Andrew Cromie is to leave the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) after 25 years, the organisation has confirmed.
Cromie is to take up a role as European general manager for Sexing Technologies - the global sexed semen provider.
The move will see Cromie work closely with Juan Moreno, the founder and CEO of global livestock reproduction innovators SexingTechnologies (ST) and STgenetics (STg), based in Navasota, Texas.
Moreno has a number of sexing laboratories around Europe, with facilities in France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands.
Cromie, a geneticist by profession and well known to farmers, played a key role in the delivery of the EBI index and the Gene Ireland programme, as well as the beef €uro-Star index and genomics in Ireland.
Confirming that Dr Cromie’s resignation will take effective from 28 February, the ICBF said he had been a key member of the ICBF team for almost 25 years, joining forces with Brian Wickham soon after the establishment of the federation in 1998.
“He has played an instrumental role in the growth and success of [the] ICBF. During his tenure, and working closely with Teagasc and the wider industry, he helped lead the establishment of EBI, the beef €uro-Star indices, as well as the Gene Ireland breeding programmes for dairy, beef and dairy-beef,” it said.
Dr Cromie paid tribute to the company: “Cattle breeding in Ireland is in a fantastic place as a result of the establishment of [the] ICBF and I would like to wish the company every continued success in the future.”
ICBF chief executive Seán Coughlan said: “We are very grateful for Andrew's vision and leadership to [the] ICBF and the wider industry and wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”
Its chair, Michael Doran, thanked Andrew for his major contribution in helping transform the Irish cattle breeding industry and added that “Andrew has played a key role in the building of [the] ICBF and the skilled and dedicated team that underpins its ongoing development”.
Sexing Technologies is the worldwide leader in sexed semen and embryo production and in 2017 acquired a majority stake in Cogent, operator of the United Kingdom’s largest bull stud.
This was a major impetus to the availability of the ST product Sexed ultra 4M in the UK and Ireland. Moreno was involved in the Irish industry study evaluated in field trials conducted in Ireland in 2018 (AI after detected heat) and 2019 (fixed-time AI). Both trials used bulls that were resident in a stud at the sex-sorting laboratory.
Sexing Technologies produces more than 90% of sexed semen worldwide and does so for numerous large and small AI companies.
The Inguran Group, parent company to Sexing Technologies and STgenetics, has around 1,300 employees.