Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Commercially successful AI is 80 years old

 From the March/April 2018 CONCEPTIONS Dairy Newsletter

The artificial insemination of cattle in the USA as a business service began in 1938 in New Jersey under the direction of Enos Perry (NJ Extension dairyman) – who had gone to Denmark to observe and learn the technique they had developed.     The New Jersey Experiment Station was in the process of breeding a high butterfat strain of Holsteins to accommodate the desire of New Jersey milk marketers for higher component content milk than Holsteins were producing at that time.


Building genetic value from an inbred base


The bull ORMSBY SENSATION (result of breeding a famous 4% butterfat cow to her own son) had a high butterfat progeny list from natural service in a couple famous Midwestern breeder herds.    One of his later sons, Ormsby Sensation 45th came to New Jersey and continued the family tradition for NJES which proceeded to linebreed by brother-sister matings of 45th offspring, producing bulls for this early AI effort.   


Holsteins that could “test” like Jerseys


Within three generations, the descendants of “45th” transformed the typical 3.3% New Jersey Holstein herd into 4% butterfat producers (without loss of milk volume) with individual cows reaching the 5.0% mark—a level then (and today) considered only possible with “cream breed cows” like Jerseys.


The “Ormsby Sensation” bloodline was prominent in the formation of contemporary breeding herds like DUNLOGGIN (Ellicott City, MD—right next door to the USDA Beltsville experiment farms where the USDA sire summaries were calculated).    Besides high butterfat % these lines proved to be the ultimate in “longevity” – two characteristics that “Dunloggin” bloodline sires passed around the country with the advent of the A I industry across the nation in the model of the pioneering NJES service system.


Still possible today – “what goes around comes around”


The era of composite indexes has paralleled the generation of consumers taught (erroneously) to avoid animal fats as “unhealthy” – leading to the packaging of low-fat and skim milk products that are simple to make from a “pooled” (generic) processed milk supply.     The current state of indexing (including genomics) is a system to breed for generic fluid milk volume, rather than premium milk prices.    It is clear that increased butterfat % from focused genetic selection is the quickest way for you to raise the milk price on your bulk tank.    We have the bulls to do this.    Let us help you use them effectively.

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