History of Sunshine Genetics
Sunshine Genetics, which has grown into a world renowned provider of embryo transfer services and a leading supplier of elite dairy cattle genetics, is the dream made reality of Dr. Chris Keim and Dr. Dan Hornickel. The two veterinarians and founders met while studying at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois in the 1970s. Both had deep farm backgrounds and shared a fascination in embryo transfer, a brand new technology being adapted on some farms but not yet taught in college veterinary courses. They experimented with new techniques, and immediate success lead to a busy part-time ET business. Keim’s father, Lowell, was an encouraging partner in those early years.
As the demand for embryo transfer grew, Drs. Keim and Hornickel made the decision to leave their separate practices in 1983 to purchase a 235-acre dairy farm and establish an embryo transfer facility just 2 miles outside of Whitewater, Wis. Historically, donors at the facility have consisted of primarily Brown Swiss and Holsteins from their personal herd and those of their clients. However, all breeds of dairy and beef cattle have been flushed at their facility. Sunshine Genetics has been the home to many influential females including two Supreme Champions at World Dairy Expo and 4 Grand Champions and one Reserve Grand Champion at the Brown Swiss Central National. Facilities have been built to care for nearly 200 embryo donors.
In 2010, Dr. Greg Schueller joined the business. His ultrasound experience has been an asset with IVF oocyte collections and fetal sexing.
Today, influential donors including high genetic value cows and heifers are housed for IVF procedures as well as for traditional embryo collections. Drs. Keim, Hornickel, and Schueller also regularly travel to farms within a 150-200 mile radius to perform the ET procedures. Donors from multiple states and several countries are now housed.