2016 Distinguished Service Award
Sunshine Genetics, which has grown into a world-renowned provider of embryo technology and a source of elite bovine genetics, is the dream made reality of Dr. Dan Hornickel and Dr. Chris Keim. These two veterinarians and Sunshine Genetics founders met as students at the University of Illinois. They've shared a fascination for elite dairy cattle and new technology. They experimented with new techniques and their immediate success lead to a part-time ET business while both had large animal practices 100 miles apart. The early ET work required surgical transfers and was prior to the development of embryo freezing technology.
As the demand for their services grew, Drs. Keim and Hornickel decided to leave their vet practices in 1983. With the encouragement of their wives, Dan and Chris started their business at a farm near Whitewater, WI. Over time, it has grown into an exciting, international company that provides IVF and ET services to both small farms and large genetic businesses.
Sunshine Genetics also cares for embryo donors owned by breeders living across the world. These clients recognize the advantage of working with U.S. genetics. Many of their international customers of today are breeders and genetics experts that were introduced to their program while Dan and Chris traveled in Europe and Latin American in the early years of Sunshine Genetics.
The Sunshine Genetics brand name is recognized in the cattle world everywhere, and is synonymous with quality.
Dr. Dan Hornickel is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. He has 40 years of experience with all aspects of embryo collection, freezing and transfers. Dan manages the farm and crop enterprises at Sunshine Genetics as well.
Dr. Chris Keim has 40 years of experience and has a DVM degree from the University of Illinois. His family roots in the Brown Swiss breed helped to make "Sun-Made" Genetics popular. Chris and Dan have bred many influential Brown Swiss and Holsteins.
A new era began in 2009 when Dr. Greg Schueller joined the veterinary staff. Greg grew up on a southwest Wisconsin dairy farm and is a 1991 graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. After graduating, he joined a well-known practice in Hazel Green, Wis., specializing in dairy herd health. He soon became proficient in reproductive ultrasound and embryo transfer. Since joining Sunshine Genetics, he has broadened the scope of the embryo services provided. Greg also provides reproductive ultrasound and consultation services to local clients. The IVF program soon began under his direction, and it now is a large part of the business.
Since 1989, Karen Marsh has been a familiar face in the Sunshine Genetics office. She is a graduate of U-W Madison. Karen works with individual drug protocols and coordinates the in-house and on-farm ET scheduling. She oversees the export work, health documents and accounts receivable.
Stacey Henneman has been in the Sunshine Genetics office since 1996. She is a U-W River Falls graduate. Much of her time is spent with client communications and the IVF program. Stacey is responsible for data entry and the drug and semen purchases.
After nearly four decades, this ET team continues to develop embryos that become champions at international shows and influential sires worldwide.
Dan and his wife, Connie, have two daughters and three grandsons. They enjoy golf, biking and travel in their free time.
Chris and his wife, Ann, have two daughters, a son, and four grandchildren. Chris and Ann enjoy golf, geneology, biking and travel.
Greg and his wife Marcia have three busy daughters. Marcia is a speech therapist in the local school system. When he is away from the business, Greg and his family enjoy boating and water skiing.
Karen and her husband Mike enjoy going on motorcycle trips.
Stacey has a teenage daughter. They spend time together with Jaden's many activities. They also enjoy going on motorcycle rides.
Congratulations to Sunshine Genetics on receiving this prestigious award.