The 2020 dairy cattle show season has become a sad state of affairs.

World Dairy Expo was the first major show to face the travel-induced realities of COVID-19 as detailed in “World Dairy Expo is a no-go for 2020.”

Of the major dairy cattle shows that traditionally take place each year, only the North American International Livestock Exposition remains on the docket. That show is held annually in Louisville, Ky., with the dairy cattle portion still scheduled to take place from November 6 to 10, 2020.

If that show should take place, it would behoove everyone to follow the guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For insight on that matter, read “What fairs and shows may look like this year.”

More June cancellations
All-American Dairy Show: Exactly two weeks after World Dairy Expo made the fateful decision to cancel its 54th show, the All-American Dairy Show management team did the same, citing “adhering to the standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The 2021 show has been rescheduled for September 18 to 22, 2021.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair: When it comes to Canadian dairy cattle shows, The Royal is the granddaddy of them all. By its own account, this show is the “largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world.”

On June 24, 2020, the Toronto-based event decided to cancel its 98th rendition. Previously, the only other time this show had been canceled was from 1939 to 1945 due to World War II.

The 2021 rendition of The Royal is slated for November 5 to 14, 2020.

The Eastern States Exposition: Known to exhibitors as the Big E, the 104-year exhibition made the decision to cancel its event on June 29, 2020. Like other dairy shows, the Big E canceled its show during the “war years” of World War II. That show was also canceled during the Flood of 1936, the Hurricane of 1938, and Sept. 11, 2001. The event draws some 1.6 million people each year.

The 2021 Big E is slated for September 17 to October 3, 2021.

Other shows of note: There are a number of significant dairy shows throughout North America. While we will not go through all of those events, a few state fairs also served as a national shows for the Holsteins — the Minnesota State Fair and the Ohio State Fair. Both of those events were canceled for this year.

To fill the void
There has been a grassroots effort to hold a national show of some significance. While a number of replacement shows have been discussed, one — the North American Open Dairy Cattle Show — has been scheduled for October 13 to 18, 2020.

There may be other shows that gain traction as well.

The question remains, however, “Can these events even can take place?”

For starters, the border between the U.S. and Canada remains closed to nonessential travel.

The original order was first created on March 23, 2020, and has since been extended four months in a row. It now remains in effect until July 21, 2020. The same holds true between the U.S. and Mexico. Those directives may remain in place for much of the year.

While some states have a wide open policy, other states have become even more restrictive.

On June 25, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 205. It severely restricts travel into and out of New York and has stringent COVID-19 statements in it. It even states violation of the order could be subject to a $10,000 civil penalty.

Keep calm if a show can go on
Should a show be able to proceed . . . please leave the “Monday morning quarterbacking” at the entrance gate. Most show organizers are volunteers, and they will be doing their best to juggle guidelines that change daily. The dedicated volunteers do not need to be hit by “friendly fire” from the very people they are intending to help.

The potential epitaph
In dairy show circles, World War II caused 1943, 1944, and 1945 to become known simply as “The war years.”

Regretfully, 2020 will become known as “The pandemic year.”

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2020
July 2, 2020
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