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Sires of Distinction

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In the dairy business, lineage is meaningful. Studs and brood cows have names and reputations. The right family tree is worth money. And money spent for genetics from the right lineage helps promote the industry through vigor and production. Back in the 1940s, MFA entered the artificial breeding business. It was a move the cooperative believed would help its members and the dairy industry in general. A new book by Dr. John Underwood called Sires of Distinction traces MFA’s decision to push for artificial insemination and documents the ingenuity and resourcefulness that helped modernize the Midwest herd.

Sires of Distinction follows the dawn of AI through its technical advances and the people who made it part of the dairy industry, including a chapter devoted to MFA’s Flying Bulls, airplanes that had regular routes to deliver bull semen from MFA’s stud farm to dairy farms throughout much of Missouri.

Like many segments of agriculture, consolidation worked its way through the stud farms and dairy genetics business of the mid-twentieth century. Sires of Distinction follows those changes and offers details on the narrowing of the industry, including how MFA’s Artificial Breeding Association eventually entered into a semen sharing agreement with Midwest Genes, and then ultimately merged its AI business with the same company. The author traces further consolidation of MFA’s legacy in the business to today’s Wisconsin-based Genex.

Sires of Distinction includes a list of MFA bulls by breed as well as a full chapter on Thonyma Voyageur Veediction, a bull that had significant impact on the Holstein herd.

To buy a book, go to www.todaysfarmer.com/shop. Cost is $29.95 plus tax, shipping and handling. Or ask for it at your nearby MFA Agri Services.

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