University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
ACES Animal Sciences
Give to Animal Sciences

Dave Faber

I enjoy utilizing technology to serve the livestock and biomedical sectors. It is really rewarding to be involved in developing these technologies and services while working with industry-leading clients and having the opportunity to know them professionally and personally.
Major: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Hometown: Mendota, Illinois

David Faber imagined a company that would help livestock producers improve their herd’s genetics through innovative livestock reproduction techniques. In 1980, he founded Trans Ova Genetics with no capital, no client, and 2 employees.

“During my first year, I spent nights and weekends developing equipment and techniques for embryo transfer, often borrowing equipment from the local hospital and college,” he said. “The first service provided to area farmers and ranchers was embryo collection and transfer, which allowed clients to greatly increase the number of progeny from their very best cows.”

Today the company employs more than 230 people and offers clients from across the world an elite “tool box” of products and services that include embryo collection and transfer, in vitro fertilization, sexed semen, and cloning.

“These technologies help livestock breeders enhance genetic gain in their herds,” he said. “It is estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization that animal protein demand will double by 2045. We believe that this increase in production must be done in an environmentally sustainable manner and that our technology can enhance genetic gain and contribute toward the goal.”

In addition, Trans Ova uses the same assisted reproduction technology tools, plus genetic engineering, to produce human disease models in pigs and human pharmaceuticals from the milk or blood of genetically engineered livestock.

“I enjoy utilizing technology to serve the livestock and biomedical sectors,” he said. “It is really rewarding to be involved in developing these technologies and services while working with industry-leading clients and having the opportunity to know them professionally and personally.”