The first World Dairy Expo in two years kicks off tomorrow, and exhibitors, attendees, presenters, and staff are excited to be back in action for the cattle shows, educational sessions, trade show, and more. While much of the event will be familiar to those returning, there will be some changes and new opportunities to look forward to. Here’s what you should know if you’re planning to travel to Madison.
The dairy cattle show
Exhibitors are certainly ready for the return of Expo’s breed shows. “Entries in the Dairy Cattle Show are looking similar to 2019, even up a little,” said Expo’s communications manager Katie Schmitt. She expanded upon a few changes that will ensure these animals and their exhibitors have the best experience possible:
• The Youth Showmanship Contest will now take place on Monday at 2 p.m. to better facilitate the contestants and their families. The Youth Fitting Contest remains on Sunday at 10 a.m.
• The cattle tent and sale pavilion have been combined into one structure.
• The Junior Champion of each open and junior breed show will receive a cash award sponsored by Cargill.
• The Supreme Champion Heifer of the Junior Show will receive the inaugural Michael Hellenbrand Memorial Trophy. Hellenbrand served on the World Dairy Expo Executive Committee and Board of Directors while breeding and developing elite show heifers of all breeds and providing opportunities to junior exhibitors to lease or purchase calves.
Visitors will notice a clear improvement soon after they enter the Expo gates with the newly expanded Trade Center. The facility now features glass walls, temporary flooring, and room to house the World Forage Analysis Superbowl and more trade show booths.
That trade show capacity is important because the Arena Building has become the new home of The Tanbark, the social and networking hub on the grounds. With more room for meeting, The Tanbark will be the ideal spot for everything from grabbing a bite to eat to hearing world-class speakers.
Tanbark Talks will offer that opportunity for insightful presentations at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in The Tanbark. Also new are the Expo en Español presentations geared toward Spanish-speaking dairy managers and leaders in the Exhibition Hall. Expo Seminars, Dairy Forage Seminars, Virtual Farm Tours, and Knowledge Nook Sessions are all back this year.
The Tanbark will also host the first-ever Sunset Celebration on Friday evening. Tickets for this free concert featuring Dillon Carmichael and Meghan Patrick can be ordered on Expo’s website.
Expo will welcome numerous dairy youth to compete in judging contests on Monday and FFA activities on Tuesday. Young professionals can take advantage of a hot job market by participating in the new Career Connections, which will feature an online job board as well as an in-person event on Friday at 9:30 a.m. Companies and farms looking for talent can sign up on Expo’s website.
The World Dairy Expo app will be the best way to stay up-to-date with daily schedules, maps, and locations of exhibitors and events throughout the week. Schmitt highlighted a few exciting features attendees will want to utilize:
• Build a custom schedule and utilize interactive maps
• Search for cattle exhibitors in the barns by state, animals, or name
• Find trade show companies and their location on the grounds by category
• Enter the Railbird Judging Contest to judge one cow class in each breed show
Downloading the app will not only enhance your Expo experience; it will also give you a chance to win a trip to Nashville! Any user that makes a profile before October 2 is entered to win two tickets to Dillon Carmichael’s album release party on October 19 at the Opry, two tickets to a private Mitchell Tenpenny concert on October 20, and a $2,000 travel voucher. Three winners will be selected on October 4.
Dairy enthusiasts from around the country will be meeting at Expo next week, and to keep everyone safe, the Public Health Madison and Dane County face covering emergency order for enclosed public spaces will be in effect. However, the New Holland Pavilions and the cattle tent are not classified as enclosed spaces.
Free PCR COVID-19 testing will be available in the east lobby of the Coliseum from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesday through Friday along with free COVID-19 vaccinations.
A change on the way
Last week, Expo announced that the schedule of the event will shift starting in 2022. Youth contests will be held on Sunday, with the dairy cattle show kicking off on Monday and trade show opening on Tuesday. Everything will conclude on Friday evening with the naming of the Supreme Champions.
The changes were made to better accommodate the needs of trade show exhibitors while maintaining necessary time for showring events, Expo said. The new schedule also introduces a rotation for the breed shows. More information about these changes is available here. The 2022 event will be held October 2 to 7.