Artificially inseminating cattle has been done by the dairy industry for a while now, but it is relatively new in the beef industry.
For cattlemen, AI techniques help to control genetics without the large investment of a herd bull. If it is used in conjunction with a synchronization program, the calving season can be shortened significantly, and costs can be lowered. Also, the producer can time the calving season to maximize optimum pasture production.
The only downside to AI is the labor involved, but for cattlemen who interact with their herds daily, this becomes less of an issue as the cattle are calmer and tend to be worked without too much stress or fuss.
The University of Georgia College of Agriculture and ABS Global Inc. are offering a three-day artificial insemination class for cattle in January 2014 at the Northeast Georgia Livestock Auction in Athens.
The ABS Global AI Management School gives people a chance to learn the latest techniques in AI. The topics that will be learned are anatomy and reproduction; reproduction and fertility; heat detection; nutrition; principles of genetics and sire selection; herd management success; and insemination practice. This course gives the students 14 hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of lab time working with cattle.
The cost of the program is $350 for adults and $300 for college and high school students. The program is limited in space so registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Come by the office to pick up a registration form or contact me directly, and I will email you the form. All fees and forms are due by Jan. 3, 2014.
Michael Wheeler is county extension coordinator for the UGA Cooperative Extension in Hall County. You can contact him at 770-535-8293, www.hallcounty.org/extension. His column appears biweekly on Thursday’s Business page and at gainesvilletimes.com.