Heart of America Dairy Expo Program Announced

Dairy farmers from all over the Midwest will be gathering in Springfield, MO, January 17-19, for the seventh annual Heart of America Dairy Expo presented by Hiland Dairy Foods.

The Heart of America Dairy Expo features an FFA Ag Career Day, Pre Conference Seminar on dairy grazing, nationally known dairy speakers, a producer panel and the largest dairy specific trade show in the southern Midwest at the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center.

“We are moving forward during a very challenging time of economic conditions caused by depressed milk prices at the farm,” says Expo Chairman and dairy farmer Ted Sheppard of Cabool, MO.  Sheppard also serves as president of the Missouri Dairy Association which is the official host of the Heart of America Dairy Expo.

“Our program will provide attendees with new directions on dairy grazing, quality milk production, federal dairy programs and managing robotic dairies,” says Sheppard.

“First, we are holding our second annual FFA Ag Career Day on Thursday afternoon January 17 at 3 PM.  It is open to all FFA chapters and 4-H youth in Missouri and surrounding states.  There is no cost to the students and their advisors.

“We follow that with our Thursday evening Grand Opening Buffet Reception at 6 PM we call “Cattlemen’s Night at the Dairy Expo.”   All Missouri cattle producers and their families are welcome to join us for a beef and ham dinner.  After dinner, Kyle Langham of the American National Insurance Company will address “Dairy Quality Center—what it can do for you.”

“Friday’s program starts at 9:25 AM.  Jorge Delgado of Alltech will be discussing “Building a Winning Team on your Dairy.”

“Rounding out the morning program will is Kevin Gubbels of Insure My Forage, who will cover “What you need to know about USDA’s RMA’s New Dairy Revenue Protection”, sponsored by Insure My Forage.

“Friday’s Pork Chop Luncheon, sponsored by Hiland Dairy Foods and the Missouri Pork Association will feature remarks by Missouri Governor Michael L. Parson followed by a key note presentation on “Staying Profitable in Tight Margins” by Matthew Lange of Compeer Financial in Wisconsin sponsored by Central Life Sciences,” says Sheppard.

“After lunch, attendees will hear from Dr. Mike Brouk of Kansas State University presenting “Managing Robotic Dairies for Success and Profitability” courtesy of DeLaval and Flory Dairy Equipment.  A dairy farmer panel follows discussing “Adjusting Your Dairy to These Prices” moderated by Dr. Scott Poock of the University of Missouri and sponsored by MFA Inc., Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Mycogen Seeds and ST Genetics.

“The Expo program also includes the annual meetings of the Missouri Dairy Association, Missouri Holstein Association, Missouri Brown Swiss Association, Missouri Guernsey Breeders Association, Missouri Jersey Cattle Club, Midwest Milking Shorthorn and the Missouri Ayrshire Association,” says Sheppard.

“Last year we drew almost 500 attendees from 15 states,” says Dave Drennan, Expo Sales Manager and Executive Director for the Missouri Dairy Association.

“Registration is free for dairy farmers and their families with a nominal registration fee for allied industry representatives.  All dairy farmers and allied industry, regardless of state, are invited to attend.

“The Oasis Hotel and Convention Center offers a convention hall which will house over 55 dairy exhibits and equipment inside.  It is also conveniently located on the north side of Springfield, MO at Glenstone and Interstate 44,” says Drennan.

“We also don’t want travelers to forget that Branson is only 45 miles away from Springfield so we hope they plan a trip and enjoy all Missouri has to offer,” concludes Drennan.

Meal reservations are requested and may be made by viewing www.heartofamericadairy.org for more details and the complete Expo schedule.

Sleeping room reservations may be made by calling the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center directly at 417/866-5253 or 888/532-4338 and ask for the Heart of America Dairy Expo room block.

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