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Everything You Need to Know To Get Ready for World Dairy Expo!

What do these three things have in common?

  • 24 million dollars,
  • 2600 head of cattle
  • 5 exceptional  leaders of the dairy industry

The answer is “They will all be in the spotlight at this year’s World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin”. However, although Expo is the common link, there is nothing common about any one of these headlining attractions. This is the year that will go down in the record books as the biggest show and tell dairy extravaganza ever.

A New Skyline! 

The largest all dairy show in North America has always been on the leading edge of demos — meaning demonstrations for many years.  In April 2014 demo took on a whole new meaning. Demo now meant demolished. Nine former World Dairy Expo buildings where, for many years, we enjoyed getting up close and personal with the best in the dairy breeds, (see pictures) became part of history and picture albums only.  In their place the Alliant Energy Center skyline now has two $24 million dollar New Holland Pavilions and the price tag isn’t the only thing that’s huge. The first of the two New Holland Pavilions is 90,000 sq. ft. The second is 200,000. With nearly seven acres under roof—World Dairy Expo is ready to house more than 2,600 dairy cattle from September 30 to October 4, 2014.

Seeing Barns and Bovines! 

“These state-of-the-art, modern facilities will enhance the WDE experience for everyone involved—the exhibitors, other attendees and the cattle themselves,” says Scott Bentley, WDE general manager. “We’re excited about the possibilities this opens up for showcasing all of the elite dairy cattle that are a centerpiece of our show.” The opportunity to see these huge changes unveiled is one that people from everywhere in the dairy industry will want to experience first-hand. Using input from all perspectives, the planners, architects, builders and sponsors have created a seamless one-of-a-kind facility. The old barns, which were added at different times, have given way to new ones that will raise the level of everything from cattle comfort, to BouMatic milking facilities, to concessions and state of the art cattle prep wash bays and more. “The improved air quality will be one of the first things people notice when they step inside the new buildings,” Magnochi says. “Things are set up so that the farthest anyone will have to push a wheel barrow to dump manure or lead a cow to the wash rack is 150’,” Magnochi explains. ”It will provide a much better working space for exhibitors.  And it will be a lot more inviting for spectators.”

Moving Right Along!

A covered walkway runs the length of both buildings. “If you want to go from a stall in the very back corner of Pavilion 2 to the front of Pavilion 1 and it’s raining, you can make the entire trip under a roof (excluding the open span between the two pavilions),” Magnochi says. “If it’s a hot, sunny day, you’ll have some shade.” A wide, center aisle running from east to west in both buildings will lead to a more enjoyable experience for exhibitors and visitors alike. ”

They Thought of Everything!

A housing task force, made up of cattle exhibitors, dairy cattle show superintendents and WDE staff was assembled to establish objective, sound and sustainable criteria for animal and exhibitor stalling and housing during WDE. “We felt it was important to get the input of the people who would be using the buildings day in and day out during Expo,” Magnochi says.

“The committee looked at feed and bedding storage needs, developed protocols for checking animals in and out and addressed stall criteria and distribution,” she says. Industry partners that helped with funding the project include Dane County, Wis., the State of Wisconsin, World Dairy Expo…are there more?

Awesome Achievement!

By any measure, the newly completed New Holland Pavilions that are being unveiled at this year’s World Dairy Expo are a marvel of architectural and engineering design. Here’s a quick look at a few numbers that tell the story: 171 days from official ribbon cutting in April and the opening day of World Dairy Expo September 29, 2014 = 600 additional parking spaces – 2500 dairy cattle

Name that Cow.  Find that Cow.

With more than 2,500 dairy cattle on hand, locating a specific cow or exhibitor on the Alliant Energy Center grounds during Expo has often been a “needle in a haystack” undertaking. No longer. Now, with a new “Dairy Cattle Show Animal and Exhibitor” search tool, available on the World Dairy Expo website (, we can carry out a location search in a few seconds. No more hit and miss wandering through crowded stall areas as you search from one barn to another. These directions have been provided: “To use the tool, simply type in part of the animal or exhibitor name (Examples: “Maya” or “Ty-D”). The tool will respond by displaying a list of the complete animal name, exhibitor and stalling location in the New Holland Pavilions. Click on the stall information, and you’ll be immediately linked to a map highlighting the stalling section location in the Pavilions.” Now, if we could do the same to find where our car is parked, every visit to Expo would be hide-and-seek-free!!

International Person of the Year—Lowell Lindsay

It’s Time to Meet and Greet the Stars!

Behind every world class cattle show, they are world class dairy industry people who have contributed to all aspects of the dairy industry. “World Dairy Expo [WDE] is excited to host these four dairy industry leaders in 2014,” shares Scott Bentley, WDE general manager. The 2014 World Dairy Expo Recognition Award Winners are: Dairy Woman of the Year—Pam Bolin of Beaver Creek Farm, Clarksville, Iowa.; Dairyman of the Year—James S. Huffard III of Huffard Dairy Farms/Duchess Dairy, Crockett, Va.; Industry Person of the Year—Curtis P. Van Tassell, DVM, USDA–Agricultural Research Service, Bovine Functional Genomics Laboratory, Beltsville, Md.; and International Person of the Year—Lowell Lindsay, Retired, Semex Alliance, Guelph, Ontario. “Their creative and unique contributions to the industry have strengthened the whole dairy community. World Dairy Expo wishes to congratulate each of them on being honored as a 2014 Recognition Winner.”

Show and Tell Provided by Industry Experts!

With all the examples of excellence that will be showcased at this year’s World Dairy Expo, it isn’t surprising that organizers have arranged an outstanding calendar of opportunities for those attending to raise the level of their information and skill levels. Not only is World Dairy Expo the place to find the latest dairy technology, cutting-edge genetics and the latest research information, it is also the place to interact with industry experts from coast-to-coast who will be on hand to presenting research and management practices. Seminars will be showcased every day from Tuesday through Saturday in the Mendota 2 meeting room in the Exhibition Hall. There will be eight in all and, once again, the organizers have worked hard to bring a wide-ranging, challenging and informative selection.

Learning How to Make a Difference!

One  seminar that is part of an expert-studded lineup is the one offered on Tuesday September 30th entitled, “How to Handle Difficult Questions from Consumers and Make a Difference for Dairy” Stan Erwine, Vice President of Producer Communications, Dairy Management Inc. CO

Consumers have access to more information than ever.  However, sometimes that information is inaccurate.  This leads to more questions about dairy farming than ever before.  Stan Erwine will focus on developing a values-based approach to responding to consumer questions and the skills and techniques to welcoming and responding effectively to difficult questions.  This interactive workshop will focus on questions for dairy producers, veterinarians and agribusiness professional across the country. It will offer skills and tips you can use the moment you leave the room.  Erwine is the vice president of producer communications for Dairy Management Inc. (DMI). He trains dairy farmers and industry stakeholders in the checkoff led consumer confidence effort including the use of social media, farm tours and conversations.  Prior to being VP of Producer Communications at DMI, Erwine was the publisher of Dairy Herd Management magazine.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Whether you go home with an autographed program from someone you have admired for a long time or with a  photograph, painting or special memorabilia commemorating World Dairy Expo 2014, there is no doubt that this year will be one for the record books! See you there!




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