World Dairy Expo 2018 wrapped up Saturday evening with a bang, but just like this year’s theme, “The Next Frontier,” the brightest lights still lie ahead. This year’s five-day show saw 70,000 visitors from 97 countries.
Additionally, 2,318 cows were displayed on the colored shavings by 1,700 exhibitors. Saturday evening, Cutting Edge T Delilah was crowned Double Supreme, winning both the Junior and Open Shows for owner Kyle Barton of Copake, N.Y. It was only the second time such a feat had been achieved. In 2007, Pistachio Pie, a Guernsey cow also won both titles in the same year.
Incidentally, both Pistachio Pie and Delilah were both homebred cows. Also Barton had a day for the ages on Saturday as he was named the 15th Merle Howard honoree . . . the award bestowed to the show’s top junior exhibitor.
For the first time, a Supreme Champion heifer was named. In the Open Show, that heifer was the Jersey, Gentry Marriot-ET shown by MilkSource Genetics and Finca Valparaiso of Kaukauna, Wis.
Trade show highlights new tech
Across the grounds in the trade show, 890 commercial exhibitors were on hand from 23 countries to give farmers a glimpse into the next frontier of technology and services related to dairy. Of that group, 99 companies were first-time World Dairy Expo exhibitors.
Just a few of the cutting edge technologies we heard of this week include the utilization of augmented reality for herd and cow-level management, new sensors for robotic technology, and a more holistic farm consultation experience from service providers.
In a tough dairy year, companies were eager to share how their products and services could create value, save dollars, and help farmers advance.
No doubt, the next year will bring its challenges, but most frontiers are riddled with those as well as the opportunities to strike it big. For farmers that can weather the challenges and embrace the big chances, the frontier is nothing more than the beginning.