Mark Comfort was awarded the International Person of the Year award at this year’s 2022 World Dairy Expo held in Madison, Wisconsin. He is seen here with his wife, Beverly. Courtesy Photo

CARDINAL – Mark Comfort, always curious and determined to improve the dairy industry has been awarded the International Person of the Year at the 2022 World Dairy Expo held in Madison, Wisconsin.

The award is presented in recognition of an individual’s excellence in research, development, education, marketing, manufacturing or other fields, which are a part of an industry or institution that provides goods or services to the dairy industry.

Comfort had been nominated for the award by the late George Miller of Select Sires.

When nominating Comfort for the award, Miller described him as a thoughtful and progressive person who was able to see that the dairy industry would benefit from his efforts in adding positive genetic improvements to the dairy industry.

Miller said that throughout Comfort’s almost half-century involvement in the dairy industry, his drive, and willingness to share, help others and maintain a culture of excellence has had a positive impact on the global dairy industry.

He graduated in 1978 from the University of Guelph in Ontario. He came away with a degree in animal science.

He felt that Canada’s dairy industry was lacking in genetic diversity and quality. In the 1980s, he proceeded to create a successful and respected cross border genetic sharing industry between Canada and the United States.

He said that in the early 1980s, only 16 units of semen in United States was used at Eastern Breeders. They had inseminated around 150,000 cows.

Through his company, Transfer Genetics Comfort was instrumental in changing Canadian laws to ensure Canadian breeders’ access to elite genetics from American based select sires. He also worked to promote education and training of AI.

Semen in the 1980s used on the Chesterville Sunnylodge Farms of Carl and Mark Smith resulted in the background of the breeds best sires found in today’s top 20 sires.

They are Goldwyn and Mogul. The International Person of the Year award recognizes the decades of work that Comfort has been involved in, changing the world of dairy breeding by working to bring in genetic improvements from the United States into Canada.

His other achievements included helping dairy producers around the world keep their animals happy with his naturally based products. Comfort is also the co-founder of Udder Comfort established in 1998 along with Mart Prost of Williamsburg.

The product Udder Comfort is a natural product made of natural oils that soften and soothe udders. Udder Comfort lotions and sprays are distributed worldwide.

“The Udder Comfort brand of udder care management products began with a unique natural product, our White Lotion. This evolved to our Blue Lotion, which provides for easy identification for different milkers of larger herds.”

Comfort has received great reviews of his Udder Comfort products from World Dairy Expo Supreme Champion exhibitors to dairy producers in 21 counties around the world.

Comfort is quick to give credit to his wife Beverly for his success.

He owns dairy cattle with the Nick Thurler family of South Mountain. Besides developing the #1 sire in Germany and Japan and a #1 GLPI in Canada, they were the first to discover the benefits of the Blue Lotion

The marketing manager of Udder Comfort and good friend is Willy Meerakker of South Mountain. He has been instrumental in our success.

The couple are also the owners of Comfort Holsteins and Comfort Tunis, a rare heritage breed of sheep. They have marketed 200 breeding rams across Canada.

Comfort is an avid hockey player and is a member of the Cornwall Seaway Blades’ team that won the world Championship for 60+ in 2018 along with Willy Meerakker and Dr. Henry Ceelen of Kemptville.