The Heart of America Dairy Expo, presented by Hiland Dairy Foods, set records this year for attendance and support.
The regional Expo, held in Springfield, Missouri, set records with almost 500 attendees and almost 60 commercial exhibitors.
"We hit a home run," says Larry Purdom, Expo Chairman and a dairy farmer from Purdy, Missouri. "It was especially gratifying that attendees came from 25 states plus Canada.
"In addition, our industry partners supplied us with an outstanding line up of nationally known speakers including new National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) President and CEO Jim Mulhern. Jim provided his unique insight on the Farm Bill, US trade negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the prospects for immigration reform legislation in 2014.
"Randy Asher of Animal Science Consulting, sponsored by Alltech, discussed different production problems at the dairy and gave suggestions as to what to look for to determine the problems and solutions. Some of the problems covered were milk production, reproductive problems and low dry matter intakes.
"Following Asher, Dr. Dan Tracy, DVM MS, Technical Services Veterinarian, Multimin USA, presented improving udder health with an injectable trace mineral.
"Friday's Pork Chop Luncheon, sponsored by Hiland Dairy Foods, Missouri Agribusiness Association, Missouri Pork Association and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, featured guest speaker Dr. Adam Lock of Michigan State University who reviewed the current evidence with respect to milk and dairy products and human health with a focus on milk fat," says Purdom.
"During the luncheon, the Missouri Dairy Association (MDA) presented three "Friend of the Missouri Dairy Farmer" awards to Missouri State Representative Bill Reiboldt (Dist. 160), Dr. Rex Ricketts, recently retired from the Commercial Agriculture Program at the University of Missouri and to Kenny Lenz, a former dairy producer from Bunceton who retired from the MDA Board of Directors.
"After lunch, Dr. Jim Quigley, Technical and Research Manager, Calf & Heifer, Provimi North America, covered "Formulating Diets for a Moving Target-The Developing Rumen", sponsored by Cargill Animal Nutrition and Vigortone.
"During MDA's 29th annual meeting, voting delegates expressed their support for the national Beef Checkoff Program and the proposed State Beef Checkoff, strongly opposed further regulation by EPA or state agencies on coal burning plants, and supported Missouri's Right to Farm and Ranch constitutional amendment.
"The Saturday morning program included the annual meetings of the Missouri Holstein Association, Missouri Brown Swiss Association, Missouri Guernsey Breeders Association, Missouri Jersey Cattle Club, Midwest Milking Shorthorn and the Missouri Ayrshire Association.
"The Expo concluded with a luncheon, sponsored by Quality Liquid Feeds and the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, and a silent auction by the Missouri Holstein Association.
"We look forward to our next Expo on January 22-24, 2015 at the Ramada Oasis Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield," concludes Purdom.