Can you feel the excitement of the dairy industry as we enter spring 2024? I can! I remember as a child when we got to the month of April, we could hardly contain our excitement, as it meant that it was time to get back to our friends in the cow business through sales, shows and social events. It seems like not much has changed in my world.

Coyne katie
Editor / Progressive Dairy – Canada
Coyne also owns and operates Mill Wheel Dairy Show Clinics. She can be reached by email.

The dairy industry kicks April off with the Canadian Dairy XPO (CDX) in Ontario. The industry is invited to see the latest in dairy innovation. Calves for a Cause will hold its sale there again this year, with a large portion of the proceeds being donated to London Children’s Hospital.

For many of us, this year’s CDX will hold a special place, as this was where Dr. Tim Henshaw spent his last day one year ago, doing what he loved. I was fortunate to spend the afternoon with him in the Dairy Classroom, listening to him give his friends a ribbing and sharing his vast knowledge as the host and moderator of the sessions. Rest assured, his final day was spent in the dairy industry exactly as he had lived his life – generous, funny, thought-provoking and with a huge personality. His absence at CDX will be felt this year.

Spring shows, unlike any other throughout the year, bring a sense of hope in that the cattle you plan to exhibit have all the potential ahead. They’re all undefeated in 2024 so far. It will be great fun to gather at ringside this spring from coast to coast as we catch up about our great industry.

In this issue, we share the names of the Master Breeder Award winners for the Holstein breed – I invite you to look for the winners in the other breeds in upcoming issues.


Lactanet unveiled the top 25 best-managed herds in late February, as well as the top from each province and those that made the top 50 list. We’ve highlighted the top herd from each province.

When I listen to these award presentations, I can’t help but feel the excitement and sense of pride these winners exude as they hear their name called. Months and years of planning go into these goals and ultimately produce these awards.

For many, ending each day with chores complete is an accomplishment. For those who put in the attention to detail such as getting heifers bred to calve at 22 months, keeping older cows in the herd, maintaining calving interval at the ideal length of time all while producing quality milk, these awards are the icing on the cake. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Eleven years ago, I was working on a farm in Guelph at the time of the Holstein convention that was held in Hamilton that year. I was honoured to participate in an adult showmanship contest that raised funds for the 4-H dairy project in Canada. As a thank-you to all of us who raised money and participated in the fun contest, Doug Cranston hand-carved walking sticks with a cow head on top. It is one of my most prized possessions. When it came time to write about the extraordinary volunteers who bring conventions, shows and events to us in the dairy industry, I was fortunate to circle back to the Cranston family as Doug’s son James heads up the convention this year.

Enjoy April as we gather to celebrate another winter gone by and the events of spring bring us back together in person.


Staff photo.