PLAIN CITY, Ohio – At the recent 68th National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB) Annual Convention held on September 24-25, 2014 in Green Bay, Wis., three Select Sires individuals were honored:
Randy Kortus, Select Sires Inc. and All West/Select Sires board member, earned the Member Director Award; Roy Wallace, former vice president of beef programs, received the Pioneer Award and Dr. Don Monke, vice president of production operations, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award.
Kortus has served for more than 25 years as a member of the All West/Select Sires board of directors and in 1994 was elected to the Select Sires Inc. board of directors. From 2007 to 2010 he served as chairman of the board of directors for Select Sires and as a World Wide Sires board member. As chairman, he led the strategic planning process that culminated in the construction of three new production barns, the development of Aggressive Reproductive Technologies™ (ART™) and other projects. He has been a member of the Holstein and Jersey Sire Committees at Select Sires and an active participant in Holstein Association USA, American Jersey Cattle Association and National Dairy Shrine. Kortus has traveled to 27 countries representing USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and U.S. Livestock Genetics Export Inc., Holstein Association USA, World Wide Sires and Select Sires where he has developed workshops for judging, fitting and showing and judged all breeds of dairy cattle. Kortus and his wife, Jana, and their family, operate Mainstream Holsteins and Jerseys in Lynden, Wash. The Jersey herd has consistently ranked as the top herd in the nation for Milk, Fat and Protein production while the Holstein herd has received the Herd of Excellence Award and Progressive Genetics Award for 18 years. Randy and Jana are active leaders in their community working with local 4-H programs and coaching FFA dairy judging teams.
Wallace joined the Select Sires staff in 1969 as a beef sire analyst after graduating from The Ohio State University. He later became the vice president of beef programs and acquired more than 600 beef bulls from 19 breeds with a focus on carcass value and lighter birth weights without sacrificing performance. Wallace was a strong proponent of performance testing and national sire summaries and was one of the original cattlemen to form the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF). He was the only person to attend the first 40 BIF conventions and was eventually honored with the organization’s Pioneer Award and Continuing Service Award. In addition to advocating for genetic progress through A.I., Wallace worked with researchers to develop effective A.I. synchronization protocols. As a supporter of progeny testing and A.I. synchronization, he was a frequent guest speaker at meetings and conventions around the world. Wallace passed away in 2008, doing what he loved, attending the National Western Stock Show in Denver.
Dr. Monke began his employment with Select Sires in May 1977 as the first staff veterinarian after graduating from the University of Illinois College Of Veterinary Medicine. In 2003, he received a Master of Business Administration from Franklin University. Since 2003, he has served as vice president of production operations and oversees semen collection teams, farming operations, the veterinary department, bull care and maintenance and construction of facilities, which includes herds and employees in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Alberta. In 1999, Dr. Monke was elected to the NAAB board of directors, serving as chair in 2004 and 2005, and was chair of the Certified Semen Services board of directors for ten years. Previously, he was a member of the NAAB Sire Health and Management and Strategic Planning Committees. He has traveled internationally on several occasions, serving as a representative for NAAB and USDA during semen export requirement negotiations. He has published 60 articles about bull health and preventative medicine and presented at 15 different NAAB Technical Conferences. Dr. Monke enjoys spending time with his wife of 40 years, Priscilla, as well as their three children and four grandchildren.
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.
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