WestGen, originally known as the Lower Fraser Valley Artificial Insemination Association, was established in September of 1944. At first, the newly formed association operated out of a facility in Surrey, British Columbia, before moving to the previous Milner, BC location in 1949. In the same year, the organization changed its name to the B.C. Artificial Insemination Centre, a name which it held for the next 49 years.
The BCAI Centre’s clientele and scope of activities grew following mergers with the Okanagan AI Centre in 1958, and with the Chilliwack AI Centre in 1986. In January 1997, the BCAI Centre, along with three organizations in Ontario and Quebec (Gencor, Eastern Breeders and CIAQ), formed a limited partnership known as the Semex Alliance, joining producer-controlled Canadian AI centres from coast to coast, and creating one of the largest genetics company in the world.
In August 1997, the BCAI Centre expanded its territory eastward, and began offering semen and other AI services to dairy and beef producers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. To more appropriately reflect the company’s activities and membership across the four Western provinces, a new corporate name of WestGen was adopted on June 1, 1998, cementing them as Western Canada’s Genetics Company.
WestGen and the other 2 partners of the Semex Alliance sample over 300 dairy bulls globally, per year, and offer a complete line up of dairy and beef genetics. The Semex Alliance group of studs have produced more millionaire sires than any other AI organization in the world. The following 13 Semex Alliance bulls have each produced more than 1 million doses of semen in their lifetime: Rudolph, Inspiration, Aeroline, Aerostar, Leader, Lee, Outside, Lheros, Talent, Morty, Buckeye, Manifold and Fever.
In July 2016, after 67 years at the Milner location, WestGen relocated to Abbotsford British Columbia to be nearer to the heart of the British Columbia Cattle Industry after building a new home for the future. Phase 2 of the project will include new barns and a lab, which will house Boviteq West once the site is completed.