North Central Research and Outreach Center

North Central Research and Outreach Center
1861 Highway 169 East
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Phone: 218-327-4490
Fax: 218-327-4126

map to NCROC

College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Reproductive Biotechnology Center

BTC_Logo The University of Minnesota Reproductive Biotechnology Center is located 2 miles south of Grand Rapids, MN. The facility consists of housing for donor and recipient cows, and a completely enclosed and heated flush lab that meets specifications set forth by the International Embryo Transfer Society, which allows for embryo collection and transfer year round. All of the necessary equipment and supplies are completely mobile as well, to accommodate on-farm embryo recovery and transfer. The Reproductive Biotechnology Center also offers other reproductive and related services to cattle producers in northern Minnesota.

Embryo Collection and Transfer

A technique for genetic manipulation that consists of treating donor females with FSH to induce superovulation, and then transferring to recipient cows for gestation to term.

  • Increase reproductive capacity.
  • Amplify reproductive rate.
  • Allow infertile cows to have offspring.
  • Producers could expect to obtain an average of 5 to 7 transferable embryos per flush.

Embryo Freezing

Embryos stored in liquid nitrogen for an indefinite period of time before being transferred to a recipient. We currently use the direct thaw technique.

Embryo Sexing

  • Biopsy embryo to test for presence/absence of y-chromosome.
  • Can be performed in a lab or at the farm and requires 2 hours for results.
  • Producers can discard embryos that do not meet their needs.
  • Reduces the number of recipients required for the embryo program.

Embryo Splitting

  • Effective tool for increasing number of calves generated from embryo transfer.
  • Producer can expect about 1 to 1.3 calves from every embryo split.
  • Maximize number of calves from a flush of embryos or utilize more recipients.
  • Experienced technicians can split and transfer up to 60 embryos in a day.

In Vitro Fertilization

Harvesting of oocytes from ovaries, fertilizing and maturing in a laboratory setting.

  • Provides viable embryos from cows at any stage of production.
  • Enables embryo production from cows not responding to typical flushing techniques.


  • Diagnose pregnancy as early as 25 days after breeding.
  • Ability to determine fetal sex between 60-85 days of gestation.
  • Monitor uterine anatomy, involution, pathology, fetal development, follicular characteristics, and ovarian function.
  • Assess embryonic mortality.
  • Aid in follicular aspirations and oocyte retrieval.

Additional Veterinary Services

  • Calfhood vaccinations & herd work.
  • Johne's Disease Risk Assessments.
  • Estrus synchronization, AI Programs and services.
  • Cow herd management & consultation services.
  • Bull breeding soundness exams.

Contact Information