Engaging cooperative members is focus for future
Dairy and beef cattle producers serving as member-elected delegates of GENEX attended the cooperative’s annual meeting Jan. 23 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Delegates from 25 states represented the cooperative’s national membership and heard operational and financial reports.
“GENEX leads change,” noted Huub te Plate, GENEX Chief Operating Officer, in his address to the delegates. “Throughout history, we have delivered key innovations and led industry changes. If we stop changing, we stop leading.”
The cooperative underwent many changes in 2018. The most significant was the formation of a new parent company URUS, through the combination of Cooperative Resources International and Koepon Holding BV. The combination, completed in October 2018, was the culmination of a yearlong process which included a milestone vote of support by GENEX delegates.
“This combination of a cooperative and a privately-owned business was an industry first. It has resulted in an organization of enormous scale – second to none in the cattle artificial insemination industry – and holds many opportunities for GENEX members and customers,” stated te Plate.
Other business changes during the year included the divestiture of CENTRAL LIVESTOCK and the transition to GENEX as a global brand.
GENEX experienced below budget results for 2018. “The U.S. was challenged with continued low milk prices and issues with other commodities,” noted te Plate. “These same dynamics that affect your farm or ranch profitability level also impact your cooperative and created an operating environment that made achievement of the budget difficult.”
Also impacting revenue was the industry’s shift to using beef semen on dairy females. “Targeted breeding programs using GenChoice™ sexed semen along with beef semen appear to be a long-term trend. In fact, beef into dairy sales quadrupled throughout the year. This, however, displaced use of conventional dairy semen,” stated te Plate. “On the bright side, GENEX is positioned to help you make informed strategic breeding decisions through use of our Calf MathSM and Beef x Dairy programs.”
The international market showed some recovery from the previous year with retail operations in Brazil, Canada and Mexico gaining market share. The dairy market in Brazil was in crisis and sales figures reflected the difficulty, yet beef semen sales were strong. The Mexican dairy industry struggled as well, though herd care product sales and increased interest in beef A.I. showed huge opportunities. Among other major markets, GENEX dairy semen sales growth was realized in China and Russia while they struggled in Argentina. Beef semen sales in Argentina were solid.
Through all the change and the global economic turmoil, GENEX council President John Ruedinger, a dairy producer from Van Dyne, Wisconsin, expresses optimism for the future. “Through all this, we need to hold fast to our cooperative business status and mentality. We need to do more than brand GENEX as a cooperative. We need to remain relevant to members by asking for their feedback and responding to their needs. We need to ensure the next generation of producers is involved in and driving their cooperative’s future.”
Ruedinger concluded by saying the decision to form URUS is one delegates should be proud of. Their foresight and vision to create a new company means the future is bright and the vision is clear for GENEX.
GENEX is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services. As a cooperative business, GENEX serves members and customers – dairy and beef cattle producers – across the globe. For more information, please visit www.genex.coop.