March 2012 President’s Letter

Categories: President's Message
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: March 15, 2012

Greetings from tropical Kansas, as we have yet to experience any significant winter weather. Moisture here has come mostly in the form of rain and travel problems have been very limited. We needed a mild winter to help out the short forage supplies and so far have been blessed.  Many ranchers have been counting bales and calculating how many days of supply they have left. Needless to say, open cows and ones losing calves don’t get to eat very long until they are available to someone else as recipients (there is always a silver lining). Calving season is in full swing, so I would expect a major blizzard any time. Bull sale season is also in full swing and I don’t think I have ever seen this much optimism. The local sale barn has seen a steady stream of older bulls all winter as the cull price has gone up. Those all now need to be replaced, hopefully with good-quality embryo transfer bulls from our clients.

The AETA board of directors held our winter meeting in conjunction with the IETS annual convention in Phoenix, Arizona. The pre-conference symposium we sponsored with IETS was very well attended and was a full day of extremely informative lectures and discussion. Thanks to Dr. Charles Looney for his efforts on that program.

New certification guidelines were adopted to reflect that we now certify individual practitioners and not embryo transfer businesses. A continuing education option has been added, which will encourage (but not require) practitioners to visit one another’s practices. A report from the certification committee is in this newsletter.

A position statement on embryo transfer being the practice of veterinary medicine was adopted with little opposition after lengthy discussion and careful consideration by the board of directors.  The statement in its entirety is contained in this newsletter. The board and an ad hoc committee worked at length on this issue since the membership asked for it with a vote last August in San Antonio. I think this statement reflects the majority sentiment of our membership, realizing we have within our membership very wide-ranging background and practice settings. What we must remember is that the AETA is not a regulatory organization.  This power lies with individual states.  It is up to each state legislature and the corresponding boards of veterinary examiners to determine what qualifications are required to perform given veterinary procedures within their jurisdiction. Veterinary practice acts are discussed and debated every year in state legislatures around the country. The AETA’s mission remains the education, dissemination of information, and support of the embryo transfer industry in the United States. What this statement gives us is a basis for comment when asked our position and a guideline for design of continuing education programs in the future. What it does not do is change requirements for membership in the AETA, support of our members who are performing ET procedures legally and ethically, or our commitment to the industry as a whole. I would like to personally thank the committee members and anyone who expressed their heartfelt opinion on this. I do believe the only way to make progress is to discuss issues openly in a respectful manner, make a democratic decision, move on, and remain friends.

The cooperator committee has reported a very successful effort with results in Russia. A story picked up on a national TV station with video and commentary (in Russian) was very positive for the program and was advertising that we could not purchase at any price for US genetics and our embryo industry. This committee continues to be quite active with ambitions to expand into other markets worldwide in cooperation with US Livestock Genetics Export (USLGE).

The new website is up and running so check it out, try maneuvering and give us some feedback on how it works. The education committee has worked with the Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) IT staff very hard on this project and as we move more toward web-based communication with members, we need to make sure members are happy with the process. We hope to get to a point where most of our renewals and activity surveys are submitted via the Web. This saves a lot of time manually entering data and therefore provides savings on FASS time we are billed for.

I again would like to personally thank anyone who serves on a committee.  This is where the great things that happen in our organization get accomplished.

I hope everyone has a successful spring, whether that means a busy ET practice, a lower golf score, good fishing, or high cattle and milk prices. Whatever you spend your time doing, please be safe so we can enjoy each other’s company in Winnipeg, Manitoba this September.

AETA Position Statement

Categories: Uncategorized
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: March 15, 2012

Dear AETA Members,

In San Antonio, the membership requested the board to form a committee to develop a position statement regarding embryo transfer and veterinary medicine.  The committee’s recommendation to the board was that embryo transfer is a veterinary act.  The board considered the committee’s recommendation and adopted this position statement:

“The American Embryo Transfer Association considers embryo transfer procedures to be the practice of veterinary medicine.  Embryo transfer necessitates the use of prescription pharmaceuticals within a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.  The AETA code of ethics obligates its membership to be in compliance with the veterinary practice acts of the states in which they practice.”

The AETA is not a regulatory body.  The adoption of this position statement does not change membership levels or requirements for AETA members.  The AETA maintains its commitment to education and high standards of performance.

AETA Board of Directors

Recent Changes to the AETA Certification Program

Categories: Uncategorized
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: March 15, 2012

During the winter board meeting in Phoenix, the board adopted an updated set of guidelines for the Certification Program.  These guidelines are now available online at our association’s website and reflect the changes that have resulted from adjustments that have been made to the program during the past few years.  They also include some current changes made during the recent board meeting.

During the past several years, our program has moved from an entity that certified businesses to one that certifies individuals.  The current guidelines reflect that change.  The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) duties are now handled by the chairman of the Certification Committee and that is also part of the current guidelines.  A few other minor changes to the wording of the document were made to hopefully make it more clear and concise.

The new guidelines also include two changes made to the program at the time of the winter board meeting.  These are changes to the inspection part of the program and an opportunity to obtaining continuing education (CE) credits from an additional source.  It was apparent from membership response that the general membership did not support a policy that would require all certified individual to have an inspection every three-year cycle.  During the past year or so when the inspection program was discussed in committee or during board and membership sessions, it appeared that there was support for some type of expanded inspection program because of the enhanced credibility the certification program would receive from the inspection process.

The board approved an inspection program that has three separate types of inspections.  Inspections that would be necessary due to noncompliance issues remain unchanged from previous guidelines.  With the new program, all newly certified individuals would be inspected during the year following initial certification as part of the certification process.  The purpose and focus of these visits would be supportive in nature.  However, all certified individuals, including newly certified individuals, are expected to follow certified guidelines.  The guidelines also allow for additional inspections to be done on a random basis, as time and finances allow.

The additional CE opportunity involves a colleague visit program.  It is a totally voluntary program that would allow individuals, both the individual visiting and the practitioner hosting the visit, to earn 5 CE credits as a result of these visits.  Both the inspection and colleague visit program are covered in detail in the current guidelines.

In early March, the Certification Committee met in Ames, Iowa.  We put together a suggested protocol for both the inspection and the colleague visit programs.  At least initially, inspections are going to be done by members of the certification committee.  The documents with respect to the colleague visit program are available from the AETA office.  The committee also discussed the exam that we are currently using for initial certification and made some changes to it to reflect current information and changes in the industry.

The certification program’s function and purpose should be to benefit the membership, our association and the industry in general.  Any questions, comments, and suggestions are always welcome by the committee, staff, CAO, and board.

Catching Up: Harley Schneider

Categories: Uncategorized
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: March 15, 2012

Hola Amigos,

The following is a narrative about where we are, what we are doing, and how we got here.

My wife Sherry and I began planning our retirement about 6 or 7 years ago.  After 30+ years of working in freezing and blistering temperatures,  we wanted a mild climate YEAR ‘ROUND.  We started going to Costa Rica in 2005.  The country is beautiful and the people warm and friendly.  Our first trip was to an eco-lodge on the Golfo Dulce.  There was inshore fishing, ocean kayaking tours of a monkey rescue, and a botanical garden.  However, it was HOT and humid…nice place to visit, not to live.

Subsequent trips took us to the mountains (beautiful and COLD with a lot of rain) and the beach resort area of Guanacaste (TOO HOT and TOO expensive).

In 2008 we took a due diligence tour based out of Puriscal.  This allowed us to see different areas of the country, a hospital (run by Baylor), a dentist (I A.I. some cattle for him) and a pharmacy.  We also toured newly constructed houses available to rent or own. Visiting with expats gave us  insight into the Costa Rican way of life.  For us, Costa Rica was the place to retire.

In 2010, we built a house in the mountains of Costa Rica, about 30 miles west and south of San Jose. Our house in Texas was sold in September of 2010 and Sherry packed  and left, with our five dogs, for Costa Rica in October.

I retired in December and joined Sherry in January 2011.  Sherry, searching for dog food, met Dr. Laura Villegas, a young veterinarian in Puriscal.  Long story short, Sherry learned that Laura’s husband Dr. Esteban Mesen directed the IVF lab in San Antonio de Belen.  After meeting Esteban, I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with him and helping whenever needed.  My travels with Esteban have taken me throughout the country.  I have seen numerous ranches and met some fabulous cattle people.

Now retired, I can do the things I’ve always wanted to do.  Between fishing and traveling with Esteban, I still have time to work on restoring my 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser.

Cattle shows have become a real treat for us.  We have only missed one or two since being in the country.  They are a little different than in the US.  The breeds are “eared,” so fitting is minimal.  The quality of the cattle is good.  Besides the eared cattle, nearly all breeds of dairy cattle are represented in Costa Rica.  The purebred dairy cattle are found in the mountains where it’s cooler.  In the more tropical areas,  dairy breeds are crossed with Bos indicus.  Angus and Simmental are prominent beef breeds usually represented as Bos indicus crosses.

Our days are full and we still have lots of places to visit.  We are learning the language and have made many Costa Rican friends.

Y’all come visit!

Regards,

Harley and Sherry Schneider

US Calves on Russian TV

Categories: Uncategorized
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: March 15, 2012

American calves, born in Yaroslavl Russia, were featured in a report on Russia’s second most-watched TV station.  These calves are the offspring of American donor cows.  The embryos were collected by AETA members; there were 60 Holstein, 20 Hereford, and 20 Simmental embryos.  A team of Cooperator Committee members managed the selection and shipping, and performed the transfer of the embryos in Russia. Many thanks to Scott Armbrust, Byron Williams, Matt Dorshorst, Michael Pugh, and Kory Bigalk for the time and effort they invested in this project.

This report is a positive affirmation of the work of the Cooperator Committee.  In addition, Morgan Haas, a US embassy staffer, is reportedly very pleased with the cooperation provided by the AETA and USLGE.  The Cooperator Committee has made great progress in Russia and China with the Quality Sample (QSP) ET projects.

The Russian TV coverage can be accessed from the US Embassy report:

http://moscow.usembassy.gov/news-022312.html

IETS Pre-Conference Symposium

Categories: Uncategorized
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: March 15, 2012

This year the IETS invited the AETA to co-host a pre-conference symposium at the annual IETS meeting.  The symposium was titled “Recent Advances in Bovine Reproduction and Embryo Transfer.”  The event was very well attended with close to 300 participants, including the AETA Board of Directors.  There  were eight full-length presentations and a roundtable discussion.  The topics were specifically selected with the needs of the ET practitioner in mind.

A list of the presentations and authors can be found in the Educational Materials section of the AETA website.  The proceedings of the symposium are available on the IETS website.  You must be an IETS member to view the Proceedings.

Bovine Ova Tutorial

Categories: Uncategorized
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: March 15, 2012

If you have never viewed this tutorial, or if you have not looked at it in a long while, then you should revisit this site.  This tutorial is an extensive presentation of bovine embryos.  The embryos are presented at different magnifications.  Specific points of interest are well marked with arrows or other computer enhancements.  The embryos are graded according to IETS guidelines.  And there is a written description for each slide.

Check it out at on the IETS website.  You must be an IETS member to view the tutorial.

page 1 of 1
Welcome , today is Thursday, November 14, 2019