In honor of Trans Ova’s 40th Anniversary, we have asked team members to reminisce about their time with Trans Ova and what they are excited about for the future.
Our next team member spotlight to celebrate is Professional Services Veterinarian and Chief Operations Officer, Jon Schmidt. Dr. Schmidt has been apart of the Trans Ova team for 16 years at the Sioux Center, Iowa location. He has guided our team through rapid growth and continually strives to Multiply Success for our internal and external clients.
1. What is your favorite Trans Ova memory?
Traveling with Daryl and Diane to OH and IL in my formative years. I learned a ton from Daryl’s ability to tell stories and connect with clients and Diane’s proactive planning, organization, and efficiencies in the lab. They worked extremely well as a team, enjoyed spending numerous hours in the car together, and had a lot of fun.
2. What do you like best about your time at Trans Ova?
First, I am blessed to work for and with some of the most incredible people in the world. I learn something from every single one. Ranchers, brands, and herd prefixes that I idolized as a kid are now clients and friends. My favorite days of ‘work’ are when I am in the field living our mission with our team and clients. Second, Trans Ova is driven by vision and innovation and continues to pivot and evolve. The company is a different version of itself every year and it’s been exciting to participate in its growth, innovation, and leadership.
3. What excites you about the future of Trans Ova?
The potential of young talent on our team. We are well equipped to build on the platform that has been constructed over the past 40 years. It’s exciting to see the commercial dairy and beef segments beginning to use our tools and we will depend on this talent pool to help us deliver on these and other opportunities.
4. What thoughts and emotions come to mind when you think about Trans Ova’s 40th anniversary?
With all of the animals and clients we have worked with over 40 years, what is the cumulative impact our team and toolbox has had? Not only on genetic gain but also on the hope and inspiration we have given peoples in their spirit, passion, and dreams.
5. In what different ways has Trans Ova excelled or grown in the last 40 years?
The obvious growth example is becoming a company that produces over 250,000 embryos per year out of 50+ locations. Within that journey, we have grown to One Team of over 300 teammates. We were the first company to produce DT frozen IVF embryos capable of delivering satisfactory pregnancy rates and continue to be the gold standard in embryo and calf quality. We have developed a LEAD program that provides a pipeline of developing leaders to carry our team into the future. Drs. Faber and Funk started TOG by flushing cows and our team has since added the tools of sorted semen, IVF, cloning, gene editing, recipient solutions, and R/D collaboration to our toolbox. No other company in this world offers the complete ART toolbox that we offer. We continue to serve our first client, and our founders and first employees continue to work for TOG today or have retired while doing so.
6. What is your biggest accomplishment at Trans Ova?
Continuing to personally serve an elite list of breed leading ranchers in the Dakotas (many of which I have served for years and have become my best friends) while also having the opportunity to support TOG operations with vision, direction, decision, and encouragement. Accomplishing this with support and understanding from a virtuous wife of 15 years and 3 kids that know me as ‘dad’ and still think I’m cool (well, 2 of them anyway) is probably my proudest accomplishment.