World Dairy Expo has a few changes in store for visitors to this year’s event at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis.
First, the dates of the show have changed. Instead of the traditional Tuesday through Saturday show, Expo will officially begin with youth activities and contests on Sunday, Oct. 2. The dairy cattle show will start on Monday, Oct. 3, and the trade show will kick off on Tuesday, Oct. 4, along with educational programming. World Dairy Expo, which features eight international breed shows, will conclude on Friday, Oct. 7, with the crowning of the 2022 supreme champion.
“The dairy cattle show needs five full days for competition, but for years, trade show exhibitors have been requesting a shorter show to better align with trade show industry standards of two- to three-day events,” explains Katie Schmitt, World Dairy Expo communications manager (pictured). Add in time and space for youth contests, education and networking, and the puzzle gets complicated quickly.
“A group of Expo leaders looked at the constraints from every angle and found a solution to these chronic challenges,” Schmitt says. “For most of the breeds, the show is one day earlier than it was in previous years. But it does change more than that for Guernseys, Milking Shorthorns and Ayrshires.” (See schedule below.)
The Central National FFA events will be held Oct. 4, Schmitt says. The rest of the youth contests, including dairy cattle judging and fitting and showmanship contests, will be held Oct. 2.
The breed sales are back this year.
“We just had the Holstein sale last year,” Schmitt says. “This year, we will have sales for Holsteins, Jerseys, Brown Swiss and Ayrshires.”
The other piece that will be different are the educational seminars.
“We will have one Expo seminar, one Tanbark Talk, one virtual farm tour and one Expo in Español session each day from Tuesday, Oct. 4, through Friday, Oct. 7,” Schmitt says.
Forage experts will share information at free seminars on the dairy forage seminar stage, now located in the Trade Center, Oct. 5-7.
Attendees can also view the winning entries in the World Forage Analysis Superbowl, on display adjacent to the dairy forage seminar stage.
Virtual farm tours, Oct. 4-7, allow attendees to explore a variety of successful dairy operations from across the U.S. without leaving the Alliant Energy Center. Each free visual presentation, led by dairy producers, is followed by a question-and-answer session.
“Along with educational favorites like Expo seminars, virtual farm tours and dairy forage seminars, World Dairy Expo is bringing back Knowledge Nook Sessions — presentations highlighting new products, research and services,” Schmitt says. Knowledge Nook Sessions will be held up to six times a day Oct. 4-7 in the atrium in Exhibition Hall.
Happy Hours will be held Oct. 3-6 from 4 to 6 p.m. in The Tanbark. Happy Hours include free drinks, light refreshments and live music.
“Thursday night we will have the Sunset Celebration starting at 7 p.m. The Jimmys — a Midwest band that plays blues and R&B — will perform,” Schmitt says.
In previous years, more than 850 companies took part in the World Dairy Expo trade show. A somewhat smaller group will be showcasing their newest products and services this year.
“Recently, we started prioritizing giving current companies the opportunity to expand their exhibits, so we are targeting 650 companies this year,” Schmitt says. “We are not trying to have the largest number of companies possible; we are focused on having a sold-out trade show filled with quality exhibits.
“Companies want to be able to show their wares in interactive ways so people can see what they are offering, and this change in philosophy surrounding booth contracts allows that to take place.”
The trade show offers a wide array of modern dairy farm equipment and products in the Outdoor Trade Mall, Coliseum, Trade Center and Exhibition Hall. Everything from the latest in manure handling equipment to robotic milking systems and animal health products will be on display.
Hours for the World Dairy Expo trade show are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4-6, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 7. Daily admission is $15 per person Tuesday through Friday, Oct. 4-7. There is no admission charge on Sunday, Oct. 2, and Monday, Oct. 3. Season passes are $40 per person. Parking is free.
Purchase digital tickets at worlddairyexpo.com. Visitors are encouraged to buy tickets ahead of the show. More ticket information is available by calling 608-224-6455 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Download the World Dairy Expo mobile event app for more schedule details.