On March 19-20, 2012, the Select Sires Holstein Sire Committee met in Columbus, Ohio to review Select Sires' breeding programs. They were updated on the latest genetic research and discussed current industry issues, such as the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding efforts to improve the national dairy data base. The committee unanimously supports the Council's formation of a formalized industry structure to operate genetic evaluations, and build industry consensus and implement in 2012 in a manner that serves the best interests of all U.S. dairy producers.
The Select Sires Holstein Sire Committee is comprised of 10 of the most respected breeders from across the country. These breeders are nominated and elected by the dairy producers from Select Sires farmer-owned and farmer-directed member cooperatives. At the March meeting, Randy Nigh of East Central/Select Sires was elected chairman. Other committee members in attendance were: Tom Alexander, Select Sire Power Inc.; Terry Eick, Prairie State/Select Sires; Brad Groves, Select Sires MidAmerica, Inc.; Chris Lang, COBA/Select Sires Inc.; Randy Schweer, Select Sires MidAmerica Inc.; Robert Sheehan, Minnesota/Select Sires Co-op Inc.; Mark Van Mersbergen, All West/ Select Sires; David Whitehill, Southeast Select Sires Inc.; and Mark Ziel, NorthStar Cooperative.
Neal Smith, CEO of the American Jersey Cattle Association, provided an update regarding the current efforts of the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding to establish a new cooperative agreement with USDA/AIPL to gather the necessary data and compute the national genetic evaluations. Smith presented reasons why a change is needed. General budget details and proposed genomic testing costs were shared. Smith also compared and contrasted the Council's proposed framework to the one proposed by the Holstein Association.
Select Sires' Holstein Sire Committee unanimously supports a more formalized industry structure to operate genetic evaluations, build industry consensus and implement in 2012 in a manner that serves the best interests of all U.S. dairy producers. Following the sire committee meetings, the Select Sires Board of Directors met. The Board voted unanimously to support the recommendations of the Holstein Sire committee.
According to Randy Nigh, sire committee chairman, "This issue is important to U.S. dairy producers. We appreciate the work of those serving on the Council and feel it is imperative that the industry solve these issues now and implement these measures in 2012 for the good of all dairy producers!"
Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc. is North America's largest A.I. organization and is comprised of nine farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America's best genetics at a reasonable price.