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Additional Course Information

Dress Code (what to bring)

For the on-farm AI laboratory practice sessions, it is recommended that attendees wear barn clothes and barn shoes. Boot covers and coveralls will be provided for all attendees. Attendees may consider bringing shorts to wear underneath the provided coveralls since North Carolina temperatures in August tend to be quite warm.

Note: All AI supplies for working with the animals and AI practice will be provided.

Can I receive professional continuing education credit for this course?

This course is approved by the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board for 15 hours of continuing education credit.

Biosecurity Policy:

Be aware that if you are coming from outside of the United States, you will need to be ‘off-farm’ for 72 hrs prior to the afternoon of Wednesday, August 14 (our first on-farm laboratory session).

How many total hours would I spend actually performing AI on goats over the 3-day period? Can I AI the goat more than once?

The course is set up with morning lectures 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. on Wednesday with boxed lunch following. Laboratory sessions are on Wednesday afternoon (1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.), Thursday morning (8:30 a.m. – noon), Thursday afternoon (1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.) and Friday morning (8:30 a.m.  -noon) with each practice session running about 3-4 hours. There are 4 practice sessions, so you will have a total of 12-16 hours of hands-on practice time available.

You will be working in groups of 5 people and will have an instructor with your group for each practice session. You will be able to AI essentially all of the goats in your group each day. Our goal is for you to feel ‘proficient’ in both the standard AI technique and our catheter-based transcervical AI technique by the end of the short course. You will also be learning frozen semen handling techniques as well. By ‘proficient’ we mean, our goal is for you to feel comfortable that you have gained the information and experience to be able to set yourself up with the equipment, supplies, etc. needed and perform goat AI.

Our experience is that it takes doing at least 50 inseminations to become ‘expert’ at performing the transcervical AI technique. By the end of the course, you will have had the opportunity to do about 15-25 inseminations on your own using these techniques so you should be well on your way to proficiency by course completion.

Are synchronized goats provided? How many people are there per goat? Will I be able to AI just the goat I am assigned to, or will I be able to AI other goats as well?

Yes, synchronized goats are provided. We plan for a maximum of 2 people per goat for each practice session. We will have 5-6 goats for each small group each day. Your group size will be about 5 people.

How many years of AI experience do the AI instructors have?

Dr. Farin has a total of 16 years of goat AI experience and 25 years of cattle AI and ET experience. Dr. Farmer has over 6 years of goat AI experience and is a former student of Dr. Farin’s. Dr. Poole and Dr. Weaver are our newest instructors. Dr. Poole has extensive experience in cattle AI and ET and has been AIing goats since 2020. Dr. Weaver started assisting with the course in 2021. Our group typically AIs about 40-80 goats from the NCSU goat herd every breeding season so we have AI’d hundreds of animals over the past 10-15 years.

What is your success rate?

Pregnancy rates will depend on the method of insemination. However, using our transcervical technique we range from 45-75% pregnancy rate annually based on ultrasounds at 50 and 85-days post-insemination (and subsequent kiddings). Our average over more than 6 years of experiments using our transcervical technique and inseminating a single time with 1 straw of frozen semen is about 58%. Remember that pregnancy rates can also vary depending on the synchronization method used.

Is the kit I would be given to use for the course mine to keep?

No, the kits and equipment you’ll be using belong to the course. However, we will have the specific equipment needed for advanced techniques used for transcervical insemination available for sale during the course. Equipment used for standard small ruminant artificial insemination can be ordered online and shipped directly to you. Identification of recommended items to be included in small ruminant (goat) AI kits, with potential sources/suppliers, will be included in the course materials.

What have other people who have taken the course said about it?

The following are unedited comments of individuals who have taken the course previously:

  • “Enjoyed every day. Learn a lot everyday and can’t wait to try what I have learned.”
  • “Excellent information and knowledge”
  • “GREAT JOB, I will pass the word”
  • “The labs were great”
  • Most beneficial feature of course:
    • “Hands-on experience”
    • “Practical hands on AI practice”
    • “Hands on practice was great and improved my confidence and abilities”

Using a scaled rating system of 1-5 with 1=poor and 5=excellent and responding to the statement: “Overall, I consider this program”, the course had an average rating of 4.9 based on responses from 148 registered course participants during the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2019 course offerings.