I was chatting to two young farmers last week. They are young professionals who have a love of dairy farming, both working full-time and farming in the evenings and at weekends.

It was a tonic spending time with enthusuastic young people looking to advance in the sector they love.

We got chatting about bull selection and I asked how they pick their bulls.

They said the AI man picks them for them and when I questioned them further, they said: "He uses the same bulls on his own cows, so they must be good."


I found it strange for two intelligent people to have such trust in someone, just because he says he is using the same bulls on his own cows.

Don't get me wrong, the AI technician could be the best in the world at picking bulls, but he could also be the worst person at picking bulls.

It's also true that it is in his interest that the two farmers use AI bulls from the company that he works for.

Proven track record

There is no issue with asking someone else to pick or help you pick AI straws, but that person needs to be competent at the job and have a proven track record in providing really high-EBI cows that are delivering on the ground.

That may or may not be the AI technician or company sales rep.

Best advice if you are not 100% confident at picking bulls yourself is to ask a farmer in the discussion group with a really good herd what bulls he is using this year.

Alternatively, ask him to run through your herd statistics and select a panel of bulls that best suit the direction you want your herd to go in.

One man using one particular bull on his herd doesn't mean it is the right bull on your herd.