June T, 1954
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Montana's Dairyman-Owned Program
Now Serves 2,300 State Herds
By BILL STELLMON, Roving Reporter
A HALF CENTURY of natural breeding could not have
done so much for American dairy herds as artificial
breeding has done in just 15 years.
That's the opinion of J. F. Kendrick, chief of USDA dairy
herd improvement work. And thousands of dairymen the
country over will back him up.
Last year, about 5 million cows in more than 600,000 herds
were bred artificially by breeding associations operating in
every state, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Nearly 10,000 of those cows were in Montana herds
tificially bred by the Western Montana Dairy Breeders Assn.,
an organization which, regardless of name, is distributing
state-wide the producing power of its good bulls.
This dairyman-owned association, just approaching its
seventh birthday, now serves members in 23 areas of the
state. Last year, 9,586 dairy cows in those areas were bred by
association bulls. And this year, if figures for the first three
months are true indication, the total may top 11,000.
That's a far cry from early years of the association when,
to keep the program rolling, members sometimes would get to
gether and buy a bull of their breed, then take his cost out
in breeding fees. Funds were that short.
Now, with some 2,300 stockholder-dairymen supporting it,
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Dairymen in these 23 state
breed artificially with semen from Western
Montana association. About 2,300 herds
the association is a solvent, still-growing business that counts
among its assets 10 bulls of five different breeds.
Headquarters of the association is a 40-acre leased farm just
northeast of Missoula. The farm, so far, is farm in name only;
bull pens, a combination office-collection laboratory-barn and
a couple of houses are principal facilities. But it's here that
primary work of the group is done, directed by Ray Green
halgh, manager since March, 1953, and a man experienced in
the artificial breeding field.
Three times a week, Greenhalgh and his staff collect and
ship semen from half a dozen bulls at the farm. Most collect
ing is done by Al R. Miller,
(Please turn to page 12)
Ray Greenhalgh. manager of West
ern Montana Dairy Breeders Assn.,
prepares semen for shipment to field
units around the state. Last year,
9,586 stale dairy cows were artifi
cially bred by this association's bulls.
Insemination In field is done by
technicians like Dee Lawson of Mis
soula unit, shown here filling plastic,
disposable pipette with semen. Kit
contains complete equipment for in
semination. Technicians are trained,
licensed. Old hands say, "It's easy
to learn how to breed a cow, but you
have to breed a thousand before you
know how." (M F-S photos)
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