Almost 150 attendees including Select Mating Service (SMS) genetic consultants from Select Sires' member organizations, international guests and dairy producers met at the 38th annual SMS Consultant Conference, hosted by All West/Select Sires in Visalia, Calif., May 6-9, 2013.
Genetic consultants participated in a day of continuing education to ensure that they remain a valuable resource for their customers. The group discussed the latest developments in the Program for Genetic Advancement (PGA), the many strengths of Select Sires' current sire lineup and exciting genomic young sires that are waiting in the wings. They learned about enhancements to the SMS program, innovative technologies and recent trends.
The most widely accepted mating program in the world, SMS continues to have persistent growth that is unmatched in the industry. SMS genetic consultants took the program to record-breaking heights in customer service in 2012. Last year the number of pedigree matings totaled 1,124,100, a record-setting number marking the first time pedigree matings exceeded 1 million animals. For more than 35 years, SMS has been building better cows throughout the world which is evident in the nearly 2 million new animals added to the SMS program in 2012. SMS consultants continue to help dairy producers control genetic recessives, haplotypes, inbreeding levels and create custom selection indexes based on customer goals.
During the first three days, consultants viewed progeny of Select Sires' current lineup and potential graduates in California. Select Sires wishes to thank the following herds for their hospitality: Ahlem Farms Partnership, Hilmar, Calif.; Machado Dairy, Turlock, Calif.; Arlinda Dairy, Turlock, Calif.; Lorita Holsteins, Modesto, Calif.; Genasci Dairy, Modesto, Calif.; Double Oak Dairy, Tulare, Calif.; H&T Dairy, Tipton, Calif.; Decade Dairy, Tulare, Calif.; Westra Dairy, Tulare, Calif.; Curtimade Dairy, Tulare, Calif.; Dias & Dias Dairy, Kingsburg, Calif.; Paulo-Bro Dairy, Hanford, Calif. and De Groot Dairy, Fresno, Calif.
"This year's conference provided consultants and international guests an opportunity to view Select Sires' genetics in action," stated Lon Peters, vice president of dairy sire product services for Select Sires. "The chance to walk behind hundreds of cows was perfect for identifying the type pattern of different sires. All of these herds served as testimonials of what SMS and Select Sires can do for our customer-owners."
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.