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Since the domestication of cattle for milk and meat purposes over 6,000 years ago, farmers have used reproductive technology to improve their cattle. In the beginning, farmers used simple breeding programs selecting a desired male to mate with their cattle for each successive generation of animals. Today, a variety of reproductive technologies are used by dairy farmers to perpetuate the next generation of cattle to enhance milk quality and productivity, improve animal health and welfare, and increase the sustainability of the dairy industry.
This IDF Reproductive Technology Fact Sheet (part of an IDF series of factsheets on reproductive technology) examines the use of reproductive hormones as a technology that can contribute to dairy sustainability.