GenerVations Inc. (GenerVations), an innovative privately owned artificial insemination (A.I) company, is taking advantage of global opportunities in a growing industry. The Ontario-based company is committed to pioneering the advancement of dairy operations with representatives across Canada providing producers with leading genetics from around the world.
GenerVations began in 1999 when David Eastman, a lifelong farmer and now owner and president of GenerVations, partnered with Albert Cormier of Cormdale Genetics Inc. (Cormdale). “Albert laid the groundwork for GenerVations, pioneering the international marketing of cattle and embryos,” shares David.
Pioneering Genetic Innovation
Albert was successful in livestock marketing and superior bulls with his Master Breeder Calbrett Holsteins herd in Georgetown, Ontario. He was also one of the first in the industry to import the first European semen into Canada from Holland. “Albert asked me to join the company in 1993 as a sales representative,” recalls David.
Within a year, David was appointed sales manager for Cormdale’s genetics marketing business. “I grew up on my family’s farm, so I was always interested in animal sciences,” he reveals. In 1991, David graduated from the University of Guelph with a degree in agriculture business. After just seven years in the industry, David took over Cormdale’s marketing business when Albert decided to offer up company shares and ownership in 1998.
“GenerVations is basically a conglomerate of Albert’s genetic innovation,” explains David. “The industry has changed a lot since Albert started things. You used to have to wait several years before you brought bulls to the marketplace, but now with increasing genomic technology, we’ve been able to map the bull-line genome. We know certain traits and characteristics that make for the healthiest animals and we have a higher degree of accuracy. The return on investments is also realized a lot faster.”
Staying Small but Competing on a Big Scale
GenerVations is based in Campbellsville, Ontario, but also boasts Sire Lodge in southern Alberta. “Sire Lodge is our production facility where we house the bulls and collect semen,” shares David. “All of our cows are held to the highest health and safety regulations. We have regular blood tests and the facility is inspected by government CFIA officials. We maintain the highest quality so we can export to markets all over the world, including China.”
The company employs approximately 40 individuals and has 26 sales representatives that span Canada. “We’ve taken a low-cost approach by staying smaller and privately owned,” explains David. “We can be very responsive and change our focus quickly, because there’s none of the big-business politics.”
GenerVations remains at the forefront of the global genetics and AI market. “We’ve always exported to producers in Canada, but we were the first to start importing from Holland and other parts of Europe,” David reveals. “We’ve been successful in breeding and selecting the best genetics. Although we test fewer bulls than most companies, our stats match the big competition and we’ve entered 35 different markets. This past year we had two bulls that ranked No. 1 in the U.S. and Canada; that’s nearly unheard of.”
The company primarily supports dairy operations throughout Canada, but also serves beef and goat producers. “The dairy industry offers the best market share because 70 percent of dairy cows in Canada are artificially inseminated, whereas beef is about 5 percent,” notes David.
GenerVations remains small and vertically integrated while competing with multinational giants. “We have our own cows and partners that have farms where we house the animals and raise the calves,” shares David. “This helps streamline our operations and keeps our costs down.”
While GenerVations is focused on quality genomics, the company also distributes a range of animal health products. “We don’t want to narrow our focus too much, so we do offer other products and services,” adds David.
Although the economy continues to pinch the farming industry and there are less and less producers in Canada every year, David notes that GenerVations continues to grow, regardless. “We’ve been fortunate enough to see double digit growth every year,” he says. “The value of bulls is increasing significantly for breeders, as well, because now everyone has access to genomic technology. At first, there were five or six companies that claimed they owned the technology. They didn’t want people to test bulls and they put it on lockdown for a five-year period, but that’s coming to a close now.”
David says GenerVations continues to increase its market share throughout Canada, but notes that the real promise is in international growth. “Our best growth opportunities will come in the international market, because compared to other companies, we can keep our costs low and stay strong,” he adds. With champion-winning bulls and a grasp on international markets, GenerVations Inc. is well-prepared to continue nearly 15 years of AI industry success.
For more information about GenerVations Inc., please visit: www.genervations.com.