GENEX Recognizes Farms for Remarkable Dairy Genetics and Repro Achievements


This year’s GENEX Excellence in Reproduction and Genetics Award winners have pushed the boundaries of dairy cattle genetics and reproductive management. Established in 2012, the award program has become a benchmark for some of the industry’s highest repro and genetics achievements.

Competition was fiercer than ever this year, with over 40 nominations from five countries. Among the nominated herds, pregnancy rates averaged up to 37%, with conception rates at 50% and above! These results far surpass industry averages, and collectively, it was the best group of nominations ever submitted.

To determine the platinum and gold award winners in each category, individual herd performance numbers are put into a matrix calculation. The calculation considers the dairy’s pregnancy rate, service rate, conception rate, percent pregnant by 150 days in milk (DIM), sexed semen use and the genetic level of service sires.

And now, it’s time to announce the 2024 winners! Heartfelt congratulations to the winning herds listed below and to the GENEX staff and distributors who nominated them. Behind every successful herd is a dedicated team, and this recognition is a testament to the entire team’s commitment to excellence.

2024 Excellence in Reproduction & Genetics Winners

Award Category: Under 500 Cows

Platinum: Blue Prairie Holsteins, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin
Nominator: Lindsey Geddes, GENEX Reproductive Program Senior Technician

Gold: Dorrich Dairy Inc., Glenwood, Minnesota
Nominator: Anna Zeis, GENEX Dairy Account Manager & Consultant

Key members of the dairy genetic and repro team at Blue Prairie Farms
Congrats to Mike and Nick Straubharr of Blue Prairie Holsteins whose continual focus on improvement has earned the dairy the Platinum award for excellence in dairy genetics and repro.

Lindsey Geddes, a GENEX technician, has worked with Blue Prairie Holsteins for eight years. She says the dairy’s team has worked hard to continually better themselves. Their journey to winning the platinum award did not happen overnight, and there certainly was not one silver bullet that made it happen. It took commitment and continued effort from everyone involved to take steps toward a brighter future for the farm. As Lindsey puts it, “Everyone involved here has their heart in the dairy industry and wants to do better every day. They get so excited to talk about the positive changes going on at the farm.”

Award Category: 500-2,000 Cows

Platinum: Scheps Dairy, Almena, Wisconsin
Nominator: Pete Weber, GENEX Senior Dairy Account Manager

Gold: Ruedinger Farms, Van Dyne, Wisconsin
Nominator: Dr. Kim Egan, GENEX Director of Global Technical Solutions

Family members at Scheps Dairy standing in dairy barn
Proud recipients of a Platinum GENEX Excellence in Reproduction and Genetics award include Ken Scheps, his son Nolan, and Ken’s brother Dan Scheps, all of Sheps Dairy in Almena, Wisconsin.

Scheps Dairy is no stranger to this award program, having earned the platinum award in 2022 as well. A key piece to this farm’s success, along with the members of the Scheps family pictured at left, is the GENEX technician team led by Travis Kretzschmar, along with Nate Kringle, Matt Tietz and Jason Kluck. This team and GENEX consultant Pete Weber work closely with the Scheps to challenge the status quo and find new opportunities to create sustainable success. Although they can all take time to enjoy these fantastic results right now, we are certain they are already looking at how to achieve even more next year.

Award Category: Greater than 2,000 Cows

Platinum: Maple Ridge Dairy, Stratford, Wisconsin
Nominator: Pete Weber, GENEX Senior Dairy Account Manager

Gold: Riverbend Dairy LLC, Trent, South Dakota
Nominator: Austin Brady, GENEX Dairy Account Manager & Consultant

Maple Ridge Dairy herd manager and dairy reproduction technician
Mike Martin, Maple Ridge Dairy herd manager, and Brett Venske, GENEX Reproductive Program Technician celebrate taking home the Platinum award in the greater than 2,000 cow category.

Maple Ridge Dairy is an award-winning dairy, as a past recipient of this award and other industry awards. The dairy team relentlessly pursues improvement and pays attention to the details, both of which contribute to their success. However, what truly makes Maple Ridge great is its people, included among those is the dynamic duo pictured here. Mike Martin is a passionate and skilled herd manager. Brett Venzke of GENEX is trusted by the co-op members he serves; his passion, commitment to excellence, humility and integrity are off the charts. When you combine all this, it’s hard not to achieve greatness! GENEX account manager Pete Weber stated it best, “All of this has made Maple Ridge Dairy a winner, a winner whose best days are still ahead!”

Award Category: Heifers

Platinum: Landmark Farms, Clifton Springs, New York
Nominator: Cat Thrasher, GENEX Dairy Account Manager & Consultant

Gold: Rocking S Dairy, Modesto, California
Nominator: Helen Ott, GENEX Dairy Account Manager & Consultant

Dairy genetics and reproduction team at Landmark Farms
Key members of the Landmark Farms team include Di, Jacob Van Althuis of GENEX, Amanda and Edwin.

Cat Thrasher, who nominated Landmark Farms for this award explains that this dairy is a testament to the power of teamwork. The farm’s success stems from the farm team, GENEX team and herd vets working together to monitor results and protocols while proactively looking for new opportunities to grow and improve. Passion for their work is shown into their willingness to share their knowledge and experience. Landmark Farms has shared with their local peers the success they have achieved by working with GENEX. Earlier this year, they also took the opportunity to share their thoughts on the importance of longevity and productivity with European dairy farmers who visited New York dairies as part of a GENEX-organized tour.

Award Category: International

Platinum: AZ.AGR. CERVI CIBOLDI, Italy
Nominator: David Ellis, GENEX Progressive Herd Consultant

Nominator: Mikhail Vanyukov, Dairy Company Genetics

Dairy management team in front of the barn at Cervi Ciboldi dairy in Italy
Earning the Platinum award takes the tireless focus of an entire team. The team at Cervi Ciboldi dairy in Italy includes Giorgio Ferro (Nutritionist), Luigi Baselli (Herd Manager), Cecilia Cervi Ciboldi (Owner), Giovanni Giusti (Owner), Lorenzo Gorni (Veterinarian) and Mauro Serina (Novagen/GENEX Technician).

Earning the top award in the international category is a dairy farm in Italy. The dairy – Cervi Ciboldi – has worked with Mauro Serina from NOVAGEN (the GENEX distributor in Italy) for 15 years. About four years ago, Luigi Baselli took over management of this excellent herd of cows and implemented strict management and reproductive protocols. Luigi, with the help of their Nedap activity system, has focused on ensuring excellent nutrition and getting cows to transition  seamlessly with very good results and very low early lactation losses. Luigi shows amazing attention to detail and has achieved exceptional reproductive results on the cows, breeding the cows himself – often late into the evening – to optimize conception rates and maximize pregnancies. He and the entire team demonstrate dedication and commitment to excellence in dairy genetics and reproduction.

Elevate your dairy genetics & reproduction

Do you have what it takes to be a platinum or gold GENEX Excellence in Reproduction and Genetics award winner? Ask your GENEX representative to nominate your farm. We’d love to feature your dairy next year.

If you are looking to ramp up your dairy genetic and reproduction program, know the GENEX team is here for you. Reach out to our customer service team at 888.333.1783 or [email protected] to get connected with a GENEX representative near you.

Watch the video announcement of this year’s GENEX Excellence in Reproduction and Genetics award winners.

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