Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

New Hire Jake Kempel

Published on 25 September 2010


Jake Kempel
Winslow, Illinois
Ai24 Specialist
Semex USA



Please describe your agricultural background.
I have been involved in dairy farming my entire life. I grew up on 60-cow dairy in northwest Illinois where at a young age I began to run all the day-to-day operations. I learned early in life the value of hard work and determination to succeed in the strenuous business of dairy production. I implemented several new ideas on the family farm such as: artificial insemination, fresh cow protocols, calf care, learning to do much of my own vet work, stronger dry-off procedures and utilizing reproduction tools to reduce days open. I enhanced my learning and experience over the last two years working as an assistant herdsman and employee manager on my father-in-law’s 500-cow dairy in southern Wisconsin. Here, I also became a skilled artificial insemination and embryo technician. I also embraced the idea of adding ai24 as a diverse management tool to help cut costs and worked with it on the farm for over a year.

What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I was very active throughout high school in a number of programs including serving as FFA president. As an FFA member I participated in all judging events and conferences and received my state FFA degree. I also re-established our chapters FFA test plot that had been removed several years prior. After high school I attended a small community college where I furthered my agricultural education in agriculture production, marketing, and management. The best education I have obtained has been a lifetime of dealing with the joys, hardships, and everyday lessons associated with dairy farming.

What are your new responsibilities?
My responsibilities at Semex as an ai24 specialist are consulting with current clients and potential clients interested in improving reproduction and herd health while in turn saving valuable income.

What territory will you cover?
I will be covering the areas of southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and eastern Iowa.

What previous positions have you held?
My lifetime has been devoted to the dairy industry. Until 2008 I worked and operated my family’s small dairy farm. For the last two years I worked as a herdsman, employee manager, reproduction specialist, and genetics advisor on my in-laws 500 cow operation. I am also a member of my local farm bureau and the Holstein association.

What excites you most about working in your new role?
What excites me most about my new career is the opportunity to offer state-of-the-art and extremely reliable cow activity monitoring technology to fellow dairy producers. Along with this, supplying a great selection of well balanced sires that appeal to all types of dairymen.


How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
I hope to benefit producers by showing them the value of the ai24 system. As one of the first dairyman in central United States to use the system, I have over a year of experience with this outstanding technology. Ai24 uses collars and infrared technology to record all forms of each individual cow’s movement. The collars display each cow’s activity on a computer screen, which the user can viewd to see each cow’s activity or a list of high and low activity cows. Cows can be inseminated at precisely the right time for highest conception rates using the high activity . Low activity informs the user at the first sign of health issues. I will strive to help improve all areas of reproductive performance.

What’s your best story from the first day on the job?
My first day on the job we had an open house for some clients interested in the ai24 system. The open house was at the farm of a customer who had purchased the system after viewing it at an open house where I was using it. He is so pleased with the results, from eliminating almost all time breedings to not having to watch cows for heat, so he is enjoying a little more free time. It was a pleasure to see the same enthusiasm in him that I receive from working with ai24.

Why did you choose this company?
I chose to work for Semex because of the industry leading sires and reproductive tools they offer to dairymen all over the world. They offer superior genetics, from elite cow families, that are well balanced and thrive in any environment. It is a company that provides a wide variety of reproductive options focusing on fertility and getting more cows pregnant.

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
With my new position I hope to meet and build strong relationships with current and future clients. I would also like to help dairymen see the same benefits I was able to see with ai24 including: decreased days open, lower days to first service, huge reduction in hormone shots, reduction in semen use, lower calving intervals, higher conception rates for all services, higher pregnancy rates, and health monitoring. I am looking forward to serving customers for their reproductive needs and working for a great company like Semex! PD