The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Record crowds are expected for the 5th annual Canadian Dairy XPO (CDX), held at the Stratford Rotary Complex Wednesday, April 5th & Thursday, April 6th 2017.

Once again the Dairy XPO will bring cutting edge innovations from across the globe to Canadian dairy producers. For 2017 there’s a jam-packed line up with dairy industry stars such as CowSignals, The Incredible Dr. Pol and global leading dairy technology from Israel, the Netherlands, UK, Germany and Ireland. A full blown genomics education centre, 4-H heifer calf sale and cutting edge 360 virtual tours of European dairy farms combined with over 350 dairy companies from a total of 30 different countries to make CDX an exclusive showcase for (Canadian) dairy producers!

"CDX is custom built for Canadian dairy producers," states Clarence Markus of Markvale Holsteins, Beachville Ontario. "In a rapidly changing industry, we need access to the latest in global innovation, education and technology to keep the Canadian market strong and competitive. Dairy producers need their dairy operations to be efficient, productive and, in-turn, profitable."

Virtual reality is the newest craze these days. This cutting edge technology can be seen in the WeCover Cow Coliseum. DeLaval will be showcasing both European and North American farm footage through their 'DeLaval 360˚ Virtual Euro Farm Tours.' CDX will make this a multi-user experience by projecting the single-user’s headset experience onto a large video wall.

Also featured in the WeCover Cow Coliseum are four of the top milking robotic manufacturers’ side-by-side (Lely, BouMatic, GEA and DeLaval) showcasing the latest in robotic automation, elite dairy daughter displays and the National Milk bar serving 100% Canadian dairy milk. New for 2017 is the genomics education centre and 4-H heifer calf sale, running both days, by Vogue Cattle Co. & Validity. 4-H dairy youth fundraising initiative the 'Mueller Ice Cream Bar' is also new for 2017. A custom fabricated milk tank turned into a retail store will have 4-H serving delicious 100% Canadian ice cream bars.

"4-H and youth involvement have become an integral part of the XPO, states Waterloo Senior Dairy 4-H club leader John Drummond. "I am so glad the Dairy XPO provides such a wonderful platform for youth who represent the next generation of dairy producers. It’s vital that we continue to keep them involved with experiences like the XPO; they are the key to the future of Canadian dairy and we need to keep them passionate and excited about the industry."

The Gay-Lea Skyview Café, Junior Farmer’s Apple Fritters, and the BMO Home-grown Kitchen all proudly serve 100% Canadian dairy products and fundraise for clubs from several counties.

Last year the XPO reported 14,900 attendees over the two days. A staggering 95% reporting they are active dairy producers, 46% between the ages of 20-35. This represented the majority age bracket at CDX 2016.

"You can’t argue those stats," states Donna Underhill, Marketing Manager for CDX. "CDX attracts a youthful audience seeking tech savvy, cutting edge innovations and education. Ag youth stand at the forefront of their operations and, as such, CDX continues to develop not only programming, but components within the dairy classroom that will appeal to this demographic. This classroom line up in a convention format would exceed $300 for registration, but CDX believes in driving our value proposition and making education affordable for attending producers and their families so it’s all included in the price of regular $25 admission."

For 2017 the Purina Dairy Classroom offers an interactive business workshop running on day 1 (Wed., April 5th). The 'Tactical Business Workshop' features five successful business professionals from different fields, discussing five key topics that both producers and ag youth can take home and implement immediately. In addition to the business workshop, there are international farm tours via jumbo screen, and star-studded speakers such as Dr. Pol and a CowSignals workshop. The Heifer Calf Development Panel will run on day 2 (Thurs., April 6th), featuring such speakers as Dr. Jodi Wallace - speaking from both a vet and producer perspective.

"I am honored to travel from Quebec to speak at CDX to this vibrant crowd of dairy producers from across Canada," states Jodi Wallace, Veterinarian from Ormstown Veterinary Hospital and dairy producer from Anderson Farms out of Howick, Quebec. "Calf health, welfare and improving performance are a fundamental part of any dairy operation." The Heifer Calf Development Panel, sponsored by Shur-Gain, will have experienced industry professionals, producers and veterinarians speaking to calf health to be competitive in today’s market. Topics include: Colostrum management, calf housing and nutrition to maximize performance in reproduction and milk production. A question and answer session with producers in the audience will be a key part of this interactive panel.

Back by popular demand to the Purina Dairy Classroom are The Incredible Dr. Pol and Purina CowSignals. Dr. Jan Pol, star of the hit TV series The Incredible Dr. Pol, will be speaking both Wednesday and Thursday and revealing his behind the scenes top 10 videos as well as delivering a targeted message to producers and youth. The Purina CowSignals workshop will be conducted on the Thursday by highly trained Purina representatives. CowSignals workshops teach practical tips for on farm quality control and ultimately observing cow behaviours to make important management decisions.

2017 is an exceptional year for the Canadian dairy industry as CDX is one of three national dairy events taking place during the first week of April in South-Western Ontario. The Spring Discovery Show (Ancaster, Ontario April 3-6th) and National Holstein Convention (Markham, Ontario April 5-8th) both overlap the XPO. CDX has accommodated travelling producers by sponsoring two shuttle buses from the National Holstein Convention to CDX on the Wednesday, April 5th.

CDX expects large bus groups from across Canada and into Quebec with large herd operator groups such as Regroupement grandes fermes laitières du Québec (RGLFQ).

"From inception, it was a vision to create a full week of dairy," states Jordon Underhill, General Manager and Founder of CDX. "Having three national dairy events in the first week of April, all within South-Western Ontario is a ‘Super Bowl’ for the Canadian dairy industry. A week where producers can come together, share ideas and socialise with peers and industry is invaluable in moving our industry forward."

New for CDX 2017, CanWest DHI and Valacta will have a formal recognition for the winners of the 2016 DHI Herd Management Score awards.

The ceremony will be held during CheeseFEST, the free evening function offered on the first night of the XPO in the WeCover Cow Coliseum. Live entertainment, 4-H fundraising and of course, all you can eat 100% Canadian cheese!