Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

New Hire Michael Schmitt, Accelerated Genetics

Published on 13 August 2015

Michael Schmitt

Michael Schmitt
Genetic Information Analyst
Accelerated Genetics
Reedsburg, Wisconsin



What education are you bringing with you to this position?

I am a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a degree in animal science with a dairy production emphasis. My education for this role could be attributed to a combination of my farming background with registered cattle and courses that I took while at college in dairy genetics, statistics and animal breeding. I have had a number of years working with genetics on my family's farm and working through the successes and failures of those experiences.

Please describe your agricultural background.
My background in agriculture began in Rice, Minnesota, on my family's dairy farm, where we milked 90 registered Holsteins with the Ralma prefix. The farm operates on a couple hundred acres of corn, alfalfa and soybeans. Showing dairy cattle through 4-H and the Junior Holstein Association at the local, state and national level, I remained connected to Holsteins.

I was involved in all aspects of the dairy farm, from herd health to embryo transfer (ET) flushing programs. My main interest was in breeding cows and genetics; however, I appreciated the occasional field work during planting and harvest. While in college at the University of Minnesota, I was a member of the dairy judging team and dairy challenge team, which enabled me to utilize my agricultural background.

What territory will you cover?
I am based out of the office headquarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

What are your new responsibilities?
My main responsibility will be in a supporting role for bull acquisition. In order to do this, I will manage genetic information databases, stay up to date with industry news and contribute to genetic discussions. Also, I will manage bull information and pictures on the company’s website. Furthermore, I will be coordinating the young sire daughter classifications with respective breed organizations and working with the dairy records processing centers to collect information.


What previous positions have you held?
During my college years, I had two internships, and one was actually with the company I am working for today. In the summer of 2013, I interned for Accelerated Genetics in their genetic department, working with daughter photos. It just goes to prove that internships do lead to jobs. I also completed an internship with Vita Plus, working in Minnesota with dairy cattle nutrition that focused on automatic calf feeders. In addition to this, I worked part time during the school year for the University of Minnesota in the animal science department.

Who has made the biggest impact on your career?
My father has had a very large impact on my career. He introduced me to the art of breeding good cows and got me initially interested in dairy cattle. He taught me many things about how he breeds cows, and the dedication it takes to see the changes through generations of breeding on a farm. He is still farming in central Minnesota, and I appreciate talking to him about the current issues in the dairy industry.

How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
I want to bring value to the company’s customers. The best way for me to do this in my position is to inform our sales representatives and other employees about the advantages to using superior genetics. Sometimes genetics can be complicated, and interpreting the information so it is easy to understand for everyone will also be beneficial.

Why did you choose this company?
Accelerated Genetics has some of the best people in the industry. After interning at the company, I was able to get a sample of the culture in the company and an in-depth view of where it is heading, and I liked what I saw and experienced. The company is well respected in the industry and had an opening in an area that I was interested. Accelerated Genetics presented multiple ways for me to grow both personally and professionally in the dairy genetics industry.

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
I have two goals in this position. Firstly, streamline the flow of information from multiple sources to be utilized in an effective form by other employees. Secondly, improve the genetic lineup that the company offers to its customers. Both of these goals will offer many challenges, but I believe are attainable. PD