A Day in the life of Cogent Reproductive Specialist Kirsty Pickles

Kirsty Pickles is entering her fourth year working with Cogent Breeding, as a Precision Reproductive Specialist. Her role focuses on driving reproduction efficiency through heat detection, artificial insemination and data management.


After completing her AI certificate, Kirsty moved straight onto a two-month Precision training programme to start her professional career. She is now servicing 2,250 cows across eight different farms in Somerset and has never looked back.

What do you find the most rewarding about your job as a Precision Reproductive Specialist?

“I love working with customers to achieve their reproductive goals and watching genetic progress through the generations.”

Prior to joining Cogent did you have any relevant experience? And how did you find your training?

“I joined Cogent from a farming background with little knowledge on breeding or reproduction. The Cogent Precision training programme was in depth with a mixture of both practical and theoretical work. There is continuous support following training and we have regular team meetings to discuss and share ideas.”

What would your advice be to those looking to become a Reproductive Specialist?

“It is not just a job, it’s a way of life! A can-do attitude is important as well as being a proven team player.”

COGENT’S TRAINING PROGRAMME

The aim of training is to provide customers with Reproductive Specialists that bring focused expertise and value to their business in a professional and results-driven service.

The Precision training programme aims to take trainees through a series of modules of a period of 4-8 weeks dependent on experience and ability. Training takes place on existing Precision rounds to maximise the availability of animals for the trainees to learn new skills and experience in the working environment.

FERTILITY AND PERFORMANCE

Fertility is one of the major factors affecting the efficiency of any dairy herd. It can account for one of the major costs of production and represents an area where significant improvements can be made.

Kirsty focuses her attention on a 21-day pregnancy rate as a measure of reproductive success. The farms on her round currently achieve a pregnancy rate high of 27% and an average conception rate of 41%. Kirsty is also conscious of driving heat detection rate as well as being aware of the correct re-enrolment of animals and breeding the correct animals.

TIPS FOR BREEDING SUCCESS

1. Evidence-Based Breeding Decisions

Combine accurate heat detection with the confirmation of primary and secondary signs of oestrus, whilst utilising individual animal repro history.

2. Clear Accurate Data

Data is key to producing reliable management lists and making accurate breeding decisions. Recording detailed information on each insemination will allow you to see what is working and where improvements need to be made.

3. Best Practice

Maximising conception rates is dependent upon attention to detail and correct semen handling. SexedULTRA 4M, and conventional semen, should be thawed at 37° for a minimum of 40 seconds, using a benchmark of five minutes maximum to complete the insemination from the minute the straw hits the thaw bath to depositing the semen.

4. Teamwork and Communication

Communication and teamwork are key to any business’s success, bringing inseminators, vets, nutritionists and other key members of staff together to maximise herd performance.

Q & A

What do you find the most rewarding about your job as a Precision Reproductive Specialist?

“I love working with customers to achieve their reproductive goals and watching genetic progress through the generations.”

Prior to joining Cogent did you have any relevant experience? And how did you find your training?

“I joined Cogent from a farming background with little knowledge on breeding or reproduction. The Cogent Precision training programme was in depth with a mixture of both practical and theoretical work. There is continuous support following training and we have regular team meetings to discuss and share ideas.”

What would your advice be to those looking to become a Reproductive Specialist?

“It is not just a job, it’s a way of life! A can-do attitude is important as well as being a proven team player.”

Do you have what is takes?

Cogent are looking to recruit Precision Reproductive Specialists in various locations throughout the UK. If you would like to be part of a skilled team working for one of the UK's largest suppliers of bovine genetics contact: recruitment@cogentuk.com


For more information

submit your email address for more details

Please enter a valid email address.