Longtime A.I. industry leaders Doug Speicher and Nate Cossaboom recently conducted a three-day training workshop on embryo transfer at Red Knob Dairy in Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania. The five students varied in their backgrounds, but all said the most valuable aspect of the training was practicing palpation.
Speicher, Precision Diagnostics LLC 's reproductive consultant, says the training begins with an introduction to embryo placement and some of the basics of the embryo transfer business. Day two provides participants with hands-on training of handling frozen embryos and loading the embryo transfer gun.
"Day three brings it all together," Speicher says. "Each student is able to practice on live cows and do what they'll be doing when they return home."
The cows are pre-screened by Speicher and Cossaboom, who is the owner of Bovine Genetics LLC in Fayette, Maine. The students then compare notes with the instructors.
The five participants were:
• Steve Marston, New Hampshire
Marston is from a 65-cow dairy and is looking to increase the herd through embryo transfer.
• Rochelle Goins, Pennsylvania
Goins bred cows for five years and is currently working at a 160-cow dairy, while still breeding cows as a side job. She wanted to take her education a step further and she hopes to be able to also offer embryo transfer.
• Jeff Ansell, Pennsylvania
In his role as farm manager at Marburger Farm Dairy, Ansell believes he'll be able to save money by learning how to perform embryo transfers himself. He also wants to be able to implant embryos off natural heat, taking advantage of the cow's own cycle.
• Nick Proud, Maryland
Proud will take the knowledge he obtained at Red Knob Dairy back to his 200-cow Angus operation in Union Bridge. Already trained in flushing and collecting embryos, Proud says this workshop has been huge in taking his skill set to the next level.
• Kevin Beiler, New York
With nearly 12 years of breeding experience, Beiler appreciated the hands-on palpation training, saying that his biggest takeaway was learning how to feel and evaluate the ovaries. Beiler works with elite cow families in New York and is looking forward to offering embryo transfer services.
Click here to read about a previous ET course conducted by Speicher and Cossaboom. To learn about upcoming embryo transfer courses, contact Doug Speicher at firstname.lastname@example.org. PD