By Crystal Siemers-Peterman
When the leaves begin to change and the temperature begins to drop, many people look forward to switching out their wardrobe, going apple picking and embarking on favorite fall-related activities. For me, those activities are so very exciting, but first and foremost, I look forward to the first week in October and arguably the best time of the entire year — World Dairy Expo.
For more than five decades, the global dairy industry has met in Madison, Wis., for this anticipated event. Annually held at the Alliant Energy Center, World Dairy Expo is attended by some 75,000 people from more than 100 countries who travel to America’s Dairyland.
Being involved in the dairy industry, my family and I faithfully attend World Dairy Expo every year. For dairy enthusiasts, it feels like Christmastime. I have so many memories that encompass the many things World Dairy Expo offers. My cousin Jordan and I would scour the trade show in search of pens, pencils, squishy cows and many more free items. For lunch, I’d have to get a grilled cheese and a chocolate shake from the Grilled Cheese Stand. And if I ever wanted a fantastic nap after chores, heading to the coliseum and sitting in the chairs while listening to accordion music was absolute bliss.
Through the years I’ve continued to make more fantastic memories at World Dairy Expo. From exhibiting our dairy cattle and witnessing our home-bred animals taking top honors to walking away with a victory with my collegiate team at the National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest, World Dairy Expo truly holds a bit of magic.
The mission statement of this event gives way to its importance: “World Dairy Expo serves as a forum for dairy producers, companies, organizations and other dairy enthusiasts to come together to compete and to exchange ideas, knowledge, technology and commerce.”
Visiting World Dairy Expo serves as an opportunity to see 2,500 head of cattle from across the United States and Canada compete. All seven breeds grace the show ring’s colored shavings (the color changes each year) to compete against the best of the best.
This world-class event’s trade show has more than 800 vendors, where visitors can see cutting-edge technology and the latest and greatest dairy equipment. Where else can you talk one on one with experts, researchers and national sales representatives who live and breathe the dairy industry every single day?
Wisconsin’s impressive dairy industry is truly set on display at World Dairy Expo. Including virtual tours featuring innovative Wisconsin dairy farms, Wisconsin dairy breeders, vendors and companies, and many networking opportunities, World Dairy Expo serves as a time to reflect on Wisconsin’s success. I encourage all agriculture enthusiasts to attend World Dairy Expo and see for yourselves this remarkable event that draws thousands from across the globe to the capital of America’s Dairyland.
Siemers-Peterman is the 70th Alice in Dairyland.