Waihi dairy farmer Gisela Bach has a special talent for helping others breed healthy and efficient cows they love to milk.
Gisela is an AB (Artificial Breeding) Technician for CRV Ambreed and has been named the Waikato AB Technician of the Year. Born in Barcelona, Gisela was a qualified vet in her home country of Catalonia. She travelled to New Zealand nine years ago and now manages 200-cows with her Kiwi partner Adam on his family’s dairy farm. In her fifth season with CRV, Gisela says she became interested in artificial insemination after chatting with an AB technician on farm.
“I love animals, but I also enjoy the social side of being an AB technician. Most farmers on my run are owner operators and I have enjoyed getting to know them, their farms and their families.
“It’s a bonus for me to learn about their farm management processes and take new ideas back home to our farm.
“The AB season in this area starts after calving in October. Until then, most farmers have their heads down because it’s such a busy time of year. When I start my run, I think my farmer customers look forward to my visits because it’s such a great time to come up for air and have a chat.”
Gisela’s AB run involves servicing 10 farms from Waihi to Tairua, inseminating 2500 cows and covering more than 10,000kms a year.
CRV National AB Manager Craig Scott says the Technician of the Year Award recognises Gisela’s commitment, competency and excellent cow return rates.
“The CRV team is continually investing in new technologies and genetic innovations to help farmers breed healthy and efficient cows, with great temperaments and smaller environmental footprints,” he says.
“But if the AB technician team doesn’t do a good job of delivering these products and services to farmers, the value of all that hard work and investment won’t be fully realised.
“Getting cows in calf is our number one priority. I congratulate Gisela for the part she plays in delivering gold standard service to our farmer customers.”
Gisela was presented with her award in Morrinsville recently as part of CRV’s nationwide ‘pre-mating’ seminars for AB technicians.
Senior managers are meeting with more than 200 technicians across the country as they prepare for the impending mating season. It’s not just practical skills the modern AB technician needs.
A key part of their role is using CRV’s PortaBULL app, which links the mating to the cow to ensure herd records are kept up to date, with information able to be viewed on the spot.
CRV technicians are also proficient in using an inbreeding alert, which is provided to farmers who are also using the company’s SireMatch service.
SireMatch is a report specifically tailored to a farmer’s herd. It helps prevent inbreeding and genetic defects using the cow’s pedigree information, in addition to recommending the ideal sire to match with each cow. SireMatch integrates with the PortaBULL App, allowing immediate access by the AB technician to this critical data at the time of mating.
This year CRV technicians will have the added fun of looking out for five golden straws hidden inside farmers’ CRV’s artificial insemination units, worth $2000 each.