From Pioneer to Proponent: Early Gamble on GENEX HerdMonitor™ System Pays Off

Jen and Dan McCormick standing in front of cows wearing GENEX HerdMonitor™ tags.

Jen McCormick will tell you that they needed a change on their farm, but she had no idea how big an impact the GENEX HerdMonitor™ cow monitoring system would ultimately have on her family and their herd.

McCormick Family Dairy, which milks 1,200 cows in New York, is owned and operated by Dan McCormick and his daughters Jen (Herd Manager) and Michelle (Farm Accountant). In late winter of 2022, the local GENEX representative showed Dan and Jen (pictured above) a return-on-investment calculator for the HerdMonitor™ system. After that, Dan and Jen were all-in, and they haven’t looked back (except to ask why they didn’t make the decision sooner).

Jen McCormick walks behind a cow wearing a GENEX HerdMonitor™ tag
The GENEX HerdMonitor™ cow monitoring system removes the uncertainties around breeding and health decisions, giving Jen time to focus on the cows that need her attention.

Forget How to Mark them Open

Prior to installing the GENEX HerdMonitor™ system, 50% open at herd check was predictable. Jen said they used all the typical excuses as to why they were okay with that number. After six months with the new system, Jen and her dad had an “aha” moment during herd check. As Jen would ultrasound, her dad would spray the open cows with paint. It got to be so rare that Jen would find an open animal that when she did, her dad asked, “That’s an O, right? I forgot how to write it.” Jen says, “Going from 18 open cows at herd check to one was fun!”

Indeed, the cow monitoring system has made Jen and Dan a lot more confident in their breeding decisions. It has removed the guesswork. They no longer need to question whether a cow has ride marks, if she is on-cycle, if her paint is worn, if the night employee saw her in standing heat, or if she was just active with the other cows that were in heat. They put their trust in the GENEX HerdMonitor™ system, and so far, it is providing pretty amazing results with averages between 90 and 95% palpated pregnancy rates. These rates have also all but eliminated their resynch program, vastly reducing the need for shots.

Herd Health Improvement Surprise

The McCormicks knew they needed assistance with improving reproduction so improvement in that area came as no surprise, but what shocked them was the number of sick animals the system found. Jen prides herself on being an animal person, so she said it hurt when she saw the GENEX HerdMonitor™ system catching sick cows days before she would have.

Now, Jen prints a sick list from the system daily so she can treat cows earlier, most of the time before she sees even a pound decrease in milk production. In addition, Jen likes to check rumination charts in the system dashboard to see if those cows are eating and ruminating as normal. She explains, “It makes me feel like I am doing everything I can for my animals to make sure they are being taken care of the way they deserve to be.”

Increased Production, Decreased Labor

Eliminating the need to move cows to the sick pen has decreased cow stress levels. The combination of early treatment, reduced stress, and adjusting feed push-up times based on when cows are eating and ruminating enabled the McCormicks to increase their herd’s production levels. In one year, the herd’s daily production numbers jumped seven pounds, with more on the way.

Typically, increased production would mean more labor inputs, but that is not the case here. The list of time savings is remarkable.

Unmatched Customer Service

When asked why they chose the GENEX HerdMonitor™ cow monitoring system over anything else, Jen quickly replied, “GENEX has always been there for our farm. No other company has treated us this well.”

She went on to say, “If I need something, I know for a fact they will answer my texts or calls quickly and send someone out to help me. That type of customer service is rare, so my decision was a no-brainer.”

GENEX HerdMonitor™: The Bottom Line

Many times, a big decision on a farm comes down to dollars and cents. One of the most exciting aspects of an investment in the GENEX HerdMonitor™ system is how quickly you can realize a return on investment. For the McCormicks, it took 10 months to hit the break-even point, freeing up funds typically spent on reproductive, pharmaceutical and labor costs for other farm projects.

Are you intrigued but still want to learn more?​

Listen to this podcast where Jen and her GENEX representative, Dan Utter, discuss the GENEX HerdMonitor™ system.

For further information on the GENEX HerdMonitor™ system, talk to your local GENEX representative or contact GENEX customer service at 888.333.1783 or [email protected]

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