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Hands-on learning available at the London Dairy Congress

Hands-on learning available at the London Dairy Congress

Farmers can also network with exhibitors and attend panel discussions

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

Attendees of the London Dairy Congress will have ample opportunity to network with exhibitors and participate in panel discussions with industry experts.

The two-day event brings together more than 100 organizations and 10 guest speakers to share the latest innovations and ideas in the dairy industry.

“The exhibitors will always have the latest technologies available to farmers,” Cheron Chamberlain, agriculture manager at the Western Fair District, told today. “And we always have new educational sessions.”

One of the new sessions revolves around mental health within the agricultural community.

Dr. Andria Bitton, a University of Guelph researcher who’s conducting industry research on mental health, Wendell Schumm, ruminant division manager with Wallenstein Feed & Supply, and Gary Hazeleger, a dairy farmer and co-founder of Natural Motion Health & Training Centre, will participate in a panel discussion about mental health.

The fact that a mental health discussion is taking place at a farm show indicates how far the industry has come in acknowledging the illness, according to Hazeleger.

“The more we talk about (mental health), the more other people talk about it … (which) can help remove the stigma that we have had on it over the past few years,” he told today.

The first hurdle is often the biggest hurdle, Hazeleger said, adding that confiding in one person is the first step to recovery.

Gary Hazeleger

“I know my biggest challenge was telling the first person because I was so ashamed of the feelings I was having,” he said. “When I did start telling people, I received nothing but love and support, and everybody wanted to help.”

Other educational sessions at the London Dairy Congress will focus on dairy goats.

Dr. Gillian Davidson from the Kirkton Vet Clinic in Kirkton, Ont., will discuss caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE) in dairy goats. And Erin Harris, a dairy goat specialist with B-W Feeds in New Hamburg, Ont., will talk to farmers about maximizing margins using on-farm data and benchmarks.

The London Dairy Congress takes place Feb. 7 and 8 at the Metroland Media Agriplex in London, Ont.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online for $15

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