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Published on: December 9, 2016

December 2016 President’s Message

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Published on: December 9, 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, I hope that everyone will have opportunities to take the time to reconnect with family and friends during this holiday season.

The annual meeting in St. Louis was quite exciting. The Convention Committee worked hard to provide a program that members would enjoy, based on comments on the surveys returned at the Niagara meeting. There was a considerable interest in more information on IVF production of embryos, and for myself, I’d say that the Convention Committee delivered! As a rule, comments were very positive, and the Midway provided a great layout for the exhibitors. Thank you to all who filled out the convention surveys. We appreciate the feedback. We acknowledge some of the challenges of the venue, specifically with the room block. In Niagara, we had an incredible turn-out of AETA members, well in excess of what CETA had anticipated, based on historical data. As a board, we made a point to chat with the hotel staff in St. Louis about our options to expand the room block, should we see similar attendance figures. We were verbally assured that they could accommodate us; however, when the Cardinals made the pennant race, our meeting took a backseat, and the hotel would not budge on the issue. This was very disappointing to us, particularly after we were given assurance that we could be accommodated. The seemingly simple solution would be to have the FASS staff simply book a larger block of rooms. This, however, would come with some significant financial risks. Jeremy did a very good job of explaining to the Board that it would only take 19 open rooms for us to incur an additional $10,000 cost for these unused rooms. Thus, the FASS staff do their best to estimate attendance, based on historical figures, to try to be as fiscally conscientious of the association as possible. Quite a challenge! The venue in Orlando (Caribe Royale Orlando) is huge, with many other hotels in close proximity. We should not have to deal with this problem in 2017. For future reference, if you find that the a block of rooms is full for a conference, you might make a phone call to the association office. There are some individuals (speakers, staff, exhibitors, etc.) who may not be attending the entire meeting, but their one-night stay may block out a room for the entire conference. If the office staff are willing and able, they may be able to find creative ways to get you a room at the convention venue, even if the block of rooms is full.

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President’s Award Recipient: Stephen Malin

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Published on: December 9, 2016

malin_funnellI’m generally a person of few words, so when I started to put together this small narrative, I asked a number of members of the association to provide some input. Interestingly, the responses were all very much the same: “Good, he deserves it!”

Steve has been described as “the epitome of what a professional embryo transfer practitioner should be.” Though always busy with his own practice, family, and community, Steve has often found the time to help a colleague when assistance was needed. He is never hesitant to share his knowledge and experiences with neighboring practitioners or with the newbies coming into the industry. His personal and professional conduct are an example for us all.

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A “Thank You” from Steve Malin, AETA President’s Award Recipient

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Published on: December 9, 2016

I would like to thank Bethany Funnell and everyone else who had had any part in recognizing me with the President’s Award during our recent convention. Our association can certainly keep a secret. I didn’t have a clue anything was in the works until Bethany began her talk. I will cherish that honor for the rest of my life.

The AETA has been a valuable asset to me as I look back on my professional career. Without the benefit of the information shared during formal presentations and personal interactions with friends and colleagues in our industry, I‘m sure my career would have been much less rewarding.

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New Directors Elected to the AETA Board of Directors

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Published on: December 9, 2016

At the 2016 AETA and CETA/ACTE, two new directors were elected to the AETA board of directors with terms starting on January 1, 2017. Kory Bigalk, DVM, and Matt Dorshorst, DVM, are the two new representatives.

 

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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. He and his wife have 3 young children and live on a small hobby farm where they raise purebred Simmental cattle.

 

 

family-photo-2015-001Matt Dorshorst is a veterinary practitioner from central Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2005 with BS, MS, and DVM degrees and began practicing veterinary medicine. He has spent the last 3 years as the sole owner of Origin Reproduction Services. Dorshorst specializes in bovine reproductive ultrasonography as well as collection, transfer, cryo-preservation, and export of bovine embryos. He has assisted with foreign market development on behalf of the AETA as a member of the Cooperator Committee. He has had the privilege to facilitate training of veterinarians domestically as well as internationally through joint ventures with the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the AETA, and the Babcock Institute. He and his wife, Molly, have four children, and together they own and merchandise black and white as well as red and white Holstein cattle. They also have a research and marketing interest in polled Holstein genetics and pigment mutations in Holstein cattle.

Evaluation of In Vitro–Produced Bovine Embryos

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Published on: December 9, 2016

by Jennifer Barfield, PhD
Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

At the 2014 joint meeting of the American and Canadian Embryo Transfer Associations, I presented a preconference symposium on bovine embryo grading in an interactive forum where participants provided real-time feedback on how they would grade embryos of various stages and qualities. One aspect of grading touched on was the difference between in vitro–produced (IVP) and in vivo–derived (IVD) embryos. When asked whether the attendees believed we need separate grading systems for these two types of embryos, the crowd was split with 47% of respondents supporting the development of a new system and 53% believing it is not needed. Here I will review some of the challenges involved with grading IVP and IVD embryos, the implications of these challenges, and propose a method by which researchers and practitioners could collaborate to gather data that can be easily shared and used to develop a consensus on the best guidelines for grading IVP embryos.

http://www.aeta.org/docs/Evaluation_of_in_vitro_produced_bovine_embryos.pdf

Practice Tip: Capturing All Flushing Media

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Published on: December 9, 2016

By: Tyler Dohlman and Marianna Jahnke

Iowa State University

There have been times at the end of a flush that there is still some recovery media left in the uterine horn that defies the odds and will not come out through the Foley catheter using the closed/gravity flow technique with the Y-junction tubing. This tends to happen more with cows that have larger reproductive tracts especially the uterine horns. We are uncertain why this happens in some cases but it tends to annoy the practitioner leaving fluid and potentially an embryo still in the uterus.

In order to ease the practitioner’s mind, there is a technique that we have done that has provided some good results with removal of the stubborn fluid. In order to do this you will need an additional hand.

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Practice Tip: Cystic Cow Treatment

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Published on: December 9, 2016

By Brad R. Lindsey, PhD

Ovitra Biotechnology, Inc.

I have used the following protocol to successfully treat cystic donors, AI cows, fat show heifers, etc. in order to get them bred, to get a good CL for a reference heat, or even to be an embryo recipient.

Basically, if the cysts do not manually rupture or are drained by DFR, etc., I will administer GnRH. The next day I put in TWO NEW CIDRs. If the cyst(s) do rupture or DFR is accomplished, I will go ahead and put the 2 CIDRs in immediately, the same day. Leave the CIDRs in for 14 days (this is approximately the maximum amount of time before they will run out of P4), then pull the CIDRs and administer PGF the same day. At 60 hours, administer GnRH (if you are going to AI, do so at 72 to 78 hours post-PGF). When the animal goes out of heat, put TWO MORE new CIDRs in. Pull in 14 days with NO PGF, obviously, then cross your fingers and wait. If she comes back in heat, repeat the protocol with GnRH, AI?, 2 CIDR for 14 d, etc.).

The idea is to take total hormonal control of the animal, not allowing her a chance to go cystic again and to “force” her to produce a CL. The 2 CIDRs will elevate P4 levels high enough to reduce LH pulse frequency and amplitude, thus depriving the LH-dependent follicle(s) of LH. Leaving the CIDRs in for 14 days somewhat mimics a normal mid-cycle luteal-phase. This approach is somewhat drawn out, but works pretty well to restore even a chronic cystic cow to normal cyclicity, at least long enough to potentially conceive or collect for ET. As previously suggested, it probably won’t enhance the stimulation of a low embryo producer.

 

Practice Tip: Estrotect heat patches: Simple yet amazing!

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Published on: December 9, 2016

For those who are frugal and always looking to save a buck here and there, Estrotect patches can be cut in half lengthwise and they seem to work just fine. I had a client run 210 recips at me today, and every single one was still on securely.

 

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Articles of Interest

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Published on: December 9, 2016

Ovulation time in suckled beef cows is anticipated by use of low doses of progesterone and temporary calf removal on fixed timed AI protocol

Effects of eCG are more pronounced in primiparous than multiparous Bos indicus cows submitted to a timed artificial insemination protocol

Crocetin improves the quality of in vitro–produced bovine embryos: Implications for blastocyst development, cryotolerance, and apoptosis

Improving the cytoplasmic maturation of bovine oocytes matured in vitro with intracellular and/or extracellular antioxidants is not associated with increased rates of embryo development

Investigations of mammary and uterine blood flow in relation to milk yield, postpartum disease, and pregnancy result in dairy cows

Comparison of two timed artificial insemination system schemes to synchronize estrus and ovulation in Nellore cattle

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AETA 2016 Scholarship Winner Report: Jacob Calloway

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Published on: December 9, 2016

I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to the AETA, the members, and especially the Scholarship Committee for providing me with the financial support to attend the 2016 AETA- CETA/ACTE Joint Convention and provide me the opportunity to network and socialize with the men and women that has made this industry what it is today. Based on preliminary knowledge, I had an idea of how great of an experience attending this conference would be with informative presentations and sessions, but the experience was greater than I anticipated. I am grateful and blessed that I was given the opportunity, and I congratulate the other scholarship recipients both past and present for achieving the same experience.

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AETA 2016 Scholarship Winner Report: David Allred

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Published on: December 9, 2016

I would like to start by thanking the AETA for granting me the scholarship and opportunity to attend the joint convention in St. Louis this year. This was truly an amazing opportunity for me now and in my future career as a veterinarian. I would like to take the opportunity to write about what I experienced while at the convention this year, and how I think it will affect me in the future.

The most influential part of the convention to me was all the lecture material pertaining to IVF. I have never been exposed to IVF, so for me this was a brand-new experience. The first seminar I went to was presented by Charles Looney, and it pertained to IVF from the perspective of a virtual laboratory tour. This was neat to me because it dissected all the working parts of an IVF laboratory, as well as costs of what it would take to start up an IVF laboratory. As someone who wants to get into ET and possibly IVF, this was a wonderful segue into the convention because it laid a general foundation for me as the rest of the weekend proceeded.

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AETA 2016 Scholarship Winner Report: Zarah Deutsch

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Published on: December 9, 2016

As a third year veterinary student at Washington State University, I have recently discovered my passion for advanced reproductive technologies. In the course of my education I have been exposed to embryo transfer and IVF technologies through both coursework and extracurricular hands-on experiences. However, the real world application of these technologies are harder to grasp through solely an academic exposure. I was hoping that this conference would provide an introduction to the realities of these technologies and provide a better understanding of the challenges and expectations facing embryo transfer practitioners outside of the academic setting.

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AETA 2016 Scholarship Winner Report: Shelby Gurbelnik

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Published on: December 9, 2016

It was my intent to leave the 2016 AETA-CETA/ACTE joint convention with a more comprehensive knowledge base on the research and practical positions in assisted reproduction technologies in cattle, and to really focus on the steps that are being taken to move the industry forward. The different views of longtime practitioners and researchers on what they consider necessities for in vitro production laboratories and collection set-ups was a helpful tool for someone that is new to the industry side of this business. For audience members who are currently trying to start a lab of their own, I believe it was useful to see a few different layout options for clinics and mobile laboratories; although more information on the many varieties of equipment available today, and the pros and cons of each could have been useful for the novice attendees, in my opinion.

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AETA 2016 Scholarship Winner Report: Karen Roberts

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Published on: December 9, 2016

After learning about the American Embryo Transfer Association Annual Convention Scholarship at school, I was strongly encouraged by both professors and practitioners to apply. While it did not take much convincing, I am certainly thankful that I took their advice. Because I have a strong interest in theriogenology, particularly embryo transfer, applying for the student scholarship seemed like a logical choice.

Being selected to attend the AETA Convention was extremely rewarding to me as a veterinary student and as a future member of the veterinary profession. While the veterinary curriculum incorporates exposure to embryo transfer, time and resources do not always allow for us to become versed in such subjects beyond the basic level. A benefit of attending the convention was being able to interact with some of the industry’s leading professionals who are at the forefront of research and new techniques.

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AETA 2016 Scholarship Winner Report: Emily Schendel

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Published on: December 9, 2016

It was a great privilege to receive one of the scholarships to attend the AETA Annual Convention this year. I am extremely grateful that the organization offers such gifts to students like me, and after a weekend witnessing the comradery within in the profession, I felt even more honored to have the opportunity to participate.

Prior to attending the convention, my knowledge of embryo transfer (ET) was species limited, as most of my previous experience was spent with a bovine ET veterinarian. I was eager to learn about how ET is being applied in other animals besides cows and appreciated that many of the seminars covered ET principles in other species. In a pre-conference seminar, ET in small ruminants and cervids was addressed and I especially enjoyed listening to the discussion among those who had much experience. In following seminars, I appreciated learning about ET in other species too, such as horses, exotic species, and even humans. The variety of species in which ET is being applied amazes me, and it was very interesting to hear about the differences in technique that are needed among the species based on their physiology and even behavior. (more…)

AETA 2016 Scholarship Winner Report: Robert Stenger

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Published on: December 9, 2016

I grew up on a full-time livestock farm. The farm is predominantly cattle, and in the last 10 years or so my family has increased their sheep numbers. It is mostly a commercial operation, though my father has made strides to get some of the best genetics in the Katahdin sheep breed. All our breeding has always been done natural service with a selection emphasis on hardiness and minimal inputs—a so to speak, let the grass do the work type of system. I know a bit about raising livestock but very little about more modern reproductive techniques. Growing up with this livestock background, I see the great potential for embryo transfer (ET) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) to rapidly increase the selection process. No matter the trait for which one is selecting, being able to increase the number of offspring from your best animals will help you reach your goals all the more rapidly.

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