Dec. 22 2016 08:00 AM

Sometimes the trip to Expo isn’t feasible so dairy enthusiasts turn to technology to experience the event.

This blog was originally posted October 3, 2016

While all eyes in the dairy industry turn to World Dairy Expo this week, my gaze will be from a distance. This time of year I feel the pull of the 2,010 miles (not that I’m counting or anything) that separate me from Wisconsin. Yet again this year, Expo will have to remain an item on my bucket list.

Although I have yet to personally experience the big dance, technology has made being a part of Expo possible. On the World Dairy Expo website, I can catch a piece of all the excitement.

As the best animals across the country gather on the colored shavings, my priority is watching the dairy cattle show. Whether, it’s live streamed or class highlights posted later, I can still view the best animals from my location on the West Coast. It’s fun to hop on the computer a couple times during the day between chores to see which class is currently showing. I hope the sponsors that make the videos possible know how valued the videos are to those of us not in attendance.

Expo is the greatest collection of new dairy ideas in one location. The Expo seminars are no exception. Featuring a wide variety of topics, there is something for everyone. While I’m not on the grounds, I like to catch the seminar videos. They are a great resource and can be viewed at any time. Have you missed a year of Expo or have a topic you would like to explore more? The past five years of Expo seminars are all still posted online.

I always think the best way of learning is through other dairy farmers. While we are each different and unique in our own ways, there is always something we can learn from each other. The World Dairy Expo virtual farm tours provide just this opportunity, highlighting eight dairy farms from across the country every year.

While I am acutely aware of the distance that separates me from World Dairy Expo, I still enjoy the opportunity to partake in the activities from afar. As “Celebrate 50” kicks off and the golden shavings truly shine, I will be looking forward to the year I can check World Dairy Expo off my bucket list.

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of two young boys who round out the family run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and is in the process of transitioning to a robotic milking system.