Major Ont. dairy expo plans to upsize in 2014

Operators of the Canadian Dairy Xpo (CDX) say they plan to double the size of the Stratford, Ont. trade show for 2014, following their inaugural event in February.

With co-operation from city officials, the 2014 CDX will take on the entire Stratford Rotary Complex, including both hockey rinks, organizers said in a release. A potential expansion to the “Cow Coliseum” building is also being discussed.

Stratford mayor Dan Mathieson suggested in the same release that the inaugural CDX proved it has the ability to draw visitors from across Ontario and Canada-wide.

“We as a city need to react to over 11,000 dairy producers coming each February,” he said. “The Canadian Dairy XPO presents a great opportunity for the city of Stratford and Perth County, from both a tourism and economic development standpoint.”

CDX founder/general manager Jordon Underhill noted the event was positioned in Perth County because it’s one of the most concentrated dairy production regions in Canada, carrying the most dairy operations in Ontario, followed closely by neighbouring Oxford and Waterloo counties. Dairy accounts for over $150 million of Perth County’s $550 million-plus in annual farm cash receipts.

The CDX said it’s set to become the largest dairy event in Canada and second largest in North America after World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin.

Underhill said an expanded 2014 show will create opportunities for growth, plus individually themed halls that will bring together related industry groups and make navigating the show more efficient.

One of the hockey rink surfaces is slated to host the “TMR Superstore” in which dairy producers would be able to view and compare every available total mixed rations (TMR) mixer brand and model to determine which machine best suits their individual operation.

Herman DeBoer, business development manager for TMR mixer maker Jaylor Fabricating, was quoted in the trade show’s release describing sales generation from the inaugural CDX as “staggering.”

The next Canadian Dairy Xpo is scheduled for Feb. 5-6, 2014.