Welcome to the first edition of DIAMONDcuts!
Improving engagement with customers
All West/Select Sires is working harder than ever to be more engaged with the member/owners of this cooperative. Many people have shared they prefer receiving news by email as compared to other methods, and so we have created DiamondCuts. This e-newsletter format gives us some real advantages over other methods of communications, most specifically targeted emailing. We'll work on developing breed-specific and area-specific versions of DiamondCuts, which will be of more interest to you. We'll also have a beef version of DiamondCuts that will specifically address the needs and interests of our beef customers.
Many of you have indicated that you want breaking news, and industry updates emailed directly to you and now you'll have that! This also gives you an opportunity to respond and share your thoughts and input directly with our staff.
One feature of this e-newsletter format is that we will share the latest "insider information" that will not be available in other communication formats. Additionally, due to the ability to tailor e-news to specific interests, we can offer "specials" and other offers that will not be available in the other formats.
Today's customers require information when they need it and how they need it. These same customers are always connected and always on the move. We want to provide the latest and most valuable information in a format that doesn't slow you down. Thanks for your interest and feedback in this first edition!
Vander Schaaf gets connected.
iPad mini winner explains how he will use it! This past fall, All West/Select Sires held a number of district business meetings to elect directors and delegates for their particular region, get an update on current sires in the lineup and learn a little more about the expanding reach of the communications team!
One of the big focuses during the meeting was on the use of new technology that All-West is using to not only get information TO customers but to receive information FROM them, like the size of their dairies, what traits are important to them, etc. (You'll see a full summary of the questions and answers in this month's newsletter). As part of the information-gathering process, the All-West staff had everyone who attended the meetings register to win a free mini iPad mini. The winner was chosen from hundreds of names, and our grand prize entrant is David Vander Schaaf of Escalon, CA.
David works on the family farm, Vander Schaaf Dairy, with his father, John and brother, Joey. He has a younger brother who will also join the operation after he completes college. Together they milk about 2000 Holsteins.
David is a 2013 Cal Poly graduate, completing his Dairy Science degree this past June. Since returning home, he's been managing reproduction programs at the dairy, as well as being in charge of sire selection.
"We use roughly 5000 units of Select Sires semen per year and my favorite bull in the lineup right now is 7HO8477 GABOR. We've used sorted semen on him and he produces daughters that really milk!" Incidentally, GABOR is +2348M and +2.50T, so the Finley son with limited semen supply is a logical favorite for many dairies!
David was pretty happy to be the lucky winner of the iPad mini and plans to make good business use of it. "An iPad will help with managing dairy files away from the office. Using "Team Viewer" allows me to look at dairy comp and feed watch while I am away from the office."
The young dairyman sees himself still actively milking cows in the next five years, and "fighting world hunger one glass, and one block of cheese, at a time!"
What's That You're Using?
Inside information on what's hot in the west!
One of our most popular features in The Bullhorn newsletter is finding out what bulls people are using and why. In this bi-monthly newsletter, we'll be summarizing sire usage per month for the entire All-West area and giving you the inside information on what's hot and what's not in the west!
Top 10 unit sires for December 2013
|Palla DAMASCUS 8037-Grade|
Top 10 unit sires for 2013
|SHOT daughter group at Roorda Dairy |
1. 7HO9222 Shot
- The Shottle son from a VG-88 GMD-DOM Ito with over 34,000M 1200F and 1000P.
Top 10 unit sires for December 2013
Dutch-Hollow VALENTINO Cheryl (E-90%), New York
1. 7JE1038 Valentino - The Louie sone with the big milk and even bigger type is a top five JPI bull of the breed! His dam is the well-known D&E Paramount Violet (E-90%) and then D&E Abe Violet (E-90%).
|Dutch-Hollow VALENTINO Cheryl (E-90%), New York.|
2. 7JE886 Miles
3. 7JE859 Riley
4. 7JE1169 Topeka
5. 7JE1151 Galvanize
6. 7JE1028 Wade
7. 7JE1067 Golda
8. 7JE1134 Charnesa
9. 7JE1163 Irwin
10. 7JE1173 Prescott
To the "Point"
Feedback from the end-user
In the fall of 2013, All-West held nine district meetings to elect directors and delegates, as well as present some company information to our customers. Perhaps even more importantly, we used the time together to gather information about you...what your dairy operation is like, what topics are important to you, how you want to learn more about All-West products, programs and services. Here's a brief summary of what our All-West customers look like when we put them "under the microscope" this past fall!
* What is the size of your dairy
A. 1-400 cows 25.2%
B. 400-1000 cows 28.7%
C. 1100-2000 cows 24.5%
D. Over 2000 cows 21.6%
* Do you raise your own heifers onsite?
A. Yes 65%
B. No 35%
* We have seen Super Sampler use as high as 47% in some AWSS herds. Do you use more than 30% Super Samplers on your own dairy?
A. Yes 40%
B. No 60%
* Our dairy milks...
A. Holsteins only 56%
B. Holsteins & Jerseys 26.7%
C. Protein Breeds only 7.6%
D. Crossbred cattle 9.7%
* Of the list below, what's the most important factor that determines your semen selection?
A. Production 25.7%
B. Type 25.3%
C. Health Traits 1.7%
D. High Genomics 21.3%
E. Price 26%
* If forced to choose one, which is more important for your herd?
A. Improve herd genetics 54%
B. Create more pregnancies 46%
* What is your most preferred method to receive information/updates from AWSS?
A. Direct mail (newsletters...) 36.7%
B. Email updates 38.7%
C. All-West website 3%
D. Text me 3.7%
E. Other (salesman, Facebook) 17.9%
* What information is most valuable to you?
A. Cow family stories/background info for bulls 38%
B. Breeder success stories 27.7%
C. Sortable lists by traits (fertility, feedpro...) 22%
D. Beef information/use in dairy herds 6.7%
E. Stories about products/programs 5.6%
* Who's going to the SuperBowl this season?
A. Broncos vs. Seahawks 32.7%
B. Patriots vs. Seahawks 7.3%
C. Broncos vs. 49ers 42.7%
D. Broncos vs. Saints 1.7%
E. Chiefs vs. Packers 15.6%
What did we learn from this initial round of polling questions? Probably the most intriguing thing for the All-West staff is how similar the responses were compared to the vast array of areas covered. For example, type and production were almost at a tie percentage, and we interviewed people with smaller, registered herds as well as those milking over 2000 cows.
Another interesting point was that no matter how far we advance technologically, a great percentage of customers still want to receive printed information in the mail, and still enjoy reading about cow families and bull profiles. We will continue surveying our membership area because this not only lets us know how our membership is changing, but how we can best serve you. We might as well spend our time communicating in way that you find useful, and about topics that you're interested in. Got any ideas of questions you'd like to learn from the membership? You're always welcome to send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Product, program and service insights from the field
Ever wondered if direct-fed microbials would work for you? Check out our short video interview with Dean Hibbs, All West/Select Sires Dairy Program Specialist from Richland, WA. Dean has worked with several customers who use DTX in their nutrition programs.
|Select DTX direct fed Microbial|
Around All West
Photos from the field
New photo of Windy-Knoll-View Princess, the +2352G 7HO11351 SUPERSIRE granddaughter of Pledge and the tremendous Promis family in Pennsylvania! Princess is currently being flushed with a First Choice Racer or MAS selling on March 15 in the March Madness Sale, Frederick, Maryland.
Galys-Vray, 1st Jr. 3-year-old & Intermediate Champion at the 2014 Swiss Expo! She's sired by 7HO10506 G W ATWOOD.
In Vermont, Lylehaven-KK ALEXANDER Pinky (VG-88) is fresh and will be a Sr. 3-year-old for 2014.
Four-Hills Farm in Vermont pictured this beautiful June 19th 7HO11703 ARMANI daughter. Her maternal line includes a VG Red Man x VG Advent x EX-92 Durham. "We love our Armanis!" In Ontario, Walnutlawn SANCHEZ Jenn (VG-88, 3y) just produced some Atwood embryos making her owners, the Zehr family of Tavistock, very happy. In her first lactation, Jenn produced 2-03 2x 365d 3.5 1047 3.2 948.
An 7JE590 ACTION daughter at Cornell & Case Kasbergen's dairy in Tulare, CA.
Did you hear the one about the Portuguese bull fighter going into the bar...?
Lloyd Vierra and Frank Borba catch-up at a Jersey Revolution meeting in Hilmar, CA.
Truly engaged! Every guest at the Jersey Revolution meeting was engaged in conversation after the presentation by Jersey Specialists Tim Baumgartner and Jeff Ziegler.
You're sure we can be friends after the 49ers/Seahawks game?
AWSS PGA manager Tony DeMello (left) talks with AWSS board president Randy Kortus and Sherm Pollinder at a district business meeting in Lynden, WA.
AWSS consultant Dr. Stan Henderson welcomes college students to the Western Dairy Challenge, hosted by the College of Sequoias in Tulare, CA. AWSS as a sponsor of this first-time program.
Meet Your New Sire Analyst!
Kevin JorgensenHello to my friends at All-West. I am Kevin Jorgensen and will be your new sire analyst for CA, WA, and OR. I am officially calling All-West my adopted second home as it is much warmer in your world than In Wisconsin! I look forward to working with all of you and the member owners of All-West. I have been part of the Select Sires family for the past 15 years at East Central Select Sires as an SMS and SRS evaluator and had been the Director of Dairy Programs since 2008. I spent the majority of my time in the trenches working with large dairies in southern WI so I have an appreciation for the modern dairy environment and should be a good fit to speak the language of the All-West producer. I still have traditional roots growing up on Registered Holstein herd in WI and still own about 70 head of Registered Holsteins with several partners back in Wisconsin. I also serve on the WI Holstein Board of Directors and reside in Waupun, WI.
When I am not eating and breathing cows, I am a season ticket holder for the Green Bay Packers and play a mean blues guitar. I look forward to working with all of you and feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance to you and your customers!
Holstein Sire Analyst
Select Sires Inc.
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