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

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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.

A few things Lineweaver has been most proud of:

  • He had the opportunity to work with charter members of AETA and serve as a board member and also president of AETA.
  • He served as chair of the Certification Committee for numerous years and helping develop the Certification Exam.
  • He served as chair of the Breed Liaison Committee and helping to create the One-Form ABC submission form for all breeds to their Associations.
  • He has had the opportunity to train and mentor numerous ET practitioners around the country.
  • He served on the faculty at Virginia Tech for 16 years and taught reproduction courses in graduate and undergraduate study, as well as a bovine palpation course.
  • He serves as a guest lecturer at the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • He hosted veterinary students around the country for senior year externships.
  • He served on the board and as vice president of the American Jersey Cattle Association.
  • He is proud of being a member of AETA and performing embryo transfer for more than 50 years.

Today, Lineweaver continues to be a part of the industries that he has served his entire life. He travels to the National Jersey Convention, cattle shows and sales and meetings, especially the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.

He continues to serve on committees for the Jersey Association. He continues to maintain his farm in Blacksburg, Virginia. He loves to golf weekly, which we all know he was passionate about. Virginia Tech Hokie sports continue to be a major source of enjoyment for him and his family.

It was great to “Catch Up” with Joe Lineweaver, and AETA wishes him all the best!

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