DAIRY in our DNA

Published on Mon, 08/17/2015 - 4:45pm

By Nicole Smith

Over 70,000 people make the trek from all corners of the globe each year to see all that World Dairy Expo has to offer, including the world-class dairy cattle, award-winning trade show, seminars, tours, contests, and more.From September 29-October 3, 2015, the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin, will play host to dairy cattle and industry members from around the world. This year’s theme, Dairy in our DNA, not only refers to the high-quality dairy cattle exhibited at Expo every year, but also to the producers, breeders, and industry members that live and breathe the dairy industry 365 days a year. World Dairy Expo truly showcases the best of the best, and that is evident from a quick stroll through the New Holland Pavilions during the week of Expo. Five full days of world-class competition features over 2,000 elite dairy cattle exhibited each year on the colored shavings.
Eight international breed shows will take place throughout the week in the Alliant Energy Center Coliseum and the World Dairy Expo International Futurity champion will be selected on Saturday of the show. Many of the breeds also host a cattle sale throughout the week featuring top-of-the-line genetics from around the world. The week culminates in the can’t-miss Parade of Champions and the selection of the 2015 Supreme Champion. Watching the top cattle from each breed parade through the Coliseum is sure to give all attendees a thrill. The dairy industry is constantly changing, with new technology, research and services available every year. Expo Seminars offer attendees the chance to exchange ideas with some of the brightest minds in the dairy industry. Researchers, professors and industry experts from across North America bring their knowledge and insight on new and exciting topics in the dairy industry to Expo every year.

Learn about feed efficiency and what it takes to produce a quality heifer. Discuss the merits of breeding to beef and get tips on the best way to transition to robotic milking. Create a succession plan for your farm and download new dairy apps that will help make your life easier. Be informed about agroterrorism and learn about the dangers of lameness in dairy cattle.
Whether you are looking to make a change to your operation or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest in the dairy industry, Expo Seminars provide thought-provoking information and insightful discussions for all.One of the most looked-forward to aspects each year is the World Dairy Expo Trade Show. With over 800 companies participating in the trade show, it’s a one-stop shop for attendees to talk face-to-face with companies about the products and services they offer.Named one of the top trade shows in the nation by the Trade Show News Network’s Top 250 Trade Show List for 2014, the Expo Trade Show offers commercial exhibits in the Exhibition Hall, Outdoor Trade Mall, New Holland Trade Center, Arena Building and Coliseum, as well as the dairy cattle exhibitor booths in the New Holland Pavilions. With all that area to cover, it’s best to make a plan of action so you don’t miss anything by creating a “Must See” list to give you a head start. The Innovation Unveiled page on the Expo website offers attendees the opportunity to get a sneak-peak at the items that will be offered at this year’s Expo Trade Show. The Virtual Farm Tours give attendees the chance to view these products and services in action on farms across the country. In five days, you can visit eight different farms from five different states and two countries, all from the comfort of the Exhibition Hall at World Dairy Expo.
This year’s tours feature operations that excel in the areas of cheesemaking, sustainability, milk production, genomic testing, automation, community involvement, organic dairying and technology. Get an inside look into these operations and learn what worked, what didn’t work, and how you can utilize these skills and knowledge on your operation.

Even if you don’t own or operate a dairy farm, these tours provide insight into current trends in the dairy industry and are exciting and informative for people of all backgrounds. The tours will include Penterman Farm and Holland’s Family Cheese, Prairieland Dairy, Meadow Brook Dairy Farms, LLC, Sunset Canyon Jerseys, Sunny Glade Farms, SwissLane Dairy Farms, R & G Miller & Sons, and Trailside Holsteins.There are many talented individuals in the dairy industry, and each year World Dairy Expo honors four outstanding members at the Dinner with the Stars Recognition Banquet. The 2015 award recipients are leaders, mentors, innovators and dairy industry advocates. Their accomplishments inspire the next generation of dairy leaders to strive for greatness.Without a doubt, the dairy industry wouldn’t be the same without these four exceptional members. Rosalie Geiger, Ran-Rose Dairy Farm in Reedsville, Wis., was selected as this year’s Dairy Woman of the Year, and Hank Van Exel, Exels Holsteins & Jerseys in Lodi, Calif., was selected to receive the Dairyman of the Year award. The International Person of the Year recognition will be awarded to Kevin Lang, Grace Valley Ayrshires & Holsteins, Fairfield Dairy in Howick, South Africa, and Jim Dickrell, Editor, Associate Publisher, Dairy Today, from Monticello, Minn., was selected as the Industry Person of the Year.

Competition at World Dairy Expo is not limited to the colored shavings. Expo offers a wide variety of contests for people of all ages wishing to test their skills. Youth participants prepare all year for a chance to compete in the Lely National 4-H, National Intercollegiate and International Post-Secondary Dairy Cattle Judging Contests. These highly competitive judging contests put the skills of youth from around the world to the test. Tuesday of Expo traditionally plays host to FFA students looking to learn and experience all Expo has to offer. Many Central National FFA Contest Events are held during the day along with FFA seminars and an Expo Scavenger Hunt. Judging skills are not the only talent on display during the week of Expo. Youth brush off their whites and stock up on clear magic for the Youth Showmanship Contest and Youth Fitting Contest. Youth showmen compete in age brackets of junior, intermediate and senior while the youth fitting contest pits youth of all ages against each other in a timed competition to showcase their fitting prowess.

Expo attendees will also have the chance to view winning forage samples from the World Forage Analysis Superbowl, which is held annually in conjunction with Expo. Categories include Dairy Hay, Grass Hay, Commercial Hay, Haylage, Standard Corn Silage and Midrib Corn Silage. Also being honored will be the winners of the Wisconsin Dairy Products Contest, sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association. Of course, the contest includes cheese, butter, and ice cream, but it also features some unique products, including sour cream and whey processors.Many people have compared World Dairy Expo to a family reunion; the place where once a year you gather with people you are close to and share your passion for the dairy industry. It makes for a very fitting Expo tagline; “Where the Dairy Industry Meets.” Whether it’s catching up with an old friend over a cup of coffee and the Expo Daily Edition, or discussing new trade opportunities with international dairy producers, Expo is the gathering place that provides it all.
With over 3,000 international attendees from 94 different countries last year, Expo provides the unique opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with people from all over the world. You can meet industry experts at the Expo Seminars or dairy farmers from around the country at the Virtual Farm Tours. Meet company representatives to discuss new products at the trade show and dairy producers showing off their top-of-the-line dairy cattle in the New Holland Pavilions. Meet people who have been recognized for their outstanding achievement at the Dinner with the Stars banquet and the next generation of agriculture experts at the 4-H and FFA contests. With over 70,000 attendees each year, you never know who you are going to meet at Expo.

Designed for dairy producers and industry partners, World Dairy Expo showcases elite dairy cattle, cutting edge research, modern technologies and more. Expo hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with $10 daily admission and $30 season pass for people 12 and older. Parking is free. Contact Expo at 608-224-6455 or wde@wdexpo.com. Visit worlddairyexpo.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@WDExpo or #WDE15) for more information.