World Dairy Expo looks to the future

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

More than 70,000 dairy professionals from around the world will convene next month in Madison, Wis., for the 51st annual World Dairy Expo.

The World Dairy Expo is the industry’s premiere trade show where many companies debut new products and technologies, said Kristin Olson, media relations manager for World Dairy Expo.

“People come to learn what is happening in the dairy industry, network with other professionals and, of course, see the world’s best cows,” she said.

The 51st World Dairy Expo runs Oct. 3-7 at the Alliant Energy Center.

After last year’s successful 50th anniversary show, expo staff wanted to keep that momentum going, Olson said. This year’s expo will include Tanbark, a new pub-style restaurant with a specialized menu and full bar where attendees can gather and also watch what’s happening at the expo on multiple TV screens.

World Dairy Expo is also offering another channel on its Expo TV network to highlight some of the new products that trade show exhibitors are debuting at the event. The network is available via the Internet during the show.

“Expo TV is great since it helps connect people who cannot be here for the entire event,” Olson said. “There is a lot going on and the network can also help attendees map out some of the things they want to see or help them catch up on what they missed.”

World Dairy Expo attracts dairy professionals from throughout the world and many come to Madison for all five days of the event.

Olson said they also usually pair a visit to the expo with tours at dairies in Wisconsin and beyond.

This year’s theme — “Discover New Dairy Worlds” – is carried throughout the event and reflected in the items carried in the Purple Cow gift shop, the design of the show ring and elsewhere, Olson said. Expo staff members develop the theme about 18 months in advance of the show.

“We want to make sure we are conveying a theme that everyone can relate to,” she said. “We are not just reaching out to the dairy industry in Wisconsin or the United States, but dairy professionals from around the world. We want a theme that resonates with everyone.”

Education is another component of the expo with eight seminars on hot topics within the industry being held throughout the expo. Olson said the expo also features virtual tours of different dairy farms throughout the United States.

“We have a diverse selection of farms that are part of the virtual tours,” she said. “We want to show the wide variety of the industry.”