The Endless Mountains Veterinary Center is hosting an open house Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its facility in Rome to introduce a new farming technology to Bradford County in the form of Oocyte Pickup, or OPU.

OPU is a medical procedure that extracts oocytes from female cattle that exhibit desirable traits for breeding, according to Dr. Ben Laudermilch, a veterinarian at the center.

Using this procedure, a single female can pass its traits to between 40 and 80 offspring per year, Laudermilch said.

The veterinary center is able to accomplish this through a partnership with L'Alliance Boviteq Inc., a Canadian based laboratory, with a satellite laboratory in Wisconsin, where oocytes are sent for in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Laudermilch said the introduction of this technology to the facility was a learning experience that began three years ago, and has come to this point due to the teamwork of the staff at the clinic and the laboratory in Wisconsin.

But beyond the scientific talk, Laudermilch said it's clear how the use of OPU/IVF can help Bradford County farmers and the world's population.

"This can make local farming more profitable and thus, more sustainable," he said.

If producers are interested in increasing the genetics and the profitability of their herds, OPU/IVF technologies could play a vital role.

He also said OPU can also be instrumental in increasing food production, which is estimated to need to double in the next 30 years to support rising population.

"We need to work together as an industry. By 2045 food production needs to double," he said.

OPU/IVF techniques can be used to produce greater than 90 percent female calves through the use of commercially available sexed-semen during fertilization.

Saturday's open house will feature a formal welcome and introduction to the technology. A representative from L'Alliance Boviteq will be on hand in addition to veterinary center staff to answer all questions. Walkthroughs of the facility will also be given, where attendees can see calves that are a result of OPU/IVF.

Informational packets will be handed out at the open house with specific information on the OPU process including pricing and success rates.

Laudermilch thanked his staff for their hard work and dedication in reaching this milestone, and also thanked his 7-year-old daughter, Gracelyn, for helping take care of, and even naming, the cattle at the facility.

The family owned and operated business is located at 101 Vet Center Drive within Rome Borough and is visible from State Route 187.

For inquiries, Endless Mountains Veterinary Center can be reached at (570) 247-2861 or (570) 247-7862 or at www.emvets.com.

Tim Zyla can be reached at (580) 265-1634; email: tzyla@thedailyreview.com; or Twitter, @TimZyla.