Dairy farmers from all over the southern Midwest will be gathering in Springfield, MO, January 18-20, 2018, for the sixth annual Heart of America Dairy Expo presented by Hiland Dairy Foods.
The Heart of America Dairy Expo features nationally known dairy speakers, producer panels 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 nutrition, milk production, dairy policy and consumer communications,” says Sheppard.
“First, we have added a new feature with an FFA Ag Career Day on Thursday afternoon January 18 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 and an Early Bird Seminar in the trade show. After the meal, Vallery Eisenmann of the American National Insurance Company will address “How to get the most from your insurance dollar.”
“Friday’s program starts at 9:30 AM with “Advancements in Forage Digestibility” with Rich Bennek, Mycogen Seeds Dairy Market Development Manager. Following Bennek will be Dr. Max Hawkins of Alltech discussing “Overcoming Challenges to Achieve Healthy Cows and Performance.”
“Rounding out the morning program will be long time dairy farmer favorite Dr. Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois, who will cover the “Roles of Minerals and Vitamins in Dairy Rations” sponsored by Multimin USA.
“Friday’s Pork Chop Luncheon, sponsored by Hiland Dairy Foods and the Missouri Pork Association will feature Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn followed by a key note presentation by Dr. Mark Stephenson of the University of Wisconsin on “The Changing Landscape of Dairy: Regional Perspectives” sponsored by Central Life Sciences,” says Sheppard.
“After lunch, attendees will hear from a dairy farmer panel discussing “Farmers Communicating to the Public” sponsored by the Midwest Dairy Association. Another dairy farmer panel follows on milk quality moderated by Dr. Scott Poock of the University of Missouri and sponsored by MFA Inc., Missouri Corn Merchandising Council 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 65 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.