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!

2022 AETA Annual Convention Student Scholarship Award

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Published on: March 30, 2022

The American Embryo Transfer Association is offering up to 10 Student Scholarship Awards to help cover expenses at the 2022 AETA and CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, from October 27 to 29, 2022. The scholarship covers student registration, one preconference seminar, Friday and Saturday scientific sessions, the banquet, breakfasts, lunches, breaks, maximum hotel accommodations for three nights, round-trip airfare for one, and entrance to the preconference social.

STIPEND APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS

  1. All applicants must be currently enrolled in an accredited university or program and be interested in pursuing a career in embryo transfer.
  2. The application is open to all students pursuing a DVM or PhD in reproductive physiology.
  3. If not already a member, applicants must become a student member of AETA, which is FREE!
  4. All applicants must attend the scientific sessions, banquet, breakfast, lunches, breaks, and preconference social. 
  5. All applicants must agree to submit a report and post-meeting evaluation of the annual meeting stating their objectives for meeting attendance, what was gained from attendance, and how this knowledge can be put to use in the industry and their academic work. This report must be written and submitted to the AETA Headquarters within 30 days following the meeting. Additionally, this report will be published in the winter edition of the AETA newsletter, A Closer Look.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

  1. Complete the AETA Annual Convention Student Scholarship application, below.
  2. Prepare a 500-word written statement on the following topic: Why should the American Embryo Transfer Association send me to the 2022 annual meeting? Essays listing what you will do at the event will not be considered. Rather, the essay must incorporate the meeting curriculum and demonstrate the anticipated benefits.
  3. Include two letters of recommendation from faculty advisors or current AETA members.
  4. Submit the documents and completed application to the email address listed below or by mail postmarked no later than August 19, 2022.

American Embryo Transfer Association

1800 South Oak Street, Suite 100

Champaign, IL 61820

Main tel: (217) 398-2217; Fax: (217) 398-4119

http://www.aeta.org; aeta@assochq.org

NOTIFICATION

All applicants will receive notification of award status by September 12, 2022. Reimbursement of travel costs will be provided following the meeting.

Student Scholarship Application

Thank You to the 2021 Annual Meeting Sponsors

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Published on: December 20, 2021

AETA would like to extend a special thank you to the 2021 AETA-CETA/ACTE convention sponsors.

DOUBLE PLATINUM SPONSOR

GOLD SPONSORS

SILVER SPONSORS

BRONZE SPONSORS

FRIEND SPONSORS

The AETA Announces 2022 Board of Directors

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Published on: December 20, 2021

Champaign, IL, December 2021 – The 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Embryo Transfer Association was held October 15 and 16. More than 400 national and international attendees came together virtually to learn more about the most recent advances in advanced bovine reproductive procedures and technology.

The incoming 2022 AETA Board of Directors is listed below.

Board of Directors

President – Dr. Clay Breiner, Westmoreland, KS

Vice President – Dr. Greg Schueller, Whitewater, WI

Secretary-Treasurer – Dr. Daniela Demetrio, Riverdale, CA

Immediate Past President – Dr. William Croushore, Berlin, PA

Director – Dr. Pat Comyn, Madison, VA

Director – Dr. Brad Lindsey, Midway, TX

Director – Dr. Charles Gue, Belgrade, MT

Director – Dr. Matthew Bartlett, Sioux Center, IA

Director – Dr. Lee Jones, Tifton, GA

In addition, the AETA announces its 2022 joint annual convention with the Canadian Embryo Transfer Association (CETA), to be held from October 27-29, 2022 in Louisville, KY

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 http://www.aeta.org.

Register now for the 2021 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Virtual Meeting!

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Published on: August 18, 2021

The 2021 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Meeting will be held virtually beginning on October 15. You must register before October 15 to get access to the live virtual meeting. Register now!

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

For the price of US$200, registrants will be able to access the meeting content until December 31. Register before October 15 to join us for the live virtual meeting. Registration will reopen after the live meeting from October 17 to December 1, and registrants will have access to the convention recordings and CE quizzes until the end of the year.

Prerecorded sessions will be made available via a link on the AETA convention page at 12:01 a.m. (CDT) on Friday, October 15. During the times on the schedule, speakers will be available to chat via Zoom about their presentations and answer any questions you may have.

All sessions will have a quiz that participants must participate in and pass with a score of at least 70% to receive CE credits.

Please note that speakers will only be available for discussion during their scheduled time on either October 15 or 16.

We look forward to seeing you in October!

2021 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Virtual Meeting Scientific Schedule

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Published on: August 18, 2021

All times listed are central daylight time

Friday, October 15

12:01 AMAll pre-recorded sessions available for viewing
8:45 AM – 9:00 AMWelcome & Sponsor Announcements
9:00 AM –10:10 AMSession 1: Strategies to simplify in vivo and in vitro embryo
production in beef donors; competing or complementary techniques?

Presented by Dr. Gabriel Bo
10:10 AM – 12:00 PMAETA Session
10:10 AM – 12:00 PMCETA/ACTE Annual General Meeting
12:00 PM – 1:10 PMSession 2: Complications associated with equine transvaginal ultrasound-guided follicle aspiration

Presented by Dr. Katrin Hinrichs
1:10 PM – 2:20 PMSession 3: Disease control around Embryo Transfer

Presented by Dr. François-Xavier Grand
2:20 PM – 3:30 PMSession 4: Control of the estrous cycle among embryo transfer recipients using the 7&7 Synch protocol

Presented by Dr. Jordan Thomas
3:30 PM – 4:40 PMSession 5: Gametes and embryos from stem cells: status and applications in
animal reproduction


Presented by Dr. Pablo Ross
4:40 – 5:50 PMSession 6: Periconceptual environment impact on gametes and embryo epigenetic legacy

Presented by Dr. Marc-André Sirard
5:50 PMDay 1 closing remarks

Saturday, October 16

8:45 AM – 9:00 AMWelcome and Sponsor Announcements
9:00 AM – 10:40 AMSession 7: OPU and lab considerations in providing IVF services

Presented by Dr. Jon Schmidt & Patti Anderson, MS
10:40 AM – 11:50 AMSession 8: Calves from calves: accelerating genetic advancement

Presented by Dr. Hernan Baldassarre
12:00 PM – 1:00 PMAETA Business Meeting (election of new officers)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PMCETA/ACTE New Board of Directors
1:10 PM – 2:20 PMSession 9: Practitioners Forum

Embryo Debris: Presented by Dr. Gabriel Couto

Practitioner Challenges: Preparing for IVF Transfer Day: Presented by Dr. Brad Lindsey

Fresh IVF transfer on Day 6.5 post fertilization: Presented by Dr. Cody Bailey
2:20 PM – 3:30 PMSession 10: Small Ruminants

Presented by Dr. Tad Thomson
3:30 PM – 4:40 PMSession 11: Progesterone supplementation: When does it increase reproductive efficiency
in cattle?

Presented by Dr. Angelika Stock
4:40 PM – 5:50 PMSession 12: The cow’s genital tract in postpartum period: Update

Presented by Dr. Réjean Lefebvre
5:50 PMConvention Closing Remarks and BOD Election Results

2021 Candidates for the AETA Board of Directors

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Published on: August 18, 2021

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Thank you to the 2020 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention Sponsors

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Published on: November 2, 2020

Double Platinum Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Friend Sponsor

The AETA Announces 2020 Award Winners and 2021 Board of Directors

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Published on: November 2, 2020

The 2020 Annual Meeting of the AETA was held October 6 and 7. More than 400 national and international attendees came together virtually to learn more about the most recent advances in advanced bovine reproductive procedures and technology.

Listed below are the winners of the 2020 AETA awards who were recognized at the meeting and the incoming 2021 AETA board of directors.

The Edwin Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Chris Keim – Whitewater, WI

Dr. Dan Hornickel – Whitewater, WI

AETA President’s Award

Dr. Scott Armbrust – Green Bay, WI

The 2021 Board of Directors

President – Dr. William Croushore, Berlin, PA

Vice President – Dr. Clay Breiner, Westmoreland, KS

Secretary-Treasurer – Dr. Greg Schueller, Whitewater, WI

Immediate Past President – Dr. Matthew Dorshorst, Marshfield, WI

Director – Dr. Jeremy VanBoening, Alma, NE

Director – Dr. Pat Comyn, Madison, VA

Director – Dr. Brad Lindsey, Midway, TX

Director – Dr. Daniela Demetrio, Riverdale, CA

Director – Dr. Charles Gue, Belgrade, MT

2021 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention

In addition, the AETA announces its 2021 joint annual convention with the Canadian Embryo Transfer Association (CETA), to be held in the fall of 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Dr. Chris Keim accepts The Edwin Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Dan Hornickel accepts The Edwin Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Scott Armbrust accepts the AETA President’s Award

Save the date for the 2020 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Virtual Meeting!

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Published on: August 13, 2020

The 2020 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Meeting will be held virtually beginning on October 6th.  You must register before October 6th to get access to the meeting content.

All of the scientific, sponsor, and CE information can be found on the AETA Annual Convention page as it becomes available. Check back often!

The convention will feature two types of sessions: keynote addresses and prerecorded sessions.

Keynote addresses will be live sessions via Zoom, where participants will see the content and interact with the speakers in real time. Once the keynote addresses have concluded, a link to the content will be posted.

Prerecorded sessions will be made available via a link on the AETA convention page at 12:01 am (CDT) on Tuesday, October 6. During the times on the schedule, speakers will be available to chat via Zoom about their presentations and answer any questions you may have.

All sessions will have a quiz that participants must participate in and pass with a score of at least 70% to receive continuing education (CE) credits.

Please note that speakers will only be available for discussion during their scheduled time. Participants who register before October 6th can view sessions and take the accompanying RACE quizzes until December 31st.

You must register before October 6th to get access to the meeting content.

2020 Candidates for AETA Board of Directors

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Published on: August 13, 2020

Elections will take place during the Annual Business Meeting scheduled for October 7 from 1:30pm-2:30pm central time. Please take a moment to read the candidates bios below.

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The AETA Announces 2019 Award Winners, Student Scholarship Recipients, and 2020 Board of Directors

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Published on: January 3, 2020

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Embryo Transfer Association was held October 24-26 at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. More than 400 national and international attendees came together. The meeting hosted oral and poster presentations as well as commercial exhibits. Special events included the preconference social, companion tours, and awards banquet.

Listed below are the winners of the 2019 AETA awards who were recognized at the 2019 meeting and the incoming 2020 AETA Board of Directors.

The Edwin Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Brad Stroud – Weatherford, TX

AETA President’s Award

Dr. Charles Looney – Hope, AR

Honorary Lifetime Membership

Dr. Roger Davis – Crossfield, AB, Canada

Student Scholarship Recipients

Josh Brown, University of Minnesota

David Hardesty, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sarah Harp, The Ohio State University

Makayla Hawbaker, University of Wisconsin

Russell Johnson, Tuskegee University

Kaitlin Karl, Michigan State University

Mariah Markle, Louisiana State University

Hilary Seals, Auburn University

Nicholas Shen, Lincoln Memorial University

Michael Topper, University of Pennsylvania

Board of Directors

President – Dr. Matthew Dorshorst, Marshfield, WI

Vice President – Dr. William Croushore, Berlin, PA

Secretary-Treasurer – Dr. Clay Breiner, Westmoreland, KS

Immediate Past President – Dr. Matt Iager, Boonsboro, MD

Director – Dr. Kory Bigalk, Rochester, MN

Director – Dr. Pat Comyn, Madison, VA

Director – Dr. Brad Lindsey, Midway, TX

Director – Dr. Greg Schueller, Whitewater, WI

Director – Dr. Jeremy VanBoening, Alma, NE

In addition, the AETA announces its 2020 joint annual convention with the Canadian Embryo Transfer Association (CETA), to be held October 5-7, following the World Dairy Expo. The 2020 joint meeting will be held at the Madison Marriott West in Madison, WI.

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 http://www.aeta.org.

2019 AETA Scholarship Winner Report: Josh Brown

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Published on: January 3, 2020

My goals for attending the AETA conference were to learn more about the industry, further my knowledge of embryo transfer, and make connections in the field for the future.

From the pre-conference seminars to the very last lecture, I was expanding my knowledge on embryo transfer. The preconference session, ET101, was one of the highlights of the conference for me. The lecture filled in gaps of knowledge I had on syncing donors, drug dosages, and grading embryos. It was also beneficial to hear that beef and dairy have slightly different protocols. The student/technician sessions were also helpful, and it was exciting to practice grading embryos, thawing and freezing them. The student and mentor lunch was valuable, in that we got to hear advice from practitioners and the benefits of the varying practice types.

The knowledge I gained from the conference will be applicable to me in both industry and academic work. Understanding the reproductive physiology will benefit me in school as we continue our palpation labs, and comprehending the structures I am palpating and associating them with the stage of the cycle they are in. During fourth year I will be able to apply the knowledge I learned from this conference to my externships and rotations. I will be able to apply the material I learned from the conference right away in my career as a veterinarian. Not only will the material be beneficial in embryo transfer but in the cattle industry as a whole. Genetics is the foundation to a great herd, and embryo transfer can establish that and allow it to grow. From selecting donors to understanding synchronizations, this conference covered multiple topics I wanted to learn about and more. I would strongly recommend it to any student or veterinarian who is interested in embryo transfer, and I would like to thank the AETA scholarship committee for this award.

2019 AETA Scholarship Winner Report: David Hardesty

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Published on: January 3, 2020

I would like to thank the AETA, the members, and the scholarship committee for giving me the opportunity to attend the meeting in Colorado Springs. I was able to network with the world’s leaders in embryo transfer, attend informative seminars, and have so much fun while doing it. I left Colorado with a deeper knowledge in embryo transfer and am eager to learn more as I head back to school.

The ET 101 pre-conference seminar by Dr. Hinshaw and Dr. Schueller was very informative and increased my basic background knowledge on embryo transfer. They were willing to share their personal experience and the exact techniques they use in practice, which was very helpful in developing my understanding of how everything works. My favorite session throughout the weekend was the student/technician session, where we were able to thaw embryos, find them under the microscope, and load them into straws. This gave me great practical experience in staging embryos and how to work with them microscopically. Other sessions taught me more about proper recipient management, reasons for pregnancy loss, monitoring development, and more research that is being done in the field.

Throughout the weekend I built many connections with veterinarians, technicians, and other students. I was able to talk to current AETA members to pick their brains on different aspects of the industry as well to learn about different experiences out there I can pursue to further develop my knowledge. At the exhibits I was able to speak to companies that are innovators in the industry and learn about what new technologies they have came out with.

I am very grateful that I was able to attend the 2019 AETA conference. I came away with an increased knowledge in embryo transfer and a bigger network where I can learn even more. I already had a drive and passion for ET, but this conference made me hungry to learn even more. Thank you again, and I hope to see you all in the future.

2019 AETA Scholarship Winner Report: Sarah Harp

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Published on: January 3, 2020

My name is Sarah Harp; I am from central Ohio and am currently a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. I am interested primarily in working with beef cattle and small ruminants.

I want to first say a heartfelt thank-you to the American Embryo Transfer Association for their generosity in providing these scholarships. I would likely not have been able to attend otherwise, and their support allowed me to learn more about the industry, meet countless people involved in the business, and experience what this organization is all about. I also want to say thank you to all those in attendance who took time to talk to us as students and share your stories and advice. And finally, a big thank-you to Dr. Rob Stout at Legends Lane Reproductive Services for encouraging me to join this organization and apply for the convention scholarship as well. His mentorship and willingness to teach have been an inspiration to continue pursuing this career field.

One of my primary objectives in attending the convention was to talk to people involved in the industry and find out how they got involved, how embryo transfer is incorporated into their business, and what they like or would change about their career field. I was surprised at the wide variety of businesses and experiences of those in attendance. A large portion work in reproduction specialty–only practices, whether private or commercial; but I spoke with quite a few who work in general practice and have incorporated embryo transfer services into their business. Also, as this is a relatively new and expanding field, it was interesting and inspiring to have so many founders and pioneers in the field in attendance who are still involved and sharing their knowledge. I am thankful for the connections I made during the conference and the opportunities for future externships that I can learn from in the coming year.

The sessions offered at the conference covered a diverse range of topics and were an excellent learning experience for those just getting started in the industry. The pre-conference ET 101 course was an excellent refresher on introductory material and an opportunity for practitioners to troubleshoot problems they have encountered and get advice. The general sessions throughout the conference showed the scientific and research-driven aspect of this field. I particularly appreciated the question-and-answer times following the presentations, as the questions showed vested interest in ensuring that solid research methods were leading to valid conclusions. This field seems to lend itself nicely to research studies even at the private practitioner level, and with room to still grow and improve, this aspect is a drawing force to see where we can improve over the next generation.

Finally, I must mention the truly family-like atmosphere among the membership. It may not be as small and close-knit as it once was, but the warmth and friendship throughout the conference was apparent. Everyone was very welcoming, and I had several people comment about the organization’s efforts to get younger members involved, and I believe the scholarship is a great start to those efforts. I was also interested to hear about other programs within the organization, such as the trade missions, which not only offer valuable services to other countries but promote international trade as well. The efforts to continually improve this organization are apparent, and the collaborative nature of the group makes it one which will be a privilege to be a part of.

Thank you again to all of those involved who make these scholarships possible. I look forward to continuing to be a part of this organization and seeing the strides made in years to come.

2019 AETA Scholarship Winner Report: Makayla Hawbaker

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Published on: January 3, 2020

I wanted to start by giving my sincerest thanks to the AETA scholarship committee for selecting me to be one of the scholarship recipients for the 2019 AETA & CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention in Colorado Springs. I was honored to have the opportunity to attend and to learn from experts in the field from all over the United States and Canada.

One of the most rewarding parts of the conference was interacting with the other members and exhibitors. I learned so much from our conversations and made some great connections for mentorship and future externships. Honestly, it felt as though I had been invited to a big family reunion, and everyone made me feel welcome. It was a privilege to get to know the other students in attendance and to form friendships with individuals who will one day be my colleagues.

My goal for attending the conference was to learn more about advanced reproduction, its challenges, and what the future of the industry looks like. Unlike many other conferences, I appreciated that this conference was geared toward both beginners and experts in the field. I have been to conferences in which the material was way over my head and directed more toward people who are already in practice. AETA was different in that the information was geared toward those new to the industry and wanting to learn, whether they were still a student or had been in practice five, ten, or fifteen years, or more.

I enjoyed the student sessions and the hands-on experience that we got thawing and staging embryos under the microscope. I appreciated the wide array of topics that were discussed at the conference, everything from dairy cattle to horses and small ruminants. There was truly something for everyone at this meeting. I learned valuable information about the effects of nutrition on oocyte quality and general reproduction of cattle. I appreciated that this information was applicable to everyone and can be used in general practice, since this is important for reproduction success even if a client doesn’t intend to utilize the advanced reproductive techniques that are out there. I also learned about the importance of managing the donors and recipients to give yourself the best odds of having a successful collection and pregnancy. One thing that I found fascinating was the differences in freezing and success rates seen between the different breeds of cattle.

In addition to attending the meetings, I met many of the exhibitors and made some great connections for externships and learned about the technology that is out there to assist with advanced reproduction.

I can’t thank you all enough for giving me the opportunity to attend the AETA convention. I had a great time and met some wonderful people who really made me feel welcome. I appreciate everyone who went out of their way to talk to the students, ask questions, and mentor us. I look forward to working with some of you in the future through externships, and I hope to see many of you again at future conventions.

2019 AETA Scholarship Winner Report: Russell Johnson

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Published on: January 3, 2020

It was both a pleasure and an honor to be in attendance at the 2019 AETA Conference. The knowledge, introductory skills, and contacts made are irreplaceable. I am currently seeking a PhD in Reproductive Physiology at Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. My area of research is centered around in vitro fertilization in cattle. There have been several publications on the beneficial antioxidant effects of melatonin on in vitro fertilization. There is also a recent publication on the effects of exogenous melatonin on uterine arterial blood flow in late gestation. I am hoping to be able to look at the effects of exogenous melatonin on oocyte quality.

The Preconference Seminar I, ET 101, was a great practical introduction to embryo transfer. Everything from an overview of the estrus cycle to actual transferring of embryos was covered. I have the opportunity to read articles on this subject matter on a regular basis, which gives me a theoretical look at embryo transfer, but the class as well as the entire conference gave me an introduction to the understanding of its practicality. The class gave me a good idea as to what it will take to accomplish my research goals, both skill sets and finances needed, as well as what it will take to include embryo transfer services in my future veterinary practice. The student/technician session was a great way to introduce embryo handling. Prior to attending the conference, I had the opportunity to aspirate oocytes from slaughterhouse ovaries and practice handling, grading, maturing, and staining them. In a laboratory setting at school, we used a different, more difficult way of handling the oocytes than was used in the student/technician session. I had actually never observed both sides of an oocyte, nor did I know that it was even necessary. The student/technician session reinforced the importance of taking a complete look at the embryo or oocyte, not just a one-sided view. It was nice to have some of the industry’s best teaching different hands-on techniques.

The speaker sessions provided information from both a research standpoint and from the perspective of what is actually being done in the field. As I develop my research project, I believe that it is important to be able to bridge the gap between what can be done in theory, in a controlled laboratory setting, and in the field. The sessions on IVF were especially beneficial to my research. A lot goes into the birth of a calf via IVF: however important, the quality of the oocyte is only a small factor. Being able to monitor the development of IVF embryos may lead to understanding of what conditions we can manipulate both in vivo and in vitro to increase the quality of both the oocyte and the embryo, thus increasing the number of live calves being born using IVF technology. When you look at things only from your area of research, it is possible to overlook other aspects of the process that are equally important, such as the recipient. The sessions geared toward recipient management put into perspective that an embryo transfer program will be no better than its recipient management program; the two are equally important. I also learned that there is an embryo transfer market in small ruminants, including deer.

Although my area of current research is bovine oocytes, I one day would like to participate in a veterinary practice that is centered around reproductive technologies, thus giving me the opportunity to develop embryo transfer skills that would lead to an Embryo Transfer Certification. Not only did this conference began to bridge the gap between theory, laboratory setting, and the field; it placed me around a lot of people who have the same interest that I do and who are actually doing what I want to learn to do, who demonstrated the willingness to help me achieve what I would like to do, making it possible to believe that my dreams can be achieved. Lastly, I would like to say thank you for providing me with this opportunity. I look forward to attending the AETA 2020 conference, taking the Advanced ET course, and attending the student/technician session.

2019 AETA Scholarship Winner Report: Kaitlin Karl

Categories: Annual Meeting
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Published on: January 3, 2020

When I learned that I had received an AETA 2019 Student Scholarship Award, my objectives for attending the conference were to gain industry insight on how to become a successful practitioner and to expand my knowledge of useful assisted reproductive techniques used in bovines, such as embryo flushing and oocyte pickups, that would be applicable to my own research.

However, while attending the 2019 AETA conference, I gained much more than I had expected. I gained industry insight that is beneficial to my future career goals by networking with practitioners and technicians, specifically by attending the student/mentor luncheon. The luncheon allowed students to interact with current AETA and CETA/ACTE professionals across various roles in the industry who were willing to entertain questions, share their experiences and hardships from throughout their careers, and offer valuable advice. Coming from a primarily academic background, I have struggled finding guidance and answers concerning aspects of transitioning from academia into the industry field. The professionals I interacted with were extremely personable, willing to help troubleshoot problems I have experienced in my research, and eager to teach new concepts.

The student/technician courses and wet laboratory sessions conducted by Dr. John Gibbons, assisted by BovaGen Embryo Technician Miles Morris, taught hands-on techniques for thawing and properly processing embryos to be frozen. This was my first experience preparing an embryo straw to be frozen, and being allowed the opportunity to attempt it independently in a low-pressure environment was very exciting.

The pre-conference Embryo Transfer 101 course presented by Drs. Randall Hinshaw and Greg Schueller also provided a great deal of information that I have been able to take back to Michigan State University with me and apply to my own research project, where I am attempting to flush Holstein heifers treated with excessive doses of follicle stimulating hormone to determine effect on embryo quality. The two separate techniques (in beef and dairy) described throughout the course for both donor and recipient heifers, as well as embryo collection and handling, were interesting and refreshing to compare numerous successful protocols.

This knowledge will directly benefit my research and academic work by allowing me to properly preform embryo flushes and have realistic expectations of collections, useful troubleshooting techniques, and the ability to share what I have learned with my colleagues. I believe that by attending this conference, I am returning to the university setting with a more confident outlook on the career path I want to pursue after completion of my doctoral degree. Discussing specifics with successful industry personnel from different backgrounds was a great experience that I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to do.

In addition to applicable techniques and useful advice, the 2019 AETA Conference was overall an enjoyable networking opportunity in a beautiful city. Being a member of the AETA community is an exciting opportunity that I look forward to continuing for many years.

2019 AETA Scholarship Winner Report: Mariah Markle

Categories: Annual Meeting
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Published on: January 3, 2020

My objectives for attending the AETA annual meeting were to expand my clinical-based knowledge in the field of embryo transfer, to network with peers and mentors, and to increase my exposure to vendors and products I will potentially be using in my future career. I believe that I accomplished all of the goals I set for myself to achieve during my attendance at the AETA annual meeting. By attending the many informative and didactic presentations at the meeting, I gained insight into new techniques and ideas that I had not previously been exposed to. There were many opportunities for students at the meeting to learn new things, such as the ET 101 and student sessions. I was able to meet many future colleagues during our meals and many of my peers during our student sessions and the student/mentor lunch. The vendor exhibits provided the opportunity to network with reps and learn about ultrasound machines, in vitro culture media, embryo transfer supplies, and many more products that will be useful to me throughout my career. All of the knowledge that I gained from attending this meeting will be invaluable in my future career as an equine veterinarian interested in in vitro production of embryos and embryo transfer. During the remaining portion of my academic career, this experience will benefit me throughout my clinical rotations and allow me to pass on the information I have obtained to my peers. I am grateful to the AETA for the opportunity to attend this meeting and gain valuable insights into the field of embryo transfer. I thoroughly enjoyed attending the AETA annual meeting at the beautiful venue in Colorado Springs and look forward to my membership and involvement in this great organization for many years to come!

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