Shannon Eldridge is co-owner of Bar E Genetics with husband Cory. They collect unfertilized eggs (oocytes) from cows and heifers using ultrasound technology. Customers bring female cattle to the Eldridge farm at State Center in central Iowa where eggs are collected and sent to the Vytelle Lab in nearby Ames for fertilization.
Cattle housed at Diamond Bar E Genetics at State Center include donor and recipient cows. The eggs collected are sent to the recently opened Vytelle Lab in Ames, which offers a new invitro fertilization (IVF) process that helps dairy and beef producers get more calves from their best cows and heifers, speeding genetic progress in their herds.
Vytelle reproductive specialists Joseph Mancino (left) and William Garcia watch the ultrasound screen as they collect eggs from a Holstein cow. They collect the eggs using a simple, hormone-free process that’s easy on the animals. Collected eggs are sent to the lab for cleaning, sorting and fertilization using the cow owner’s choice of sires.
Vytelle lab technician Sara Garcia collects oocytes from a petri dish to fertilize with a producer’s choice of sires. With the Vytelle IVF process, producers can choose either conventional semen or reverse sorted semen to product embryos for implanting into recipient female cattle.
BENEFITS FOR DONOR
A Vytelle lab technician collects eggs from a petri dish to fertilize with semen from a selected sire. The Vytelle ovum pickup technique does not use follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), thus providing benefits for the donor animal. All cattle must have proof of basic vaccinations and have a reproductive soundness exam performed by a veterinarian before the egg donation event.
NEW LAB IN AMES
The Vytelle employee team held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the company’s new laboratory facility in Ames in September. The new lab makes Vytelle’s reproductive services more widely available to Midwest dairy and beef producers.