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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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

Reproductive research leading to increased efficiency of assisted reproductive technologies in the American embryo transfer industry

Categories: Board of Directors
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Published on: March 30, 2022

Request for Proposals 2022

The Board of Directors of the American Embryo Transfer Association (AETA) is pleased to provide an opportunity for funding to support practitioner-initiated research projects that focus on advancing the knowledge and efficiency of applied assisted reproductive technologies in livestock species. The goal of the association is to provide some financial support and access to statisticians that will ensure that the data generated by AETA-funded projects will be robust under critical evaluation, and will be of benefit to the AETA membership at large.

Please disseminate this request for proposals to be considered for 2022 (project start dates between January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022). The deadline for proposals considered for 2022 is July 31, 2022.

Request for Proposals

Research Grant Proposal Evaluation and Scoring System

2020 Statistics of embryo production and transfer in domestic farm animals

Categories: Evidence-Based ET
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Published on: March 30, 2022

IETS 2021 DRC Report (2020 Data)

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the embryo industry: the practitioners’ perspective

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Published on: March 30, 2022

Joao HM Viana1, Daniela Demetrio2

1 Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia, Brasília, 70770-901 Brazil

2 RuAnn Genetics, Riverdale, CA, United States

Introduction

The numbers presented this year in the Report of the Data Retrieval Committee (DRC) of the International Embryo Technology Society showed that, despite the Pandemic, 2020 was a good year for the embryo transfer industry worldwide. The total number of embryos recorded increased in most countries and for all of the most representative species (cattle, horse, sheep and goats). In cattle, overall embryo production (in vivo and in vitro) increased 7.0% when compared with 2019, with more than 1.5 million embryos recorded [1]. To better understand the apparent contradiction between the positive trends in the embryo transfer industry and the economic and social crises caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, a survey of practitioners from Brazil, Canada and the United States was conducted. These countries account for 74.6% of all the embryos recorded in cattle. However, their embryo industries are characterized by important differences, which limit extrapolations. Therefore, the current survey aimed to highlight how, in the perception of practitioners, the COVID-19 Pandemic affected the embryo transfer industry in each of their countries, as well as to reveal their expectations for 2021.

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Bovine Early Embryo Development

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Published on: March 30, 2022

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Real-time embryo morphokinetic activity can be measured in short observatory periods to provide objective evaluation of embryo health

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Published on: March 30, 2022

C. Wells1, R. Killingsworth1,2

1EmGenisys, Houston TX 77002

2Shamrock Veterinary Hospital, Shamrock TX 79079

Introduction

Embryo transfer (ET), including in vivo derived (IVD) and in vitro produced (IVP), is a routine breeding strategy in cattle operations as it enables the perpetuation of individuals with high genetic merit, improves herd performance, decreases calving interval, and increases fertility in cows under heat stress and repeat breeder cows (Hasler, 2014; Putney et al., 1989, Ambrose et al., 1999; Drost et al., 1999). ET can also be used to help producers control the sex ratio of their herd, which is often referred to as the “most economical genetic trait” as heifer calves are valued at a premium in a dairy herd due to their ability to produce milk. Additionally, ET is an important tool to enable “beef-on-dairy” strategies to add profitability to the dairy industry as dairy cows giving birth to beef calves keep the milking herd lactating while producing offspring which can be sold into the beef marketing chain. Due to these benefits, ET is becoming an increasingly common breeding strategy for the cattle industry, with some companies reporting a 20% increase year-over-year in number of embryos created and transferred (Genus, 2019). 

Unfortunately, success rates of ET are still low and limits the return on investment. Research from controlled studies report pregnancy rates of 70-80% from embryo transfer, but practitioners and producers in the industry encounter lower rates of these procedures on the farm or ranch (Youngs, 2011). The Canadian Embryo Transfer Association (CETA) reports pregnancy success of conventional fresh ET <57.3% successful with further reduced outcomes with IVF embryos (30%), which is comparable to pregnancy rates achieved in the United States (CETA, 2022). While causes of failed pregnancy are multi-factorial and can stem from embryonic, maternal, environmental stressors, or technician competence it is estimated that 20% of transferred embryos are likely non-viable at time of transfer and will never result in pregnancy (Prien et al., 2015, Vanroose et al., 2000; Diskin and Morris, 2008; Alfieri et al., 2019).

A contributing factor to this problem is the reliance on a subjective grading system dependent on a technician’s ability to grade embryos based on morphological characteristics. While practical and economical, the morphological analysis fails to account for many factors which contribute to an embryo’s health and viability including genetic defects, metabolic activity, acute stress, mitotic activity, and response to environmental factors. Therefore, emerging technologies which are non-invasive and non-subjective to evaluate embryo health can enable ET practitioners to select the healthiest embryos for transfer and subsequently improve pregnancy outcomes of IVF/ET in cattle.

The objective of this study was two-fold. 1.) To determine if embryo morphokinetic activity can be evaluated in short observatory periods and 2.) To determine if embryo morphokinetic activity can be used as an indicator of embryo health and viability.

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Single vs. Group In Vitro Culture of Bovine Embryos: Research in Progress

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Published on: March 30, 2022

Austin Byrd and John Gibbons

Texas Tech University, School of Veterinary Medicine

Amarillo, TX 79106

Introduction:

Producing viable embryos and reducing the time between generations is an important, valuable, fast-moving, and trending topic amongst many progressive cattle producers and relies heavily upon effective Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART’s). In vitro fertilization (IVF) is becoming one of the more popular ARTs as it allows for quicker generation turnover, multiple sires to be used with a single oocyte collection, and more embryos / calves in a given time period. Further, IVF might be chosen over conventional ARTs such as superovulation and embryo transfer because the conventional approaches produce few embryos per collection and the costs are significant. However, the number of oocytes recovered per transvaginal-follicular aspiration session is variable and thus the number of oocytes ultimately placed into culture may be low.  The focus of this preliminary study was to evaluate the percentage of ova that cleave and develop to the blastocyst stage when cultured in single vs. group environments.

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Bovine Reproduction Review Crossword

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