Overwhelming support for Calves for a Cause at Canadian Dairy XPO

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For Ingersoll, Ont., dairy farmer Darryl Markus it’s all about giving back.

Earlier this month at the Canadian Dairy XPO (CDX), Markus and his family, and the entire Canadian dairy industry, were on hand for the Calves for a Cause auction to benefit London Children’s Health Foundation.

Markus started the auction four years ago to show the family’s appreciation to the Children’s Hospital in London where their son, Brooks Markus, spent the first 120 days of his life in critical care after being born with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), a nervous system disorder. This year, four-year-old Brooks was on hand to show calves in the ring at the auction conducted live in the Cow Coliseum at the Stratford Rotary Complex show site in Stratford, Ont.

The first two Calves for a Cause auctions were held virtually, but in 2023 the auction moved to CDX.

“I was kind of tired after the first year but then all of a sudden I was getting phone calls from people who wanted it and so I ran it again the second year. And then [CDX founder] Jordan Underhill contacted me and he was really looking forward to having it here and he’s really provided us an amazing opportunity to showcase the sale even better.”

In 2023, the auction posted record results with the sale gross hitting $285,000 and $65,000 being donated to Children’s Hospital in London. The Stratford General Hospital also received a $6,500 donation. Final proceeds from the 2024 auction are not yet available.

In this report, Markus talks about the overwhelming support Calves for a Cause continues to receive from farmers and breeders across Canada, and the entire dairy industry. 

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