Hugh Van Hout of Select Sires Canada was honored as the Select Mating Service™ (SMS™) genetic consultant of the year in front of an audience of his peers at Select Sires’ SMS Evaluator’s Conference held in Michigan on May 4-7. Van Hout is the first international person to receive this honor from Select Sires Inc.
This award is presented annually to a genetic consultant who exemplifies the qualities that make SMS known throughout the world as the premier mating program in the industry. The recipient must have years of superior service, a history of high-quality evaluations and the ability to build and maintain successful relationships with dairy producers.
Van Hout was born in Holland, but immigrated to Canada with his parents and sisters as a young child. His father worked on several farms until purchasing the family farm in 1968. Located in Arthur, Ontario, Woodbroek Holsteins earned many awards for production and type. Van Hout took over management of the farm from 1979 to 1989. After operating the farm he worked in the A.I. industry before becoming one of the initial employees of Select Sires Canada in 2000. Van Hout was instrumental in the start-up and development of Select Sires Canada. Currently he serves as an SMS genetic consultant and district manager in western Ontario and Manitoba.
Besides cows, sports are a large part of Van Hout’s life. In high school and college he played basketball, broomball and softball. He coached softball for over 20 years winning a vast array of titles, championships and medals and during the winter months coached basketball at local elementary and high schools. He served as president of the Arthur Minor Softball League and the Intercounty Fastball League. Van Hout was an active 4-H leader and served as a chaperone for Wellington 4-H for many years. He and his wife of 42 years, Gail, reside in Arthur, Ontario. They have two sons, Jonathon and Bob.
“Hugh has three passions in life: cows, sports and family,” says Bill Young, general manager of Select Sires Canada. “He loves his job and whenever someone loves what they are doing, it is never considered work. His job has given him much personal growth and he has traveled thousands of miles and met thousands of people. No matter where he goes, he is never far from a cow.”
Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc. is North America’s largest A.I. organization and is comprised of nine farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.