June 2016 President’s Message

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Published on: June 17, 2016

President’s Message

Spring is in full swing.  Calves have been born, crops are in the ground, and there is an air of optimism surrounding many of us as we head into summer. Commencement ceremonies are over and graduation celebrations are underway. It is very enjoyable to watch the latest class of veterinary students work through their last rotations, fighting terrible cases of senioritis and looking forward to their new careers and futures.  It is also a very busy time for many of us in the ET industry, and I hope the season is proving to be prosperous for all of you.

There has not been much activity at the level of the Board of Directors during the last few months; however, committee work has been ongoing, and I would like to highlight some of these activities.

The Convention Committee (Drs. Mark James, Charles Looney, and FX Grand) has been working diligently to finalize the program for the annual meeting.  The Committee is well ahead of schedule in the planning process, which should make for an excellent and well-organized conference.  I’m looking forward to excellent attendance numbers again this year.  I extend my thanks to the Convention Committee and AETA office staff for their efforts to make this meeting and all the past and future meetings successful.

The Cooperator Committee continues to work with the USLGE with QSP projects, the most recent project being a trip to Kazakhstan, scheduled for the last week of May through the first week of June.  Drs. Lee Jones, Tyler Dohlman, and Dan Lapin will be making presentations to livestock producers and transferring QSP embryos.  We look forward to the report of this trip at the AETA Annual Business meeting this September.

The Certification Committee has continued to ramp up their work as well. Seventeen inspections were planned for this calendar year, which requires a significant amount of time by the members of the Certification Committee. If you have been inspected this year, please join me in thanking those committee members who gave their time to carry out the inspection process.  It only helps to strengthen our practices and the credibility of our industry, domestically as well as internationally.

The Australians have produced a draft risk review for the importation of bovine IVF embryos from the U.S. and Canada.  The USDA is in the commenting period, and members of the Government Liaison Committee have had a chance to review and make comments.  The Australians would like to have had this document finalized by June 1, which actually may have happened.

Steve Malin and I had the opportunity to represent AETA at a recent USDA EU inspection training at the USDA APHIS VS Area 3 Service Center in Madison, Wisconsin.  USDA veterinarians from all over the United States were in attendance.  The goal of the training was to share with them the processes of semen, embryo, and oocyte collection, handling, and processing, and the items that should receive specific attention from the USDA inspectors to satisfy EU requirements.  This training included both lecture and demonstrations of the processes, so attendees could fully appreciate each of these processes.

The Education Committee continues to progress with their activities.  During the strategic planning session that was conducted in February 2013, one of the three focus areas was strengthening the AETA Certification program.  This includes increasing the visibility and value of AETA Certification through marketing the “brand” of Certification.  The Board delegated this marketing task to the Education Committee, and Matt Iager and his fellow committee members have been working with an ad designer to develop a simple, yet eye-catching message about AETA Certification, not just to producers, but also to practitioners.  Keep an eye out for these advertisements in a major bovine publication near you!

Good luck to all of you through this busy season and if you have any comments, questions, concerns, or really great ideas regarding the AETA, please feel free to contact me or any of the other AETA board members!


Bethany Funnell

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