There are five artificial insemination (A.I.) interns, two laboratory interns, and one research and development intern.
Calvin Bontekoe, Linden, Mich., has been hired as an A.I. specialist intern in Michigan. He is a sophomore at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., enrolled in the College of Animal Science. He was born and raised on a third-generation dairy farm and has worked alongside his grandfather, father, and uncles as far back as he can remember. Bontekoe has a passion for herd genetics and artificial insemination, so he’s really looking forward to spending his summer with CentralStar.
Matthew Peck, Schuylerville, NY, will be an A.I. specialist intern in east-central Wisconsin. He is a junior at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, studying animal science with a concentration in dairy. His family owns Clear Echo Farm, a 600-cow dairy. They began implementing an embryo-transfer program back in the 1980s. In 2007, they developed a genomic program and extensively used in vitro fertilization to maximize their opportunities. Still today, they work with genomics and have sent many bulls to stud. Peck plays on the Cornell Sprint Football team and is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho and the Cornell University Dairy Science Club.
Billy Zeimet, Cottage Grove, Wis., will serve southern Wisconsin as an A.I. specialist intern. He grew up on a small hobby farm, where they raise feeder cattle. He also worked on a neighbor’s dairy farm. Zeimet really liked working with cattle and watching them grow and mature to become productive farm animals, so he decided to attend University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wis. In 2018, he graduated from UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course and decided to continue for his bachelor’s degree in dairy science. Zeimet is involved with Collegiate Farm Bureau and Badger Dairy Club.
Kelsey Maurer, Newton, Wis., has been hired as an A.I. specialist intern in northeast Wisconsin. She is a junior at University of Wisconsin-Madison studying dairy science with a certificate in agricultural business management. She’s involved with Badger Dairy Club, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and The Association of Women in Agriculture. Maurer’s family dairy farms and milks about 1,200 head. In her free time, she enjoys helping at the Farm Wisconsin Discover Center, Manitowoc, Wis.
Joseph Marsh, Montague, Mich., will help customers in northwest Wisconsin as an A.I. specialist intern. He is a senior at Michigan State University and will receive his bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2021. Marsh grew up on a 200-cow dairy farm. His family’s farm features many production species, including dairy cows, steers, swine, and goats. Joseph did a few ride alongs with a friend who’s an A.I. specialist, and he knew it was the career for him, as well. He is very excited to meet new people and grow his skills.
Meghan LaCrosse, Forestville, Wis., will work as a laboratory intern in our Kaukauna, Wis., laboratory. She is a junior at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, majoring in agricultural biochemistry with a minor in animal science. LaCrosse grew up on a small Holstein dairy farm, Uecker-LaCrosse Farms LLC. Besides working on the farm, she enjoys being adventurous and participating in sporting activities.
Stephanie Domke, Herron, Mich., has been hired as a laboratory intern in our Grand Ledge, Mich., laboratory. She is a senior at Michigan State University majoring in animal science with a minor in environmental and sustainability studies. Growing up, she was involved in 4-H and discovered her interest in animal science and education. She enjoys raising sheep and working with others to improve their flocks’ performance and health. Through her courses, she has diversified her livestock skills and discovered her interest in the dairy industry. In her free time, Domke enjoys bow hunting, baking, raising livestock, and educating others about the agriculture industry through community involvement.
CentralStar’s goal of enhancing producer profitability through integrated services is fulfilled by incorporating an array of products and services critical to dairy-and-beef-farm prosperity. CentralStar’s product and service offerings include Accelerated Genetics, GenerVations and Select Sires genetics; extensive artificial-insemination (A.I.) technician service; genetic, reproduction, and dairy records consultation; DHI services; diagnostic testing; herd-management products; research and development; and more. CentralStar’s administration and warehouse facilities are located in Lansing, Mich., and Waupun, Wis., with laboratories in Grand Ledge, Mich., and Kaukauna, Wis. For more information, visit CentralStar Cooperative Inc. at www.mycentralstar.com.