About

Brand Story

We were born to challenge standards. Since the beginning, innovation has been part of our DNA. From co-development of the first semen tank, to the recent ground-breaking launch of our innovative Sexcel® sexed genetics product, we have made our mark in the bovine genetics industry.

We never settle. We are always challenging the status quo – even if we created it.

People are the reason for our existence – Our customers’ needs have helped build what we are today, while our employees and partners provide diverse perspectives and drive our success.

Our experience runs more than 75 years deep, 70 countries wide and 1,600 colleagues strong.

We partner with progressive and genetic driven farmers by providing them tailored solutions to help produce higher-quality milk and meat.

Our team is part of the farm team, combining genetic expertise, reproductive management and a deep understanding of breeding cattle to help customers succeed in a strong and sustainable way.

Beyond our responsibility to customers and employees, we are committed to the highest levels of animal welfare whether that be in our barns or on our customers’ farms.

Pioneering animal genetic improvement to help nourish the world in a safe, responsible and profitable way is something we take very seriously. It’s not about what we do, but how we do it. In the end, we’re employees, farmers and consumers at the same time.

We are ABS Global – Profit From Genetic Progress.

About Us

Headquartered in DeForest, Wisconsin, USA, ABS Global is the world-leading provider of bovine genetics, reproduction services, technologies, and udder care products. Marketing in more than 70 countries around the globe, ABS has been at the forefront of animal genetics and technology since its founding in 1941. In bovine genetics, ABS serves more than 40,000 customers globally, including some of the world’s leading beef and dairy producers. ABS Global owns bull studs in Europe, North America, Latin America, and India, selling genetics to dairy and beef customers in North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe.

ABS Global is a division of Genus plc.

Genus is a British-based company leader in porcine and bovine genetics market. The company is committed to continuously develop better pigs and cows for farmers, by selecting animals with desirable characteristics that help them to produce higher quality meat and milk more sustainably.

ABS History

 

Commercial bovine artificial insemination 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?

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.

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).

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

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

In 1947, we move from Illinois to Wisconsin and change our name to Wisconsin Scientific Breeding Institute (WSBI).

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).

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

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

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).

In 1954, our research team adapts photographic equipment to track live sperm cells from each semen collection post-thaw, a process that would remain secret until published 19 years later in 1973.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

In 1971, ABS opens for business in France.

In 1975, Volume 1, No. 1 of the Genetic Trait Summary (GTS) 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.

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.

In 1980, our patented, proprietary wind tunnel semen freezing system now freezes semen in the same package the customer receives.

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

In 1982, glass ampules are converted to clear straws and ABS begins offering 0.5 cc and 0.25 cc straws globally.

In 1987, ABS developed 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 were fused together to create a cloned embryo. These embryos were transferred to surrogate cows to create cloned calves. The first two calves born from this technology were named Fusion and Copy. Seems appropriate!

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

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

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.

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 the most profitable beef bulls.

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.

Although rarely referred to as “the year of the teat dip,” in 1998, ABS Global introduces Valiant®, a line named after the influential ABS sire.

In 1999, Genus plc, a publicly traded company based out of the UK, purchases ABS Global.

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

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.

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

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

In 2005, ABS Global purchases land in Dekorra, Wisconsin, USA, a township just north of DeForest. In 2007, a second headquarters facility is built with European-approved collection barns, isolation barn, 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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

In 2009, ABS China is founded.

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

As part of what was then called the Dairy InFocus program, 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, Beef InFocus™ is recognized as one of the leading sources for premium dairy beef feeder cattle.

A partnership between ABS Pecplan and Rancho de Matinha, uses GrowSafe technology in 2012 to create IR$M, an economic feed efficiency index for Nelore cattle.

In 2012, ABS Global becomes the first company to use a proprietary database. Real World Data® (RWD™) contains millions of cow records from herds around the world.

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

In 2012, ABS Pecplan has another win with its introduction of ABS Monitor software for monitoring dairy herds.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

In 2015, ABS Global develops TransitionRight™, a genetic solution to help prevent multiple, post-calving metabolic disorders that can occur during transition, the most crucial period in a cow’s life.

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

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

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

हेलो इंडिया।. In 2016, a stud is opened in Pune, India.

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

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.

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

NuEra Genetics™ is formed. It encompasses all proprietary ABS beef breeding programs, evaluations and indexes and produces superior genetics for beef supply chain profitability.

ABS becomes the sole owner of In-Vitro Brasil (IVB®). This provides ABS with the opportunity to accelerate the rate of genetic improvement offered our customers. IVB was started in 2002 to meet the growing demand for bovine IVF technology from commercial dairy and beef producers in Brazil.

Sexcel® Sexed Genetics is released! It is ABS’ sexed genetics produced using our own 21st century technology, which is gentle on the cells and enables ABS to deliver a product that helps contribute to improved herd performance. This new technology was developed by Genus plc’s in-house scientists and research team and is the most advanced since sexed semen was introduced years ago.

ABS XBLACK, new from NuEra Genetics™, is launched in Brazil. This begins a new era of genetic selection for crossbreeding by identifying the right genetics for animals finished in feedlot system. It is the first economic index that measures total system profitability in Nellore cows with Angus and European breed composite bulls.

Expansion is on the horizon for ABS Global in Wisconsin. The company purchases land in Leeds Township, Wisconsin, USA, for future development while also converting a third barn in Dekorra.

Expansion at Dekorra continues with the addition of 60 stalls to one current barn and construction started on another 120-stall facility taking capacity up to 420 stalls. Additional projects at Dekorra include adding feed rooms and a wash bay.

Corporate Responsibility

The Environment

We recognize the social obligations to the global communities in which we operate and consider respect of the environment to be one of our core values. ABS is committed to providing knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to support an effective environmental policy within our wider commercial objectives.

Animal Welfare

Our internal policy has a zero tolerance approach to any mistreatment of animals. We are a company that is ethical to its core and we feel a deep sense of responsibility for animals. We see caring for them as our moral duty. We know it is a commercial imperative, because keeping animals safe and healthy helps our superior genetics shine through.

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