Member Spotlights is a new series OCDC started to showcase our diverse members, cooperative development organizations. This month, read the interview with Marcel Petrutiu, Director of Global Development at GENEX:
1. What is GENEX?
GENEX is a farmer owned cooperative focused on cattle genetic improvement. GENEX is dedicated to providing our member-owners and customers – dairy and beef cattle producers around the globe – with advanced genetic and reproductive solutions. We supply world-class cattle genetics, expert artificial insemination service, professional herd consulting, and quality herd care products.
2. How did your cooperative begin?
The GENEX cooperative story began in the 1930s when producer members came together to form an organization that would genetically improve cattle performance and deliver reliable and affordable artificial insemination services. Since then, the organization has grown through mergers, acquisitions, and organic growth to be a global organization.
3. What benefits do GENEX members receive?
Our member-owners and customers are at the heart of GENEX. Our professional GENEX team strives to develop a deep understanding of a farmer’s operation, goals, and challenges in order to deliver solutions that ensure their herd is ready for tomorrow, today. Producer participation in cooperative governance – through the delegate and council system – also provides GENEX senior leadership with a strong understanding of our member’s vision for the co-op.
4. Where does GENEX work?
GENEX is a global organization headquartered in Wisconsin. We sell products in more than 60 countries worldwide through a distributor network and retail markets in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.
5. As far as international development programming, what has GENEX been engaged in over the last 5 years?
GENEX focuses on international development programs to train emerging farmers, from emerging countries, on how to utilize cattle genetics. We have a framework that develops the infrastructure necessary to conduct artificial insemination by training farmers, cooperatives and technicians to implement service in new markets. In turn this improves the livelihood of farmers through increased production and profitability of the cattle. As a cooperative, GENEX is also involved in the development of strong and profitable farmer cooperatives in these markets by applying our know-how and track record in cooperative leadership, governance and management.
We work directly with granting agencies such as USAID, USDA, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as working with other development organizations to implement training programs. Over the years we were involved in development projects on all continents with a current focus on Africa and Latin America.
6. What can you tell us about future plans for GENEX?
GENEX focuses its work on the next generation. We focus on sustainable practices in the livestock industry not only to create the next generation of cattle through genetics, but also the next generation of farmers who are more efficient and effective at growing the food the world needs.