A list of speakers and their topics include:

  • Dr. Randy Shaver from Wisconsin will talk about shredlage, a new way to process corn silage that is all the rage in the U.S. Midwest.
  • Dr. Jeff Bewley from the University of Kentucky has extensive experience with many of the new precision tools for monitoring health and fertility and he will speak on their role on dairy farms in the present and future.
  • Crystal Mackay of Farm and Food Care Ontario will tell us what is needed to gain and keep the trust, respect and patronage of today's consumers.
  • Leona Dargis has studied succession planning and farm diversification around the world as a Nuffield Scholar, and she will share what she has learned, but it is her "Personal Story of Adversity and Adventure" that makes her a speaker you can't afford to miss.

Last year, paid attendance exceeded 700 people and that makes it the biggest one-day dairy educational event in Canada. Some of the popularity of this event can be attributed to the fact that it was planned and owned by producers.

In 2013, the day generated a surplus of funds and that has been reinvested in support for dairy educators, dairy days and other milk promotion in the participating counties. All producers can get involved through the "audience response system."

Questions for industry leaders can be posted on the symposium's website and organizers ensure they get answered in the "Speak your Mind" session at the end of the program. Bill Emmott, chairman of Dairy Farmers of Ontario, will be there to address questions about board policy and programs.

Another feature is the "Food from our Farms" initiative that builds lunch around new and novel dairy foods. In 2014 the initiative salutes Kawartha Dairy for its loyal use of only Canadian dairy ingredients throughout its 70 years of ice cream making. Milk and chocolate milk from Miller's Dairy showcase the success of "local" initiatives and we also feature an awesome new product, Gay Lea's Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Spreadables.

Exhibits open at 9 a.m. and the speaker program begins at 10:30 a.m.  PD


—From South Western Ontario Dairy Symposium news release