An exciting slate of speakers is lined up for the Midwest Dairy Expo, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2010 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The event offers two full days of educational programming and networking opportunities. Hosted by Minnesota Milk, there will also be a tradeshow, scholarship auction and evening awards banquet. Below is a sampling of the Wednesday morning sessions. To learn more about the event, visit


Lance S. Fox, D.V.M.
Technical Service Manager-Dairy
Alpharma Animal Health
Session Topic: Scours vs. Pneumonia: Understanding Both Ends

Q. Why is this topic important?
FOX: Scours is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in unweaned dairy calves, while BRD is No. 1 in weaned calves. Being able to recognize and diagnose these problems can allow for the proper care and treatment.

Q. What do you hope attendees will take away from this presentation?

FOX: It is better to prevent these diseases than to have to treat them. I will review several key intervention points that will help those who care for calves try to prevent these two disease categories from occurring.



Gary Vande Vegte, CPA, CMA
Certified Public Accountant
Van Bruggen & Vande Vegte, P.C.
Session Topic: Trends in Dairy Profitability

Q. Why is this topic important?
VANDE VEGTE: This topic is important because dairy producer profits have been scarce in the last two years. But, we have observed some return to profitability in the second and third quarters of 2010 that are worth noting. We will examine the trends that allowed the return to profitability besides just the improved milk price.

Q. What do you hope attendees will take away from this presentation?
VANDE VEGTE: Since I am a certified public accountant, I always strive for dairy producers to recognize the importance of understanding their financial reports and costs of production in order to use them as a vital management tool.

The producer has very little control over the price they receive for their milk but many of their operating costs are controllable. In the current dairy environment, producing milk at a lower cost than your competitors is a must. To be successful in the dairy industry for the long term I think knowing your cost of production is a necessity and I hope to instill this line of thinking at the conference.


Sarah E. (Bedgar) Wilson, M.S.
Leadership Development Assistant
North Dakota Farm Bureau
Session Topic: Activism and Agriculture

Q. Why is this topic important?
WILSON: We are all aware that agriculture is under attack. I have spent 15 years researching how the animal rights and environmental movements are affecting agriculture and how we produce food. Agriculture needs to take a stance now. It needs to understand how the activist groups work; otherwise we may no longer have a right to farm.

Q. What do you hope attendees will take away from this presentation?

WILSON: I want to inspire them to speak out on their own. I want them to walk away with some energy and some awareness of the situation. To help them develop a strategy to do that and use some of the tools they have in their toolbox to speak up for agriculture. PD