Over 400 people are expected to attend the new, multi state, regional Heart of America Dairy Expo and trade show Friday and Saturday at the Ramada Oasis Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield, Missouri. It is open to all dairy farmers and allied industry.

"The response has been tremendous to our new Expo with attendees coming from 10 states," says Dave Drennan, Expo Sales Manager.

"In addition, we sold out our trade show in this first year," says Drennan.

The Expo kicks off with an early bird seminar tonight at 7:30 p.m. with "Ways to Reduce Risk for Dairy Farmers" by Dr. Scott Brown with the University of Missouri. "Volatility facing U.S. dairy farmers remains at unprecedented levels. This discussion will provide farmers with some alternative tools to incorporate in their operations to reduce the risks they face today," says Dr. Brown.

"The Friday morning, January 25, Expo program kicks off at 9:30 a.m. with Dr. Max Hawkins of Noblesville, Indiana, who will present "Nutrition Technology Opportunity in a Challenging Crop Year," says Drennan. "Dr. Hawkins was raised on a grain/livestock farm in Illinois that included cattle feeding, cow/calf production, and purebred swine and sheep. Prior to joining the Dairy Technical Staff at Alltech he worked in the feed industry in technical sales positions with Hubbard Feeds and Micron Bio-Systems.

"Following Dr. Hawkins will be Dr. Michael K. Moore, DVM, Novartis Animal Health, addressing "Are Your Vaccinations Causing Reproduction Problems". Dr. Moore's involvement with Novartis has given him the opportunity to present programs to veterinarians and producer groups. He has been active in training new territory managers on subjects ranging from basic immunology to various cattle diseases.

"The Friday morning Expo program concludes with Rick Short of Central Life Sciences from Romance, Arkansas discussing "Heifer Mastitis-Economics, Prevention, Treatment".

"During Friday's luncheon, sponsored by Hiland Dairy Foods, Missouri Agribusiness Association, Missouri Pork Association and Purina Animal Health, Dr. Scott Brown of the University of Missouri will present a "Market Outlook--What's in the Cards for Dairy," says Drennan. "From record highs to record lows, the 2013 outlook for the dairy industry remains clouded given the many uncertainties in the marketplace today. The focus of this session is to highlight those issues that will be the drivers in setting the 2013 outlook for the dairy industry," says Dr. Brown.

"Following a top producer panel will be Dana Brooks, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) in Washington DC. Brooks will speak to "Dairy Policy--Where Do We Go From Here?" says Drennan.

"After reaching monumental consensus across the country for a new dairy policy with the Dairy Security Act proposed in the Farm Bill, dairy farmers expected Congress to act quickly and pass a new Farm Bill. Now with only a one year extension, Brooks will present legislative options based on her experience with NMPF since 2009 in the day to day politics of Washington," says Drennan.

"Missouri's five dairy breed organizations will hold their annual meetings and board meetings Saturday morning January 26 followed by a luncheon, sponsored by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives and the Missouri Soybean Program, which concludes the Expo.

"Walk-ins are welcome. Registration is free for dairy farmers and their families. Allied industry registrations are available for $40.00 for the two day Expo unless they are an exhibitor or sponsor of the Expo," says Drennan.

"Hotel reservations for the Expo may be made online at oasis@springfieldoasis.com or by calling 417/866-5253 or 888/532-4338 and ask for the special Heart of America Dairy Expo rate.

"All dairy farmers and allied industry are welcome to join us at the Expo, and also take in the many attractions at Branson which is only 45 miles from Springfield."