Ontario Dairy Day Provided Education, Inspiration and Publicity

Ontario Dairy Day Provided Education, Inspiration and Publicity


Ontario’s First Dairy Day on the farm of Melvin Shatnz, Alma, Ont. was an outstanding success and ensured that this event will become an annual feature for the dairy industry of this province. In spite of rain in many surrounding districts, and the prevalence throughout much of the day of that restrained form of precipitation known as “Scotch Mist,” milk producers and their families turned out in large numbers, with estimates based on Provincial Police counts of cars running from 10,000 to 12,000 people.

An immediate result of this splendid attendance was the announcement that the Second Dairy Day would be held in Eastern Ontario in 1954, and there were those who felt that it would not be many years before consideration should be given to holding two or more Dairy Day’s to bring their many worthwhile features within reach of most of the dairy farmers of the province each year.

There were so many people who contributed to the success of this Day, that it is obviously impossible to pay tribute to all of them. However, this important milestone in dairy production in Ontario should not be allowed to pass into history without some reference to two individuals who played a vital part in getting the plan on its way. J. C. Palmer, a creamery instructor, Dairy Branch, Ontario Department of Agriculture, making his headquarters in Guelph, and serving as instructor in buttermaking at Ontario Agricultural College, saw the desirability of such a day in the area which he covered. Especially in cases where producers switched from cream to milk sales there was need for further education in the methods for the production and handling of high-quality milk. His ideas received enthusiastic support F. W. Hamilton, Assistant Producer, Butter and Market Milk, Ontario Agricultural College.

It was at this stage that Everett M. Biggs, Dairy Commissioner for Ontario entered the picture and gave the project his full support, and from that point on he devoted a great deal of effort to the setting up of the various committee and the correlation of their work to make Ontario’s First Dairy Day a reality. Participating in this effort were most of the staff of the Dairy Branch in Toronto and throughout the Province, members of the staff of the Department of Dairying and of the Ontario Veterinary College at Guelph, producer, processor and breed association officials, and many others in dairy organizations and dairy supply firms. The result was the splendid array of educational exhibits and demonstrations that told the story of quality milk production from hay and grain in the field to delivery of milk or cream to the dairy processing plant.

Opening Ceremonies

In his opening remarks as Chairman of the official ceremonies at Dairy Day, C. E. Lackner, Director of Dairying, for Ontario stated that the program was the result of whole-hearted co-operation from all branches of the dairy industry in the province. Deserving of special mention was Mervin Shantz who had given the various committees full co-operation in everything required for the setting up of the exhibits and auxiliary services on the farm.

Mr. Lackner pointed out that dairying is one of the largest and most important industries in Ontario, with a production of 5.5 billion pounds of milk, of which 85 per cent is utilized in processing plants.

The Deputy-Minister of Agriculture for Ontario, Cliff Graham, spoke briefly and in the name of the Acting Minister of Agriculture, Hon. G. H. Doucett, declared the Dairy Day officially open.

He said that there was a great chain of responsibility in agriculture which provided the life blood of the nation. In the dairy industry the various avenues of production must consider the welfare of the dairy industry as a whole. He emphasized the importance of the demonstrations at the Field Day as sources of information about dairying and complimented all concerned with the development of the program.

E. M. Biggs, Dairy Commissioner for Ontario, explained that the exhibits demonstrations and other features of the Field Day had come into being as result of complete co-operation amongst all the groups involved.

He saw the dairy industry facing certain problems, particularly in respect of marketing and he was of the opinion that the solutions would be relatively simple if everyone in the dairy industry would work together. He could not see any real solution to some of the difficulties as long as each producer organization thinks only of its own particular problems.

Mr. Biggs pointed out that the Dairy Branch existed to serve the dairy industry of the province and he hoped that producers would find interesting information at Dairy Day to take home and apply to their own operations.

Dairy Maid and Dairy Man

One of the big features of the Day was the award of prizes to the winners of the competition for the selection of a Dairy Maid and a Dairy Man. These awards were presented by M. G. Simpson, Executive Secretary, Ontario Milk Distributors Association, who explained why his organization had initiated this system of wards for the young women and young man making the greatest contribution to dairy farming in Ontario.

Mr. Simpson said that one of the real problems facing the milk industry is the movement of the younger generation from the dairy farms to urban industry. If the dairy industry is to continue to thrive everything must be done to ensure that the ties between farm youth and the dairy industry are strengthened. The Junior Farmers and the Junior Institute of the province are doing an excellent job to offset this problem, and these awards are a step words the recognition of what is being accomplished in junior farm circles.

In explaining further details of the contest Mr. Simpson said: “We invited all the Junior Farmer county associations in Western Ontario to submit candidates for Dairy Maid and the Dairy Man for 1953. As time was short the Co-ordinating Committee for Dairy Day suggested that the 1953 competitions be for Western Ontario only. Next year the competition will be held for Eastern and Northern Ontario.”

Mr. Simpson said that the judges of the competition selected from the applications the seven most promising candidates for each title, and these young people were invited to attend Dairy Day. The judges then selected the winners after personal interviews on the morning of Dairy Day. The judges were Earle Kitchen, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Lou Davis, Ontario Dairy Producers Co-ordinating Committee, Roy Lick, Ontario Whole Milk Producing League and Jack Lawrence, an officer of The Borden Company Ltd.

The winners who received their awards from Mr. Simpson were Mildred Parkinson, of Hillsburgh, Wellington County, and David Pelletterio, of Milton, Halton County. Runners up for the Dairy Maid title were June Otto, New Hamburg, Waterloo County; Phyllis Wengreniuk, Thamesville, Kent County; Grace Vollick, Canfield, Haldimand County; Patricia Bailey, Tara, Bruce County; Margaret Maker, Ancaster, Wentworth County; and Barbara Cunningham, Georgetown, Halton County. Runners-up for Dairy Man were Dave Keith, Teeswater, Bruce County; John Ramsdale, Merlin, Kent County; Donald Schwartz, Guelph, Wellington County; Wm. T. Saunders, Nanticoke, Haldimand County; Floyd Hunsberger, Baden, Waterloo County; and Lorne Mitchell, Glanford Station, Wentworth County.

The Milky Way

One of the major educational efforts of the Field Day was that conducted by the Dairy Branch, Ontario Department of Agriculture and Department of Dairying, Ontario Agricultural College, in a large tent bearing the sign “The Milky Way”. At one end of the tent on a platform were stalls for three cows, a milkhouse set-up and a cream separator with equipment for washing it. With Professor Fred Hamilton acting as commentator to explain the various operations and emphasize their importance in the production of quality milk, producers were shown by actual demonstration the proper methods of sanitizing equipment, machine milking of cows, straining of milk, and rapid but effective washing of the cream separator.

By turning around the audience was then able to see the demonstration of a number of the tests employed for determination of the quality of milk and cream. These tests were set up across a broad platform and a number of men from the Dairy Branch and from industry carried out the demonstrations while a commentary was read by Dairy Instructor Bill Derry. Tests shown included the sediment test, acidity tests, resazurin brome cresol purple and plate count tests to determine organisms in milk, the strainer test for cream, and others. This demonstration did a good job of showing producers the increasing measure of technical control over milk and cream and of proving that the grading of milk and cream is an important phase of the improvement of the level of quality of all kinds of dairy product.

Other Educational Exhibits

Another popular division of the program was the showing of motion pictures by the Department of Agriculture, including pictures on the production of milk and the National Film Board picture “Milk-Made” which has achieved such wide distribution and acclaim.

The importance of suitable equipment and care in the transportation of milk and cream from the farm to the factory was emphasized in an outdoor exhibit which showed various types of trucks and demonstrated proper methods of handling milk and cream in them.

Amongst the organizations exhibiting were The Milk Control Board of Ontario, The Associated Milk Foundations, The Toronto Milk Producers, The Ontario Milk Distributors Association, and The Cream Producers Marketing Board, The Ontario Cheese Producers Association did not sell cheese on this occasion, leaving cheese sales in the hands of Frank Leslie of Stratford. The dairy bar was operated by Silverwood Dairies Ltd.

The Toronto Milk Producers showed plans of their proposed surplus milk processing plant which they hope to erect in the near future to manufacture cream, butter, cheese and roller skim milk powder. The Ontario Milk Distributors Association featured in their tent a model of a milk pasteurizing and processing plant. This attracted a great deal of attention and someone was always on hand to explain the various parts of the model and to show why such a plant represents a large capital investment.

Another education exhibit was that of the Ontario Veterinary College which used pictures and commentary to deal with various diseases common to dairy herds.

There were numerous commercial exhibits of forage and other farm equipment for handling feed for dairy herds, of milking machines and milkhouse equipment, cleaning and sanitizing materials and many other machines and products used in dairy farm operations.

Favourable Reactions

Reviewing the general experience of government, college, association and commercial exhibitors at Ontario’s First Dairy Day it is apparent that the response was good. Educational demonstrations and exhibits received a great deal of attention from producers, and while it would be too much to expect that perfection could be attained on this first attempt it was evident that the educational phase of the Field Day was on the right track. The Committees have been reviewing their experiences and those dealing with various aspects of the Field Day next year will have a good report on which to base future action. Many of the commercial exhibitors were very well pleased with the attention given their exhibits and more than one reported immediate sales that more than covered the cost of participation.

All these favourable reactions help to insure that Dairy Day will become an annual event in the dairy industry of the Province of Ontario. It will remain a day primarily devoted to the improvement of milk and cream production, but this is an objective of the greatest importance to dairy processing firms. The Ontario Milk Distributors Association made a real contribution to the success of Dairy Day and at the same time did a good job in public relations with producers. Next year it would be desirable if other processor organizations could be represented to tell the story of their part of the industry to producers.



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