible to get great outcomes from a small IVF lab by strictly utilizing good lab practices. A session on basic IVF laboratory requirements and composition of different IVF media by Dr. Jacob Thundathil was extremely helpful in understanding the biology of the IVF process.

The insights and updates on sex semen technology from Dr. Pablo Juan Ross and Mike Donnelly made their sessions possibly the best of this year’s AETA conference. It was amazing to learn about the chronological advancements in sex semen technology and its use in IVF setups. The talk on donor management by Dr. Alvaro García-Guerra truly provided answers to a lot of practical questions in embryo transfer setups. The fact that increasing or decreasing the dose of FSH does not affect embryo production success would offer ease in the application of FSH by farmers. An exclusive discussion during the IVF lab procedures and updates session was very thoughtful. Being aware of the constraints of an IVF lab is equally important for a successful embryo transfer. Lastly, the session on human IVF from Dr. Eduardo Kelly beautifully highlighted the importance of several lab-end critical factors for smooth embryo production.

There were a lot of great questions raised during the meeting that caught my attention. As academicians, I think we need to work more on improving embryo cryopreservation and embryo recipient management, as there is a lot of room for advancement in these areas of bovine embryology. Overall, the AETA provided me with a great opportunity to interact with experts from industry and academia during social hours and the exclusive student–mentor lunch. It felt great to be among the pillars of this industry, and I am extremely grateful to the AETA for giving me this opportunity.

Masroor Sagheer

University of Florida

2022 Student Scholarship Winner: Brittany Truax

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Published on: December 6, 2022

First and foremost, I would like to thank the AETA leadership and members for sponsoring this student opportunity. I am honored to be part of an organization that prioritizes its student members. Over the past few years, I have gained experience in many aspects of embryo transfer and worked with a handful of professionals who have helped me to create a solid foundation for a career. This time pushed me to think outside the box and set big goals for myself. When applying for the student scholarship, I had two main goals: to learn as much as I could while building on my foundational knowledge and to create new relationships.

My experience at the 2022 AETA conference exceeded my expectations and has only continued to foster my passion for the embryo transfer industry. The knowledge I gained will stick with me, and it brought to light new opportunities. For example, the purpose of beef on dairy and the use of recombinant FSH, particularly its benefit in small ruminant work. I also particularly enjoyed the “Student and Technician” session presented by Dr. Tyler Dohlman and Marianna Jahnke. This session allowed me to pinpoint a few next steps for starting as a practitioner. The tips and tricks discussed allowed me to connect some of the basic skills of conventional flush procedures to the more advanced topics presented at the other sessions.

Most importantly, I took the opportunity to connect with practitioners around the country, which allowed me to gather wisdom usually only gained through experience and collect a variety of insights on embryo transfer. I got to reconnect with old mentors at the preconference social while learning the ins and outs of betting on horses at Churchill Downs, and fostered new relationships at the banquet the following night. I also want to acknowledge the mentors at the student–mentor lunch. Their advice was invaluable, as they helped to alleviate a worry of mine: how to build clinic/client confidence in your skill set as a new graduate. I want to personally thank everyone who took the time to talk to me and share their advice; it is truly invaluable. It was also intriguing to meet with students who shared my interests and see how everyone’s paths are so dramatically different, but all converge in the same direction. These conversations allowed me to acknowledge that there are many paths to success.

This experience has truly given me the inspiration I needed to move forward through earning my DVM and starting a career. After getting to see the camaraderie of such a passionate group of people, I left the conference feeling reinvigorated, and with new questions I want to investigate. My first experience at the annual conference was extremely positive, and I look forward to attending in the future as an active member.

Brittany Truax

The Ohio State University

AETA President’s Report – Spring 2022

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Published on: March 30, 2022

It has been a privilege to be a part of the AETA Board of Directors (BOD) over the last three years and an honor to serve as this year’s president. I have been blessed to be a part of this industry for 20 years. As Paul Harvey said, “The years don’t always add wisdom, but they do add perspective!”

The first meetings I attended were eye-opening experiences, and those BOD members were larger than life to a new college graduate trying to find a place to call home. Over the years, I have watched every BOD deal with their fair share of challenges. Each one, I am sure, feels theirs were the most difficult. We should all take the time to thank Morgan and FASS, and the two past presidents, Matt Dorshorst and Bill Croushore, for navigating AETA through two years of virtual meetings, zoom calls, and hotel contracts. But just as importantly, we need to thank all the businesses that continued to support the association and the industry without blinking an eye!

This is going to be an exciting year! Dr. Greg Schueller already has an amazing program set for our Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, from October 27 to 29, 2022. It is packed with timely and informative topics, and thankfully, for the first time in over two years we will be able to shake hands and interact with colleagues and longtime friends that we have greatly missed seeing. I promise you, Louisville will be a meeting to be remembered for a long time! Mark your calendars and make sure to attend.

In 2013, the AETA developed a strategic plan that is just as important today. It concentrates on 3 targeted areas for growth and betterment of the association, and this year’s BOD has goals to improve each one.

  1. Education
    1. Increase participation in poster session at AETA meetings
    2. Provide more exposure at veterinary school level: Curriculum, interactive courses
  2. Membership
    1. Encourage growth from within: Embryo transfer business (ETB) employees
    2. Increase exposure to new professional graduates
    3. Increase exposure to academia and encourage participation in our organization
    4. Increase exposure to other species utilizing assisted reproductive technologies
  3. Certification
    1. Improve certification exam format and knowledge base
    2. Continue to develop ways for members to differentiate and add value to themselves through recognition programs

As I have encouraged the BOD, I will equally encourage every AETA member to think differently than you have the past 20 years. As we propose new ways to recognize or educate members, we will see an increase in membership. As we increase membership, we will have more ETBs working in the industry and educating their clients on the importance of the AETA. This is nothing new to our industry, but it needs our attention again. 

I look forward to a productive 2022 and a reunion in Louisville at the 2022 AETA/CETA Annual Convention.

Clay Breiner, DVM

2022 AETA President

Save the date for the 2022 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual In-Person Meeting!

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Published on: March 30, 2022

The 2022 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Meeting will be held in Louisville, KY from October 27-29. The conference will be held at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Book your hotel reservation now!

All of the scientific, social, sponsor/exhibitor, student scholarship, and continuing education (CE) information can be found on the AETA Annual Convention page as it becomes available. Check back often!

We look forward to reuniting with everyone in-person in October!

2022 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Meeting Draft Program

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Published on: March 30, 2022

October 27–29, 2022

Louisville Marriott Downtown

Louisville, KY

Wednesday, October 26

7:30 am–5:00 pmAETA Board of Directors Meeting
7:30 am–5:00 pmAETA Certification Committee Meeting
7:30 am–11:00 amCETA/ACTE Certification Committee Meeting
11:00 am–5:00 pmCETA/ACTE Board of Directors Meeting
1:00 pm–5:00 pmCETA/ACTE Certification Exam (for initial certification)

Thursday, October 27

7:30 am–2:00 pmGolf Tournament
(additional registration required)
Cosponsored by Partnar Animal Health
and Reproduction Resources
8:00 am–10:00 amAETA Certification Committee Meeting
8:00 am–12:00 pmCETA/ACTE Certification Exam Review
(for applicants who wrote the exam)
10:00 am–12:00 pmAETA Recertification Session
(maximum 50 participants)
11:00 am–5:00 pmRegistration Open
12:00 pm–5:00 pmExhibit Setup
2:00 pm–5:00 pmPreconference Seminar I: Small Ruminant AI
and ET
(additional registration required)
Presented by Dr. Rachael Gately and Dr. David Matsas
2:00 pm–5:00 pmPreconference Seminar II:
(additional registration required)
Oocyte and IVF Embryo Evaluation 
Presented by Dr. Jennifer Barfield and Dr. Daniela Demetrio
OPU Tips and Tricks: “What do I do when…”
Presented by Dr. Bill Croushore,
Dr. Andre Dayan, and Dr. Matt Bartlett
6:00 pm–10:00 pmPreconference Social at Churchill Downs
(additional registration required)
Sponsored by Vétoquinol

Friday, October 28

6:45 am–5:00 pmRegistration Open
6:45 am–5:00 pmExhibits Open
6:45 am–7:45 amChristian Family Breakfast
(additional registration required)
Presented by Dr. Glenn Crumpler
6:45 am–7:45 amBreakfast
Sponsored by PETS
7:45 am–8:00 amWelcome and Exhibitor/Sponsor Recognition
8:00 am–8:30 amSession 1: Recombinant FSH
Presented by Dr. Scott Jaques
8:30 am–9:20 amSession 2: Slaughterhouse Beef Embryo Production
Presented by Dr. Alex Blonsky and Dr. Brady Hicks
8:45 am–3:00 pmCompanion Tour:
(additional registration required)
9:20 am–9:50 amSession 3: Beef Embryos on Dairy – ET and
Pregnancy Outcomes
Presented by Dr. Clint Walhof
9:50 am–10:15 amBreak and Poster Session
Sponsored by PETS
10:15 am–11:45 amAETA Certification Session
Presentations by members of the USDA,
the AETA Certification Committee, Dr. Keith Poulsen,
and Dr. Ashley Swenson
10:15 am–11:45 amCETA/ACTE Session
10:15 am–11:45 amStudent/Technician Session
Presented by Dr. Tyler Dohlman and Marianna Jahnke
11:45 am–12:45 pmStudent/Mentor Lunch
All students attending the convention are welcome
to attend the student/mentor lunch.

Attendees will get food from the main lunch area and
then gather in the meeting room to eat (beverages and
cutlery will be in the meeting room).
11:45 am–12:45 pmLunch
Sponsored by PETS
11:45 am–12:45 pmAETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention Meeting
12:45 am-1:45 pmSession 4: Sex-Sorted Semen Use in AI, ET, and IVF
Presented by Dr. Pablo Juan Ross
1:45 pm–2:40 pmSession 5: Shipping and Insuring Embryos
Presented by John Stoesser
2:40 pm–3:10 pmBreak and Poster Session
Sponsorship Opportunity!
3:10 pm–4:00 pmSession 6: Sexcel Sexed Semen
Presented by Mike Donnelly
4:00 pm–5:00 pmSession 7: Practitioner Forum 
Donor housing, Young Donor IVF and ET, and
Conventional ET on Beef Heifers
Topics may change
Presented by TBD
6:00 pm–7:00 pmSocial Hour
Open Bar Sponsored by Reproduction Resources
7:00 pm–10:00 pmBanquet with Entertainment by Howl at the
Moon Dueling Pianos
Open Bar Sponsored by Reproduction Resources

Saturday, October 29

7:00 am–3:00 pmExhibits Open
7:00 am–5:00 pmRegistration Open
7:00 am–8:00 amBreakfast
Sponsorship Opportunity!
7:00 am–8:00 amAETA Past President’s Breakfast  
8:00 am–10:00 amAETA Business Meeting
8:00 am–10:00 amCETA/ACTE Annual General Meeting
8:45 am–3:00 pmCompanion Tour:
(additional registration required)
10:00 am–10:30 amBreak and Poster Session
Sponsorship Opportunity!
10:30 am–11:30 amSession 8: Whole System Management of
Recipients Prior to Embryo Transfer
Presented by Dr. Jordan Thomas
11:30 am–12:30 pmSession 9: Donor Management and Synchronization
Presented by Dr. Alvaro Garcia Guerra
12:30 pm–1:30 pmLunch
Sponsorship Opportunity!
12:30 pm–1:30 pmCETA/ACTE New Board of Director’s Meeting
12:30 pm–1:30 pmAETA New Board of Director’s Meeting
1:30 pm–3:30 pmSession 10: IVF Lab Procedures and Updates
Presented by Patti Anderson, MS, Dr. Francois-Xavier Grand,
Dr. Marcello Rubessa, and Dr. Bruno Sanchez
3:30 pm–3:45 pmBreak
Sponsorship Opportunity!
3:45 pm–4:45 pmSession 11: Human IVF
Presented by Dr. Eduardo Kelly
4:45 pm–5:00 pmClosing Remarks
See you in Orlando from October 26-28, 2023!
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