Ciaq was officially inaugurated on April 29th, 1948 when Oliver Gauvin, inseminator from the Saint-Hyacinthe CEBL, in the presence of dignitaries artificially inseminated a Holstein cow at Bienvenue et Frères in Saint-Thomas d’Aquin. The semen came from HO3 Giard Carillon Chieftain.
With the diversification of the breeds came the introduction of beef bulls, which include Hereford bulls presented by Xyste Therrien, cattleman, and Paul-Émile Houle, herd manager.
October 13th, 1966 marks the date of the exclusive use of frozen semen in Quebec. All doses of semen were shipped frozen, thus allowing the breeder to use the bull of his choice and at the right time. It was a great revolution in the AI sector.
Ciaq celebrated it millionth insemination on March 13th, 1967. A Holstein cow was inseminated at the Bessette farm in Waterville by the inseminator Florent Dion of the Sherbrooke club.
Launching of the Young Sire Testing Program (PEP).
The glass vial containing semen was gradually replaced by the 0.5 ml straw. It not only provided a means of increasing the storage capacity, but most importantly to obtaining a more uniform freezing of the semen, hence producing a better quality product.
On August 8, 1981, Ciaq no longer has the status of Agriculture Department service and becomes a branch of the Société québécoise d’initiatives agro-alimentaires (a state owned enterprise).
Over the period of 1982 to 1989, every directorate was equipped with computers. Computers were included in the inseminators’ tool box in 1987 and 1988. They allowed for easier management of the millions of insemination certificates produced every year.
The popularity of the proof program directly resulted in the need for more barns. The construction of the new complex, located a few kilometres from the head office, began in June. At the end of the decade, there were 17 barns, one laboratory, a room for bull collection, offices and a storage area.
Ciaq created Boviteq, an embryo transfer station offering to Quebec breeders a service that was not provided by veterinarians in private practice. Boviteq can also market frozen embryos to meet the needs of breeders in Quebec and abroad.
Along with the province of Quebec, Ciaq is now serving Nova Scotia. The agreement includes a regular supply of bull semen and the collaboration of the breeders to the young bull testing program.
The stakeholders in artificial insemination obtained an agreement in principle on a structure that will manage this sector and created the Coopérative des inséminateurs du Québec (CIQ).
The provincial council of Cab, Ciaq and the CIQ concluded a tripartite agreement that included the cost of the insemination service, the exclusive distribution of Ciaq products and the cost of the administrative services. It has been renewed over the years.
After 40 years, Ciaq chose a new logo.
To reinforce its position on the global genetic market, Ciaq formed a partnership with three Canadian insemination centres to form The Semex Alliance. The objective is to provide breeders with superior quality bulls through the development and financing of the progeny proof programs and an effective marketing of the semen in Canada and on the global market.
On January 1st, 1999, Ciaq became the property of three groups: Les Producteurs de lait du Quebec, or PLQ (milk producers); the Conseil québécois des races laitières or CQRL (breed association); and the Conseil provincial des cercles d’amélioration du bétail, or CPCAB (breeding clubs).
From then on, all of the major decisions about the business have been taken and assumed by the breeders-owners.
In June, Ciaq purchased the Coopérative des Inséminateurs du Québec (AI Cooperative) and integrated some 180 AI technicians within its workforce.
Alliance Boviteq installed a lab specialized in sexed semen in the Sainte-Madeleine location. In December 2006, sexed semen was sold to breeders.
Ciaq launched its new computerized selection of bulls, PROGEN.
Genomic values were added to the parent average to increase the reliability of the young sire testing program. In 2010, Ciaq presented its first selection of young genomic sires in a new proof sheet, Genomax
The Immunity+ sires have a genetic that is resistant to disease. This technology was launched following 20 years of research on immunogenetics and the associated health benefits. A Semex exclusivity.
By unveiling its new logo on November 5th, 2014, Ciaq presented a more modern and dynamic image showing a business that is renewing itself. The corporate signature “Let’s conceive the future” represents Ciaq’s overall identity, its vision and values, but mostly its objectives, namely to be part of the growth and prosperity of the breeders.
The following video «Launching of Ciaq logo» is in French.
On March 17th, 2017, Ciaq launched its new program, Ciaq évolution, under the theme “Personal needs, personal solution, personal pace”. The aim of this program is to provide customized genetics that will meet the profile and needs of each producer.
At the same time, Ciaq ended the Young Sire Proving Progran, 49 years after it has been created.