Farmers say goodbye to the bull who sired 500,000 offspring

Atop a wooded hill here in the heart of Americaís Dairyland, an industry legend was recently laid to rest. It wasnít some milk magnate or a famed innovator, but an ornery, 2,700-pound bull named Toystoryóa titan of artificial insemination who sired an estimated 500,000 offspring in more than 50 countries. ìHe was a dream bull,î said Jan Hessel Bierma, editor in chief of dairy-breeding magazine Holstein International. Over nearly a decade, Toystory shattered the record for sales of the slender straws that hold about 1/20th of a teaspoon and are shipped using liquid nitrogen to farmers around the world. A unit fetches anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred. When he died on Thanksgiving Day, Toystory had surpassed 2.4 million units according to his owner, Genex Cooperative Inc., and had fans from Brazil to Japan. His prowess was celebrated on hats, T-shirts and even his own commemorative semen straws. Recent posts to the Facebook page of Genex included ìHe was legendî and ìTorazo!îóSpanish for super bull.  <more>

Jan. 14, 2015 The Wall Street Journal