This year’s Canadian Dairy XPO (CDX) will look a little different, but its goals remain the same: to bring the dairy industry together and introduce the latest innovations. Similar to previous years, the event will feature two full days of programming on April 7-8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST both days.

Lee karen
Managing Editor / Progressive Dairy

Registration is free for dairy producers and allied industry to attend.

The virtual trade show will feature more than 300 exhibitors in a fully interactive experience with video and live chat opportunities.

There will be a virtual milking robot showcase, as well as virtual farm tours highlighting cows and robot barns.

Two ag celebrity speakers will take the virtual stage in the dairy classroom. Back by popular demand are Joep Driessen from CowSignals and Dr. Jan Pol from the Nat Geo Wild series The Incredible Dr. Pol.


Raised on a sheep farm in Holland, Driessen learned hard work, how to make an income in farming and what it meant to care for animals.

He studied veterinary medicine and started working as a vet in a mixed practice. After a couple of years, he partnered with a college friend, Jan Hulsen, to form Vetvice, a company focused on prevention rather than medication.

They gathered scientific information and looked at the best practices of the world’s top 1% of farmers and launched their first CowSignals workshop in 1999.

To improve knowledge transfer, he explored the fields of communication and advisory skills. This led to the development of a second training subject, PeopleSignals.

They now offer 12 different training subjects in live training and several as video courses for all members of the dairy industry in more than 50 different countries.

“Our goal is to reach all farmers and cows around the world,” Driessen says. “By preventing disease, we can double the productive lifetime of cows: five lactations instead of 2.5. Also, we can give farmers more working pleasure and income. Thirdly, we can diminish methane production by 30 percent in the dairy industry. By spreading this knowledge, we can create a win-win-win situation for cows, farmers and the planet.”

Born and raised in the Netherlands on his family’s dairy farm, Dr. Jan Pol graduated from the Utrecht University Veterinary program and has been treating pets and livestock in rural Michigan since the 1970s.

Pol and his wife, Diane, started their own animal clinic, Pol Veterinary Services, in Weidman, Michigan in 1981, out of their garage. Along with their 10 employees, they serve more than 25,000 clients, and the patients range from white mice and snakes to cows and 2,600-pound horses – and everything in between.

Their son, Charles, helped in the clinic and on-farm calls starting at the age of 5. He moved to Hollywood to work in the entertainment industry. In 2011, he convinced his father to allow him and his filmmaker friends to do a documentary on Dr. Pol, which ultimately led to the concept for a television series.

The 17th season of the show The Incredible Dr. Pol is currently airing on Nat Geo Wild, and previous seasons are available in the U.S. and internationally on Disney+.

His tales of a 45-plus-year veterinary career can also be found in the book Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a Country Vet. Pol co-wrote this memoir with David Fisher.

In addition to his work as a veterinarian, Pol is active with 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America), non-profit organizations that help teach young adults how to take proper care of animals. He believes children who are taught to take care of animals at a young age make better adults.

CDX is also a proud supporter of 4-H and dairy youth. Its in-person events have served as a fundraising venue for these organizations, and the virtual platform hopes to do the same. It will feature a button to collect donations for 4-H dairy clubs across Canada. These donations are encouraged in lieu of registration fees.

Throughout the two-day event, attendees will have a few opportunities to win prizes. The first 200 attendees will receive complimentary CDX hats. Those who participate in the scavenger hunt or the scratch ticket contest by entering the code CDX2021#WIN216 have a chance to win prizes from select sponsors.

For more information on the 2021 Virtual CDX, go to and follow CDX on social media.