It takes an effort on all parts to pull off this leg of the journey
Our final leg of the GTC journey deserves a shout out to Shannon, Terry, Rick, Sheila (Hastings GTC) and Bart, the semen courier crew! Up and at ‘em, they are at the studs at 6:00 a.m. to pick up the fresh semen and hit their delivery routes. On any given Friday—the busiest day for the drivers—they collectively deliver 6,600 PCAI doses and 1,255 gilt doses out to the farms, with several GDUs receiving special same-day delivery to ensure the freshest semen for the gilt breeding.
It takes an effort on all parts to pull off this final leg of the journey... sow farm managers or breeding department heads place their semen orders by 11 a.m. the day prior, and by 6:00 a.m. the staff at Qualley have the orders filled, double-bagged and ready to be passed out of the storage area of the stud into the courier bay. Drivers never enter the GTC unless they have three nights downtime, however a pass thru window and extra biosecurity measures are in place to ensure the farm stays disease free. In the courier bay the drivers record their first high/low temperature reading and then place them into coolers in their delivery vans. Once out of the bay, the drivers stop to turn around and disinfect the bay floor so no bugs are tracked from a farm back to the GTCs.
Upon arrival at the farm, the drivers pull on plastic boot covers for biosecurity and again record high/low temps of the semen and then enter the farm. The semen is left in a designated cooler or the driver uses the pass through window where a member of the sow farm crew grabs the inside bag while the outside bag stays with the driver, just like passing a lunch through.
Once inside the farm the semen is stored at 60-65 degrees and within a few short hours is used in the breeding barns. Thanks to the GTC crews and couriers for your effort and dedication to collecting, analyzing, packaging and delivering over one million doses of fresh quality semen in 2016! #billionpounds
P.S. Watch for a feature on the crew at Hastings Boar Stud a little later this year, they have a very unique billion pound journey you won’t want to miss!