Featured image: Brett Mackay, Jennifer Becker and Brandon Thesing (left to right) were named Activity Systems Specialists of the Year for their outstanding work in the reproductive field and with the CowManager activity system.

At the 2015 Select Reproductive Solutions™ (SRS™) Conference held June 15-18, 2015 in Madison, Wis., Brett Mackay, Kennewick, Wash., Brandon Thesing, Pine Island, Minn. and Jennifer Becker, Sauk Rapids, Minn. were named Activity Systems Specialists of the Year for their outstanding work in the reproductive field and with the CowManager® activity system.

Mackay, an A.I. technician and SRS specialist with All West/Select Sires, grew up in Drummond, Mont. on a purebred beef ranch. He received an associate’s degree in animal science at Brigham Young University-Idaho and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at the University of Idaho in animal science. While in school, he developed a passion for cattle reproduction interning with a reproductive veterinarian. Mackay spends half of his time breeding cows and the other half visiting farms, analyzing records with Select RePRO Analysis™ and marketing and servicing CowManager systems in Washington and Oregon.

“Brett’s involvement with the CowManager system is a natural extension of his desire to help our member-owners achieve success with their breeding programs,” said Jim Wells, All West/Select Sires general manager. “His follow-up is focused on making sure that with each installation the owner is able to fully utilize all the benefits that CowManager provides. That’s what makes Brett a valuable resource to our members.”

A native of Eden Valley, Minn., Jennifer Becker grew up on a 1,100-cow dairy. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in animal science with an emphasis on dairy production and a master’s degree in animal science with an emphasis on applied dairy cattle genetics and statistics from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Becker joined Minnesota Select Sires Co-Op Inc. in 2013 as a key client specialist covering central and northern Minnesota and North Dakota. She analyzes reproductive and economic data, acts as a Program for Fertility Advancement™ (PFA™) coordinator and works with electronic activity monitoring systems, including CowManager, from sales to installation to training. Her role has expanded to supporting Breeding to FeedingSM and developing inventory management strategies.

Brandon Thesing grew up on a 180-cow dairy in Winona, Minn. and graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a minor in applied economics. He began work at Minnesota Select Sires Co-Op Inc. in 2011 in a sales training role and shortly thereafter started working extensively with activity monitoring systems. Thesing is now the southern Minnesota business manager, overseeing 12 employees in southeast Minnesota and provides customer-owners with reproductive and genetic analysis.

“It takes a dedicated and passionate staff that not only understands technology, but how to apply it and use data to make important business decisions,” states Chris Sigurdson, general manager of Minnesota Select Sires Co-op, Inc. “Brandon and Jennifer lead these efforts for our local cooperative. This award recognizes the dedication they have made in this area and customer-owners put their trust in them to deliver as promised. With more than 100 dairy producers in our cooperative using activity monitoring systems, it’s clear they see Brandon, Jennifer and the rest of our team as technology leaders.”