Learning Module/Notebook

Heather Schlesser
UW-Madison Division of Extension
Marathon County

Schlesser, H.*1, , Sandra Stuttgen2,
1 AGRICULTURE AGENT, UW-Extension, Wausau, WI, 54403
2 Agriculture Agent, UW-Extension, Medford, WI, 54451

This learning module was created to teach beef and dairy producers how to artificially inseminate their cattle.  In 2012 artificial insemination companies stopped holding classes teaching farmers how to breed their own cattle.  Since 2012 nine two-day artificial insemination programs have been held.  For these clinics the following topics were taught to producers:

  • Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology
  • AI Technique
  • Reproductive tracts and  semen handling
  • AI Equipment
  • Heat Detection
  • Estrous Synchronization Protocols
  • Bull Selection
  • Pregnancy Detection
  • Practice in live animals.

Participants in this course were given a manual at the start of day one with all of the handouts and educational and reference materials needed for the course.  The program consisted of lecture on both days, working with excised reproductive tracts, and semen handling . Once participants were able to pass the insemination gun through the excised reproductive tracts they had the opportunity to practice on live animals. Fact sheets on selection, interpreting sire summaries, and determining pregnancy were included in the manual that was given to attendees.  132 people attended the nine AI training sessions. Class size was capped at 15 people to allow everyone adequate time with practice animals. Participants were from 88 different farms, with eight of the farms located in Michigan, and three farm located in Minnesota and two farms located in Illinois. Sixty-eight of the farms were dairy farms and sixty-four were beef farms. Participants were asked to evaluate the AI trainings with a post meeting evaluation and a long term evaluation to see what practices were implemented. Evaluations immediately after the program (n = 132) showed that on average participants increased their knowledge about AI from 2.01 to 3.51 on a Likert scale from 1 = very little knowledge to 4 = a lot of knowledge.

Successful completion of this program resulted in students that were able to inseminate their own cattle.