We are pleased to have had this amazing line-up of speakers and topics for the inaugural Atlantic Dairy Focus 2018. You can find their presentations below (please click on the images to view the files). 


Joep Driessen

CowSignals Master Trainer, Director/Owner of the CowSignals® Training Company, Veterinarian and Cowmunicator


Joep Driessen was born on November 16th, 1964 from Dutch parents on a dairy farm in Ettelbrück, Luxembourg. He was raised on a sheep farm in Holland and had his first business at the age of 14 as a sheep shearer.

He served in the military in the medical corps, was a tour guide for farmer study groups around Europe and America, and also taught ice-skating, skiing, snowboarding, dancing and sailing.

In 1994, Joep was qualified as a vet at the university of Utrecht. He had two years in dairy practice as a vet and spent 6 months on a 14,000 cow dairy farm in Saudi-Arabia.

In 1997 he founded Vetvice together with Jan Hulsen. He did his first CowSignals workshop in 1999 and founded CowSignals Training Company in 2007. He also started the Certified Trainer Course and developed the PeopleSignals action model to motivate farmers and advisors. 

2010 was the opening of the CowSignals Training Center in Bergharen, Netherlands. In 2013, CowSignals training was active in 55 countries and had 250 Certified Trainers in 33 countries. 2014 came the launch of the online video training program: V-learning & V-coaching, to reach the world.

Joep lives happily together with his wife Annelies Pernot and their 3 kids Teuntje, Puck and Pep.

Sponsored by: Schippers Canada & Clarence Farm Services

Todd Duffield, DVM, DVSc

Professor and Chair, Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph

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Todd Duffield graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), University of Guelph in 1990 (DVM) and worked for 4 years in a large dairy practice in Eastern Ontario, Canada. He returned to OVC in 1994 and completed a Doctor of Veterinary Science (DVSc) degree in 1997. 

He is currently a Professor and Chair of the Department of Population Medicine, OVC, University of Guelph. Todd teaches in all years of the undergraduate veterinary program including teaching in senior year dairy rotations. He is actively involved in dairy research, graduate supervision and teaching.

He has authored or co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles on several aspects of dairy health management, including pain management and transition cows. He is the recipient of the 2012 CVMA Merck Award for contributing significantly to the advancement of herd health management in Canada. Todd has been honored for three consecutive years as a Highly Cited Researcher (Thomson Reuters and Clarivate Analytics).


Trevor Devries, B.Sc, Ph.D

Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Behaviour and Welfare

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Dr. Trevor DeVries is a Canada Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Behavior and Welfare and an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph. Trevor received his B.Sc. in Agriculture from The University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2001. Immediately following he began graduate studies at UBC, focusing his research on dairy cow feeding behavior.

After receiving his Ph.D. in 2006, he worked for one year as a post-doctoral researcher at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, focusing his research on ruminant nutrition. In 2007 he was appointed as faculty with the University of Guelph. In his current position Trevor is involved in research and teaching in the areas of dairy cattle nutrition, management, behavior, and welfare.


Dr. Adam Lock, Ph.D

Associate Professor, Dairy Cattle Nutrition

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Dr. Adam Lock is an associate professor in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University. Originally from a dairy farm in the southwest of the United Kingdom, Dr. Lock received his PhD from the University of Nottingham and completed a post-doc at that institution as well as at Cornell University. He had a research and teaching appointment at the University of Vermont from 2006 to 2009 before moving to his current research and extension appointment at Michigan State University in the fall of 2009.

Dr. Lock has developed his expertise in ruminant nutrition and physiology. His research and extension programs focus on both dairy production and human nutrition and health, and the interface between these two disciplines. The central theme is fatty acid digestion and metabolism in the dairy cow and the impact of bioactive fatty acids on animal production and human health. Current efforts concern the effect of diet on the production of biohydrogenation intermediates in the rumen, dietary strategies for maximizing milk fat synthesis, applying this knowledge to improve our ability to troubleshoot on farm issues related to milk fat depression, fatty acid absorption in the small intestine, fat supplementation opportunities, and the potential for omega-3 fatty acids to promote dairy cattle metabolism and health.

The impact of milk and dairy products on human health, in particular the role of milk fat is also of special interest. He is recognized for his ability to communicate to many sectors, from dairy farmers to dietitians and was awarded the 2011 American Dairy Science Association Young Scientist Award, which recognizes outstanding research by a young dairy scientist during the first 10 years of their professional career.


Dr. Ron Cotterill, Ph.D


Professor Cotterill has conducted research on the structure and performance of raw, processed, and retail milk markets in the U S. In 2003 he testified before the U S Senate Judiciary Committee delivering a research report titled ".Milk Market Channel Structure: Its Impact on Farmers and Consumers and the Inadequacy of Antitrust Enforcement."

This generated three major class action lawsuits: one on behalf of farmers in the Southeast, and another on behalf of farmers in the Northeast alleging anti-competitive conduct depressed prices to farmers. These cases settled for over $350 million. The third case was on behalf of retailers in the Southeast U S that purchased milk at wholesale. It alleged that retailers were victims of anti-competitive conduct that elevated prices. Professor Cotterill assisted in the construction of the farmer cases and served as economic expert in the retail case that was settled for an undisclosed amount in 2017. 

Mario Leclerc

Co-Founder, Agtrek Nutrition

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Mario Leclerc grew up on his family dairy farm in Casselman, Ontario. After College, Mario returned to help the family operation until 1994. He was employed as an animal nutrition representative until he left to start his own company. In 1997, he co-founded Agtrek Nutrition, a dairy management consulting business he continues to operate in eastern Ontario.  

A busy father of three boys, Mario still finds time to be involved in 4-H, minor hockey and minor baseball. Mario has travelled across Canada talking to producers about Dairy Revenue. Mario presented at Farm Credit Canada's nationwide FCC Learning Tour. Entitled "Let's Talk about Dairy Revenue", he has travelled across Canada presenting for producers of all sizes

Sponsored by: RBC Royal Bank of Canada


Ron Erskine, DVM, MS, Ph.D

Professor, Large Animal Clinical Sciences


Dr. Erskine completed his D.V.M. at the University of Illinois in 1981. Following private practice in Pennsylvania, he gained his Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Erskine is currently on faculty at Michigan State University and serves as a Professor and Dairy Extension Veterinarian in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  His research focuses on bovine infectious disease, especially in mastitis and milk quality and he is the project director of a five-year, multi-institution, USDA-NIFA funded project to reduce mastitis and antibiotic use in dairy cattle, which focuses on employee training and milking efficiency.

Iain Richards, MRCVS

Veterinary Ecologist

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Iain qualified in 1988 from Liverpool University. After 22 years in mixed practice, mostly farm, he developed an interest in sheep health and parasitology. Iain gained a Master’s in Conservation Medicine in 2016. This arose from an increasing awareness of the crucial role that ecosystem health plays in managing many livestock diseases. During his time in practice, Iain served as a government vet for the FMD outbreak of 2001 and the more recent Avian Influenza incursion in 2017.

He is currently working as a house-husband, a locum vet and developing a consultancy in the environmental control of livestock diseases. He is currently President of the Sheep Veterinary Society. When not vetting, he enjoys cooking, deer stalking and restoring a 1971 MGB roadster.

     Ben Loewith, Summitholm Holsteins         


Logan Jewell, Jewell Dale Farm

Jason Van der Linden, Lindenright Holsteins