The Inseminator's Three "Hats"
Above all the image of an inseminator is that of a technician using a "gun" to deposit the semen in a cow's uterus. During an insemination campaign each of them will repeat the profession's basic procedure thousands of times. The procedure never ceases to impress those who do not belong to the farming world.
In fact, this practice requires excellent knowledge of animal anatomy, total accuracy and control of the procedures.Although the success of insemination is never 100% guaranteed, the technician must at all costs avoid injuring the cow. As well as accuracy he must not be afraid of the animal's reactions and must always apply the recommendations and techniques for restraint. Furthermore, without taking the place of the veterinary surgeon, the inseminator may help the farmer find the causes of infertility or absence of heat by observing the herd and its living conditions.
In addition to these direct professional qualities the technician must master genetics and indices because he takes an active part in mating plans on farms. So he must understand both the conduct of a herd and the management of a farm. This advisor role is mainly based on his interpersonal skills.
Finally and for his own pride the inseminator must also be a very meticulous organiser. In fact, these technicians are generally sent to an area of activity with dozens of farms. So he must organise his rounds to satisfy all his clients' requests. This means that, during several periods of the year, his programme is especially tight during insemination peaks which occur between November and March.
How do you become an inseminator? For this profession, in which ladies are now a part, the usual approach is obtaining an Animal Production BTSA (Agriculture HND). The employers - mainly insemination cooperatives - will train these employees in this specific profession by encouraging them to obtain the CAFTI, certificat d'aptitude aux fonctions de technicien d'insémination - Insemination Technician's Aptitude Certificate, which is essential for practising in France. This diploma is taught at the Ecole d'insémination, in Eure-et-Loir in Miermaigne and managed by the Association Nationale de Formation professionnelle en Elevage et Insémination Animale (ANFEIA). This organisation also provides a full catalogue of continuous training offers dealing with branch activities.