Sept. 6 2012 08:14 AM

With less than a month until the gates open, the 2012 Hoard's Dairyman Expo Supplement will begin hitting mailboxes early next week.

With less than a month until the gates open, the 2012 Hoard's Dairyman Expo Supplement will begin hitting mailboxes early next week.

2012 WDE Supplement by Hoard's Dairymanby Amanda Smith, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

It seems like just yesterday Eastside Lewisdale Gold Missy paraded across the colored shavings and was crowned Supreme Champion at the 2011 World Dairy Expo. Therefore, it's fitting that she is front and center on the cover of this year's Hoard's Dairyman Expo Supplement.

Playing on Expo's theme of Market Fresh, our art director, Ryan Ebert, used elements from a Hoards' Creameries butter box when designing the cover this year. While the creamery, established in 1886, is no longer operational, its stamped guarantee to keep fine quality and flavor has remained a tenant that to this date represents our progressive dairy industry.

An array of the stories and individuals featured in this year's Expo supplement highlight a few of our industry's highest caliber individuals as well as the many reasons World Dairy Expo continues to be the premier dairy trade show. Our Expo great feature story this year (pages Expo 7 and 54) highlights the legacy of Clark Vilter and the Four Winds Guernsey herd. In his interview Vilter discusses the success they've had with the breed as well as what needs to happen in the future to make her a more marketable cow.

Sprinkled throughout the supplement you'll find write-ups on individuals being honored by both National Dairy Shine and World Dairy Expo. Many of these people have made an undeniable mark on our industry and the stories we share only begin to scratch the surface of their many achievements and industry contributions. Alongside these write-ups the next generation of leaders are highlighted with scholarship winnings.

New technologies abound as well. In addition to what individual exhibitors will showcase and promote, both World Dairy Expo and Hoard's Dairyman are making the show more "user friendly." Expo has developed a new dairy cattle entry site and anticipates being able to check cattle in with tablets this year expediting the process for exhibitors (Expo 18). Meanwhile, Hoard's Dairyman has developed a World Dairy Expo App to streamline and improve the ease of navigating the ever expanding event (Expo 3).

In less than a month, it will be that time once again to see how each breed show shakes out and who will reign supreme. But beyond that, let's all bring our freshest ideas to market this year so we can continue to build a stronger industry and trade show.