Congratulations: Mark Comfort 2022 WDE International Person of the Year

Mark and Bev Comfort at World Dairy Expo

“Humble, forward-looking, one who sees the niche that will benefit dairy producers and grows the opportunity to international scope and industry-wide impact — fueled by a competitive drive, spirit of generosity and culture of excellence that have defined his four decades in dairy…”

These words were written about Mark Comfort co-founder and marketer of Udder Comfort, Ontario Canada, by the late George Miller of Select Sires when he nominated Comfort for the honor of World Dairy Expo International Person of the Year.

The 2022 award will be presented to Mark Comfort during the 55th World Dairy Expo.

It doesn’t take long to discover why. His passion for genetic progress, dairy herd improvement, and advancements that benefit dairy producers has had global impact on several fronts. Hear Mark tell his fascinating story on this episode of the World Dairy Expo’s “The Dairy Show” (Click here to listen to the interview)

We want to congratulate Mark on this award. The Comfort Team is proud to be associated with such a humble and visionary leader. His dedication to dairy and his passion for progress led to contributions over four decades with international impact in dairy genetics, market access, products and practices.

A prime example is the launch of Udder Comfort to have global impact as the gold standard in preventive udder care with sales now in over 30 countries on virtually every continent, worldwide.

Mark saw the need for a natural tool for udder quality in an international environment that increasingly emphasized preventive management and judicious use of antibiotics in every sector of animal agriculture. He worked with a scientist who created the unique formula known today as Udder Comfort. Gaining insights from a wide range of dairy producers, he built a team that under his leadership continues to advance Udder Comfort’s applications for a variety of dairy environments around the world.

Before Udder Comfort, at the start of his career in the 1980s, Mark’s longstanding passion for genetic improvement fueled a mission to see “great sires go everywhere.” Comfort built cross-border relationships through his company Transfer Genetics, which became known as TransCanada Select Sires and was sold to Select Sires in 2000.

In the 1980s, Mark took on the Canadian A.I. regulations to open access to then emerging U.S. Holstein sires like Chief Mark, Blackstar and Elevation. This access, combined with elite Canadian cow families and their owner-breeders, ‘armed’ through A.I. workshops giving them the power to breed their own cows, brought genetic progress that has accounted for some of the top sires and legacies of the World Dairy Expo and beyond.

In all of Comfort’s pursuits, wrote Miller: “His passion for progress brought contributions and achievements that also boost the accomplishments of others.”

Today, the World Dairy Expo has been a big part of this progress. Over the past decade, Mark and his team provided lotion and spray for exhibitors and has presented the $1000 cash award for all seven international breed grand champions since 2008. He then approached World Dairy Expo with the idea of junior cash awards, which was initiated in 2009 as the first $500 cash awards for grand champion junior exhibitors. Udder Comfort has been presenting these awards ever since.

As new international relationships were born at World Dairy Expo, Mark cultivated them. These and other relationships have contributed to the global vibrance of World Dairy Expo — where the dairy industry meets.

When asked what this award means to him, Mark acknowledges a humbling and special sense of shared accomplishment.

“It is truly the greatest honor of my life, and it could not have been achieved without the help of so many people along the way,” he said. “These people all believed in the same goals, to always do what is right and best for the customer.”

He credits many, including the Udder Comfort team that has worked with him over the last 20 years. 

In addition to being co-founder and co-owner of Udder Comfort, helping dairy producers around the globe improve animal care with his naturally based products since 1998, Mark’s testimonial-driven marketing spotlights individual success stories centered around the product from World Dairy Expo Supreme Champion exhibitors to commercial dairy producers in 21 countries. Mark also remains active as a dairy cattle breeder through Comfort Holsteins and has bred a #1 sire in Germany and Japan. He and his wife Bev are also sheep breeders with Comfort Tunis.

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