Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Dairy Intern: Ashley Sprengeler

Published on 23 December 2010


Graduate, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Intern with Genex
Based in Shawano, Wisconsin



Q. In what area did you pursue a degree?
I graduated with a degree in dairy science with an emphasis in international agriculture and Spanish

Q. What is your agricultural background?
Arthurst Farm is the name of my family farm, where we milk around 80 registered Brown Swiss cattle. Our cows are housed in a freestall barn and milked in a double-six herringbone parlor twice a day. We farm around 150 acres of corn and soybeans and grow most of our own feed.

Since our farm is completely family-owned and operated, I have various farm responsibilities and take an active role in the daily farm operations. We have also been fortunate enough to exhibit animals at local, state, and national level shows. I work closely alongside my younger sister and brother in selecting, preparing, and taking care of our show cattle.

This past spring I received my dairy science degree at UW-Madison and was active in several organizations including: The UW-Madison Dairy Judging Team, Badger Dairy Club, Sigma Alpha, and AWA.

Q. What previous internship positions have you held?
I have worked as the UW Extension Dairy Youth Specialist Intern where I coordinated and presented interactive workshops to dairy youth, assisted in selection of cattle for 4-H dairy judging contests, and developed news releases and recruitment materials for UW Dairy Science Dept.


I have also worked as the dairy managing intern at Hoard’s Dairyman Farm where I developed calf management and pasteurization protocols, managed hospital cows, and utilized DairyComp 305 and worked with herd veterinarian to analyze herd records.

Internship information

Q. What are your responsibilities during your internship?
As the Dairy Cattle Genetics Intern, I have various responsibilities including: visiting client farms and evaluating young sire daughters, creating picture schedules for progeny cows, assisting with embryo contracting and ET registration, and helping facilitate international profit tours.

Q. What do you hope to have learned by the end of your internship?
I hope to have learned more about the inner workings of an AI organization. I’d also like to learn what criteria to look for when selecting and marketing bulls, as well as how to best utilize genomic information when evaluating a bull’s genetic potential.

Q. What intrigues you most about Genex?
I’m intrigued by how important international business and global relations are to Genex Cooperative. This fall, I was fortunate enough to assist with several international profit tours. Through my interactions with many international representatives, distributors, and dairymen, I realized how important intercontinental relations are to the success of an AI organization.

Q. What can you do to make a meaningful impact during your internship?
Throughout my internship, I try to learn as much as possible about dairy cattle genetics by asking multiple questions, listening to farmers, and learning from my employers. I hope to be a valuable asset to the company by completing requested tasks in a positive, timely, and efficient manner.

Q. What has been the most challenging aspect of your intern duties?
This internship demands high amounts of traveling, so long car rides, plane trips, and hotel stays can get a little difficult. The positive side of this is that I am able to visit many different types of dairy farms and have the chance to learn from and communicate with several farmers.

Q. What's your best story from the first day or week of your internship?
Within the first few days of my internship, I was already visiting farms by myself and selecting which young sire progeny would be most desirable to use for visual marketing for our December proof guide. I was excited how quickly I was given such a high amount of responsibility.


Future plans
Q. What do you plan to do, now that you have graduated?
I’m planning on returning to school to obtain my master’s degree in dairy cattle reproductive physiology. I hope to utilize my graduate degree by working with an A.I. organization to help dairy farmers develop successful breeding and reproductive managing programs.

Q. Why do you want to remain a part of the dairy industry?
I want to be part of the dairy industry's future because I have an immense passion for the dairy cow. Growing up on a dairy farm has taught me so many life lessons and I've become a better person because of it.

I want to use these learned life skills in order to give back to the industry that has taught me so much, and hopefully I'll be able to help future generations have as positive an experience involving dairy as I've had. PD