History

  • 1938

    Commercial bovine artificial insemination (AI) begins using fresh, quickly delivered semen. How quickly? Imagine small planes air-dropping parachutes of vessels containing semen to waiting technicians standing beside ground markers. Quite a picture, isn’t it?

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    1941

    Rockefeller (Rock) Prentice of Barrington, Illinois, forms the American Dairy Guernsey Associates (ADGA) of Northern Illinois, the precursor to today’s ABS Global. Three Guernsey sires form the core of an organization that would become the first privately owned bull stud in the USA.

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    1945

    In 1945, Holstein sires, the most popular dairy breed sold globally today, join the ABS lineup and quickly make a name for themselves (and a name-change for us).

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    1945

    In 1945, ADGA of Northern Illinois changes its name to the American Scientific Breeding Institute to reflect a greater number of Holsteins than Guernseys.

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    1947

    In 1947, a new year brings a new breed as Jersey sires join the company lineup.

    In 1947, we move from Illinois to Madison, Wis., and change our name to Wisconsin Scientific Breeding Institute.

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    1948

    In 1948, Rock Prentice and Dr. E.L. Willet establish the American Foundation of the Study of Genetics. A few years later, the foundation would create the first embryo transfer calf using a now-familiar process known today as – you guessed it – in vitro fertilization (IVF).

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    1950

    The company breaks into the beef market when it adds Angus sires to the lineup.

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    1953

    In 1953, the first semen ampule to hold frozen semen is created. Made of glass, the ampule holds 1.2 cc of semen

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    1953

    In 1953, the world meets Frosty, a healthy heifer and the first North American calf born from frozen semen artificial insemination. Thirty years later, history would be made again when the same semen successfully conceives another AI calf (clearly, frozen semen has a long, long shelf life).

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    1954

    In 1953, the world meets Frosty, a healthy heifer and the first North American calf born from frozen semen artificial insemination. Thirty years later, history would be made again when the same semen successfully conceives another AI calf (clearly, frozen semen has a long, long shelf life).

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    1956

    In 1956, our researchers collaborate with Linde Corporation to introduce the industry’s first container for storing and transporting frozen semen using liquid nitrogen.

    The container was funded by the organization at a cost of $770,000 and establishes us as the first organization in the USA to rely 100 percent on liquid nitrogen-refrigerated frozen semen. Peru becomes the first country to receive frozen semen outside of the USA.

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    1956

    In 1956, Dr. Basile Luyet joins the organization. This Catholic priest and prominent cryobiologist perfects the process for freezing and storing semen.

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    1956

    Remember the parachuting semen of 1938? In 1956, thanks to our new transport container, drivers can now deliver frozen semen via the first truck route in the Midwest.

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    1958

    In 1958, our name is officially changed to American Breeders Service (ABS).

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    1959

    In 1959, Rock Prentice has trouble finding accurate, accessible production records to improve genetic evaluations. He discovers the Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland, has the information he needs. The bad news: They lack funding to do anything with them. However, thanks to a generous donation from Rock Prentice, daughter records by bull and breed are published in the first AI sire summary.

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    1963

    In 1963, ABS geneticist, Dr. Robert E. Walton, introduces the Estimated Daughter Superiority (EDS) measurement, a young sire program to progeny test sires in a truly random fashion. EDS determines the value of bulls old enough to have milking daughters, which lays the foundation for the genetic evaluations used everywhere today. Dr. Walton would go on to become the 2nd president of ABS.

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    1965

    In 1965, DeForest, Wis., USA, becomes ABS headquarters

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    1967

    In 1967, the now infamous ABS Bullboard is erected along I-94 in DeForest. Since its inception, it has hosted thousands of punny messages.

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    1967

    In his later years, Rock Prentice considers several buyers for the company, eventually choosing W.R. Grace & Company in 1967.

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    1968

    In 1968, ABS introduces the first computerized mating program, initially called Genetic Mating Service (GMS), which has made more than 68 million matings since its inception.

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    1968

    In 1968, ABS creates linear genetic evaluation systems that would later be adopted by the Holstein Association.

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    1971

    In 1971, ABS opens for business in France.

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    1975

    In 1975, the first Genetic Trait Summary is published in the USA. This first-of-its-kind dataset would become a valuable asset for mating cows with the GMS (which now stands for Genetic Management System) program.

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    1978

    In 1978, ABS invents and introduces a monitor ampule placed with stored semen, improving quality control by ensuring semen is maintained at the proper temperature.

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    1980

    In 1953, the world meets Frosty, a healthy heifer and the first North American calf born from frozen semen artificial insemination. Thirty years later, history would be made again when the same semen successfully conceives another AI calf (clearly, frozen semen has a long, long shelf life).

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    1980

    In 1980, our Reproductive Management System (RMS) manages herd reproduction by utilizing heat detection, artificial insemination, synchronization, and data management services provided by professional technicians.

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    1987

    In 1987, ABS develops nuclear fusion transfer. This involves the cells of a cow’s embryo being loosened and individually placed into donor cow eggs that had their own DNA content removed. Once paired, the two are fused together to create a cloned embryo. These embryos are transferred to surrogate cows to create cloned calves. The first two calves born from this technology were named Fusion and Copy. Seems appropriate!

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    1993

    Ardshiel, Inc. acquires the company and changes its name to ABS Global. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

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    1994

    Hola, México. In 1994, ABS Global opens a branch in yet another new country.

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    1996

    In 1996, ABS Global enters a joint venture with Incorporated Pecplan Bradesco, a Brazilian company that imports and distributes insemination products, adopting their stud as our own. The joint venture becomes known as ABS Pecplan.

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    1996

    Where’s the beef? In 1996, our partnership with Circle A Ranch and the Angus Sire Alliance makes ABS Global the exclusive marketing agent for some of the most profitable beef bulls in the industry.

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    1997

    In 1997, ABS Global announces the arrival of Gene, the world’s first cloned bovine calf. Even though Gene is in the womb at the same time as "Dolly the Sheep," the world’s first cloned animal, Dolly is born first due to a sheep’s shorter gestation period.

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    1998

    In 1998, ABS Global introduces Valiant®, a line named after the influential ABS sire.

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    1999

    In 1999, Genus plc, a publicly traded company based in England, purchases ABS Global.

  • Genus ABS web site shoot 11th June 2012
James Hudson, Uk Production and Operations Manager.

    2000

    In 2000, additives further our success as Powerstart™ silage additive enters the UK market.

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    2002

    G’day, Australia! In 2002, Genus plc buys ABS Australia, followed a few years later by its purchase of Riverina Artificial Breeders (RAB), the second largest semen production and progeny testing center in Australia.

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    2005

    In 2005, the company officially geeks out as Computer Assisted Sperm Analysis (CASA) replaces the photographic tracking process for post-thaw semen checks.

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    2005

    Bovine, meet porcine. In 2005, Genus plc purchases Pig Improvement Company, the largest porcine genetics company in the world.

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    2005

    In 2005, ABS Global purchases land in Dekorra, Wis., USA, a township just north of DeForest. In 2007, a second headquarters facility is built with European-approved collection barns, an isolation barn, a rearing barn, and processing lab, as well as a state-of-the-art observation deck, arrival facility, calf facility, the Vern Meier Historical Barn, and a number of other ongoing projects.

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    2006

    Guten tag, Deutschland! In 2006, we begin business in Germany.

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    2006

    First Brazil, then the world. In 2006, ABS Global introduces the ABS Sexation™ product line globally after a successful introduction in Brazil.

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    2007

    In 2007, the company creates Fertility Plus®, a semen fertility product that increases conception rate.

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    2008

    In 2008, ABS Global begins genomic testing, analyzing DNA to estimate future performance more reliably and at an earlier age. Today, all sires in the ABS program are genomic tested.

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    2009

    In 2009, ABS Global makes history with the only stud to have nine “millionaire” sires, each of which has produced and sold more than one million units of semen.

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    2009

    In 2009, ABS China is founded.

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    2011

    In 2011, collections start in our Whenby, England, facility.

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    2011

    As part of the new Dairy InFocus program, in 2011, cows with a lower genetic ranking are bred to beef with the resulting calves sold at a premium. Top-performing cows are used to create dairy replacement heifers. Today, InFocus is recognized as the leading source for premium dairy beef feeder cattle.

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    2012

    Released in 2012, ABS Monitor is the first reproductive monitoring program in the Artificial Insemination industry, helping dairy farmers easily produce more pregnancy and increase profitability of their business.

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    2012

    As part of the new Dairy InFocus program, in 2011, cows with a lower genetic ranking are bred to beef with the resulting calves sold at a premium. Top-performing cows are used to create dairy replacement heifers. Today, InFocus is recognized as the leading source for premium dairy beef feeder cattle.

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    2012

    In 2012, ABS Global becomes the first company to use a proprietary database. Real World Data® (RWD

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    2012

    Using RWD, in 2012 the company launches Sire Fertility, an index to measure a sire’s semen fertility.

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    2014

    In 2014, the Global Production System (GPS) computerizes the entire production process. From collection through processing and storage, bar codes are used to track the semen of studs around the world.

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    2014

    In 2014, our Net Profit Genetics™ program helps create more efficient, low-maintenance, and sustainable herds.

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    2015

    In 2015, ABS Global acquires In-Vitro Brazil (IVB), the world leader in commercial bovine IVF.

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    2015

    In 2015, there’s even more great news from Brazil as the company launches Y SYNC, an app that facilitates heat cycle synchronization in herds. The software is also used to monitor and collect information for the Fixed Time AI (FTAI) Beef Program.

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    2015

    In 2015, ABS Global produces the first commercial units from our proprietary genomic bulls, each of which is born from our elite female nucleus herd.

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    2015

    Olá novamente, Brasil. In 2015, GPLAN, a mating program for Girolando bulls, is released in Brazil.

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    2015

    In 2015, ABS Global develops TransitionRight

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    2015

    In 2015, ABS Global launches ABS NEO, an embryo program powered by exclusive IVB Transfer™ technology.

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    2015

    In 2015, the Ruthin Gallery, a viewing room, meeting room, and education center opens in the UK.

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    2016

    In 2016, ABS Global acquires St. Jacobs ABC, an elite dairy genetics supplier that has been providing ABS with prestigious genetics since 1990.

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    2016

    In 2016, the Brahma Genetics Facility is opened in Pune, India.

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    2016

    Hooray, yippee, huzzah! In 2016, the company celebrates 75 exciting years of nonstop and unbeatable genetic progress.

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    2016

    In 2016, ABS Global and De-Su Holsteins form a joint venture, De Novo Genetics. The partnership develops elite and differentiated Holstein genetics to help increase customer profitability through improved herd productivity, health, and efficiency.

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    2016

    In 2016, ABS Pecplan and Agropecuaria Fazenda Brasil partner to collect and analyze individual feed intake data on crossbred animals, the first time this has been done in a commercial environment.