Sunday, October 9, 2011

World Dairy Expo: Where the Dairy Industry Meets

Last week was National 4-H Week, and I had been planning to write about last week about how much 4-H impacted me, but last week was also World Dairy Expo (WDE) which made for a very busy week and no time to write any posts.

This was only my second World Dairy Expo; the first being 5 years ago, as I wrote about earlier. My boyfriend's younger twin sisters attended the National Dairy Conference this year. When I moved to Madison, I told my Dad that he should use my move as an excuse to visit WDE for the first time so my parents made the trip to visit me and attend WDE.

World Dairy Expo is a huge event and it truly is "Where the dairy industry meets". It's where the best dairy show cattle are and where people learn of the newest innovations in the dairy industry. Though it's in Madison, dairy enthusiasts from over 80 countries attend the show.

I spend the majority of the show working in the BouMatic booth, but I also helped give milkhouse presentations to 4th grade school groups, attended industry meetings, and reconnected with many of my dairy industry friends. I learned a lot working in the booth as I got to know my coworkers better, including a few from Belgium and other countries, and met with many dairy farmers from across the world. It was particularly interesting to talk to the international visitors and learn about their operations.

The week served as a great reminder of how much I love and appreciate the dairy industry, and just how diverse and exciting the industry is. That diversity is clearly demonstrated by the vast number (810)  of exhibitors at WDE, with products ranging to organic cheese to water beds for cows and herd management software. Seeing the show cows walk across the colored shavings reminds me of the cows back at my family's farm that all have unique personalities and each Red and White Holstein reminds of my favorite cow of all time, Freckles.

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