September 2015 President’s Letter

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Published on: September 23, 2015

By now ALL of you should have your meeting registration completed, hotel reservations made, and airplane tickets booked. That’s right folks, it is again time to meet up with our Canadian and American embryo transfer buddies, enjoy a cocktail or a Coke, and talk ET. Refer to Bethany’s report and the website to find out more about the many exciting things coming our way in Niagara!

It has been another quiet quarter thus far at the board level, which is just okay given the busyness we all endure with summer breeding season followed closely by those fun family vacations. We did recently approve a site for the 2017 meeting, which will take place in Orlando, Florida, in October. Now it’s time to dig our AETA spurs in and get to work on improving our organization. I’m looking forward to a productive board meeting in Niagara and to hopefully picking up organizational pace as we go through the fall months and into winter. Your suggestions on how to improve our organization are always welcome.

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2015 Joint AETA and CETA/ACTE Convention (and future meeting dates and locations)

Categories: Annual Meeting
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Published on: September 23, 2015

 

The 2015 Joint AETA/CETA Convention Committee would like to warmly invite you to attend the convention in beautiful Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. The convention is going to be held in an absolutely breathtaking location, and the convention committee has been working to develop a program worthy of this location. Because of the success and positive responses from attendees at the Madison meeting, we are going to again offer preconference wetlabs, both for in vivo and in vitro laboratory procedures, as well as a cryopreservation wetlab. These sessions should offer some practical take-home ideas for all of our diverse attendees. In addition, we have included breakout sessions targeted for technicians and students involved or interested in embryo transfer. The goal of the 2015 scientific program is to offer every attendee ideas or practices that they can take home and implement in their practices.

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2015 AETA Board Election Candidates

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Published on: September 23, 2015

BigalkKory Bigalk, DVM

Kory Bigalk was born and raised on a small beef farm in southeastern Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, in 1998.

Bigalk practiced large animal medicine in a primarily dairy practice from 1998 until 2010. He began doing embryo transfer and ultrasound work in 2001. In 2010 he purchased an existing embryo transfer business, formed Diamond K Genetics, and began doing embryo transfer work full time.

Bigalk and his wife have three young children and live on a small hobby farm, where they raise purebred Simmental cattle.

 

DixonDave Dixon, DVM

Dave Dixon is a certified practitioner who grew up on a beef and swine farm in southern Indiana. He graduated from Purdue University in 1995 with a DVM degree. He practiced as an associate veterinarian with Food Animal Veterinary Service for 19 years. He is now a partner in a multi-doctor practice in Rensselaer, Indiana, that specializes in bovine and small ruminant embryo transfer.  In the past year they have begun offering IVF services in conjunction with Boviteq.

As a candidate for Board of Directors, he seeks to maintain the AETA as a professional organization that offers educational opportunities that cover the broad base of its current members. He promises to weigh each decision against the vision statement and by-laws that are already in place. A position on the board would provide him the opportunity to give back to the organization that has served him throughout his 20 years of practice.

Dave is a member of the AETA, IETS, and AABP.  He and his wife Lisa have 3 children, actively serve in their church, and enjoy raising and showing Hereford cattle.

 

IagerMatt Iager, DVM

Matt Iager, DVM, grew up in Fulton, Maryland, on a Registered Holstein dairy farm. He received his BS degree in dairy science in 1993 from the Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture. He received his DVM degree in 1996 from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech.

Iager is a partner with Mid Maryland Dairy Veterinarians in Hagerstown, Maryland, after joining the practice upon graduation. He has performed embryo transfer for 20 years and was certified in 2001.

Iager served on the Alumni Board at the Veterinary School at Virginia Tech for 10 years. He is currently vice president of the Maryland Holstein Association, treasurer of the Maryland Dairy Shrine, and has served as a delegate for the last three years to the National Holstein Convention.

Iager has been married to his wife, Laura, for 17 years; they have a son, Noah, and a daughter, Brooke, who are both active in 4-H. Iager and his family own and operate MD-West-View Genetics where they house donors for clients and maintain a small recipient herd. Iager is active in his church and community, plays drums in the contemporary choir, and is a licensed auctioneer. He enjoys showing, judging, and flushing cattle.

Iager is currently chairman of the Education Committee for AETA and manages the material for the quarterly newsletter. He is very passionate about embryo transfer and welcomes the opportunity to serve on the AETA Board.

 

vanJeremy VanBoening, DVM

Jeremy VanBoening received his BS degree from University of Nebraska–Lincoln in animal science in 1998 and his DVM degree from Kansas State University in 2002. He practiced in South Dakota one year before purchasing a two-doctor practice in Alma, Nebraska, in 2003. The practice has grown to seven doctors and 23 support staff. In 2010, Republican Valley Genetics (RVG) was founded to provide the embryo transfer services for the clinic and is the focus of VanBoening today. Republican Valley Genetics provides in-house and on-farm embryo transfer services as well as serves as a satellite center for IVF services with Trans Ova Genetics.

Jeremy has served on several professional boards and committees including the Nebraska Cattlemen, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, and Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association. These associations have allowed him to gain experience with domestic and international trade, policymaking both at the state and federal level, sustainability in the beef industry and bovine veterinarian practice, as well as the opportunity for contacts throughout the industry. Professional memberships include AETA, IETS, AABP, AVC, AVMA, and NVMA.

Jeremy and his wife Erin have one son, William, who is eight years old. In addition to the RVAC and RVG, they run approximately 180 beef cows consisting of a commercial cow-calf and a recipient herd. VanBoening feels it would be an honor to serve the organization that gave him the knowledge and confidence to begin and grow the embryo transfer business.

Catching Up: Joe Lineweaver (An interview with Matt Iager)

Categories: Catching Up
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Published on: September 23, 2015

joe lineweaver photoJoe Lineweaver has had a long history with embryo transfer in the United States and has had a positive effect on our industry and contributed greatly to the AETA.

He began working with embryos in 1964, 51 years ago. His graduate work at Washington State University early on included rabbits, rats, goats, and cattle.

Over the years, it really has been a “dynamic ride,” says Lineweaver.

Early on, developing superovulation protocols was the challenge and finding the correct ration of FSH and LH was tough. LH was used more in the early days. Creating a balance of 300 osmolality was the next hurdle to improve performance. Then came the surgical transfers, and nonsurgical technique, and direct transfer. He pointed out that they never froze embryos early on, and the correct number of recipients was needed for the right number of embryos. The transition from glycerol to ethylene glycol to vitrification has been exciting. Superovulation and embryo transfer have taken new levels to gene transfer and gene splicing, which will continue to effect genetic advancement.

Donor selection, as Lineweaver points out, has really been fun to watch. Early on the farmer chose his favorite cow to flush. Or, maybe his neighbor was doing embryo transfer and wanted to experiment too. But with production data and now genomics, the donor selection process has taken on all new levels of individual and herd goals from herd improvement to marketing worldwide.

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Articles of Interest

Categories: Research Publications
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Published on: September 23, 2015

In vitro bovine embryo production in a synthetic medium: Embryo development, cryosurvival, and establishment of pregnancy

Influence of puberty and antral follicle count on calving day in crossbred beef heifers

Transfer of cattle embryos produced with sex-sorted semen results in impaired pregnancy rate and increased male calf mortality

Characterization of persistent follicles induced by prolonged treatment with progesterone in dairy cows: An experimental model for the study of ovarian follicular cysts

Progesterone supplementation after ovulation: Effects on corpus luteum function and on fertility of dairy cows subjected to AI or ET

Differences between follicular waves 1 and 2 in patterns of emergence of 2-mm follicles, associated FSH surges, and ovarian vascular perfusion in heifers

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Industry Update: Schmallenburg Virus and the EU

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Published on: September 23, 2015

As many of you know, germplasm exports from the European Union have been significantly affected by the emergence of Schmallenburg virus in Europe. Restrictions went into effect February 2012, and according to USDA APHIS, “The virus, thought to be distributed by flying insects such as midges and possibly mosquitos, is not known to be present in the U.S., and has not been reported to be of human health concern. Infection with the virus causes transient disease in adult cattle, sheep and goats, resulting in production losses; but has also been associated with a high percentage of fetal malformations, abortions, dystocias and death of infected pregnant animals. No treatments or vaccines are currently are available, and testing is currently limited in nature.”

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Genomics—A scientific yet practical approach

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Published on: September 23, 2015

by Dr. Pat Comyn

Let us imagine that we are embarking on a journey across the Atlantic ocean in a ship. We have two different ships that we will compare. One ship is the USS Pregen, and the other the USS Genomic. Both ships are identical in speed and power. However, the navigation systems are quite a bit different. The Pregen uses traditional, time-honored methods to navigate. Theoretically, if USS Pregen left New York harbor a thousand times for the Thames river mouth, it would find the west coast of Europe within 700 miles of the Thames 50% of the time and find the western coast of Europe and North Africa 90% of the time. The USS Genomic, also leaving New York harbor a thousand times for the Thames river mouth, can get within 50 miles of the mouth of the Thames river 70% of the time and within 100 miles 95% of the time because of the use of more modern navigational devices. Both ships are crossing the sea at the same speed, but one with more accurate (but not perfect) navigation.

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BEEF Magazine: What Do Genomic-Enhanced EPDs Contribute?

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Published on: September 23, 2015

BEEF magazine has an article on genomic-enhanced EPDs. The article also includes a video interview with Sally Northcutt.

http://beefmagazine.com/genetics/0901-genomic-enhanced-epds

Time Management

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Published on: September 23, 2015

by Mid Maryland Dairy Vets

 “I simply do not have enough time…”

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

Too often, we make a beneficial recommendation and hear the response, “I do not have the time.” Therefore, make an attempt to read two books, The Toyota Way by Jeffrey K. Liker, a book about the Toyota business model that exemplifies “lean production,” and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. “But Toyota makes cars, not calves.” Just like Toyota, your embryo transfer work is a business. Toyota uses efficient business principles with an emphasis on product quality that can be easily applied to your business. Focus on eliminating “non-value-added” work and allow time for more “value-added” work. Prevent downtime by keeping equipment properly maintained: from vehicles to trailers, scopes to freezers, even printers and shipper tanks. Analyze every process/protocol to make changes that can save you time and energy. Actually writing protocols on paper will allow you to see where you are wasting time. Ask for feedback from your employees, in essence turning them into on-site quality-control inspectors. Take time to develop your employees which will increase their work efficiency. Develop standard operating procedures to decrease variability/provide consistency and to increase quality and performance, such as a template for exports to various countries. Improving management efficiency and quality will reduce costs and improve profitability.

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