Each year, dairy producers, companies, organizations and aficionados from around the globe meet at Madison’s own premier five-day event, the World Dairy Expo. More than 70,000 people from 90 countries make their way to Wisconsin for the week.
Scheduled in October, this annual event is a mecca for the international dairy industry.
“The World Dairy Expo is the greatest dairy cattle and trade show in the world,” says General Manager Scott Bentley.
This year’s Expo theme is Center of the Dairy Universe, which appropriately describes Wisconsin. Visitors can see the finest technologies and research in dairy genetics on display, gather ideas from Virtual Farm Tours and watch as more than 2,000 head of dairy cattle compete for coveted awards. There are more than 850 commercial exhibitors, as well as youth competitions and industry recognition.
Madison has been home to the Expo for 47 consecutive years, with its success thanks to the committed volunteers and stakeholders that lend their time and expertise, says Bentley.
That success has done wonders for the state’s economy, and in 2011, an economic analysis conducted by a third party determined that the Expo contributed $51 million to the regional economy. In 2012, direct spending in the Madison area alone was $19 million.
“The economic impact to the state of Wisconsin is tremendous and is one of the many reasons why we have such strong ongoing support from stakeholders,” says Bentley. “Producers and corporations throughout Wisconsin directly benefit from the thousands of attendees that participate in farm tours, evaluate cattle and schedule company visits throughout the week before and after the Expo.”
And while Wisconsin benefits greatly from the event, the rest of the nation feels the positive impact as well.
“Robotic and rotary milking parlors are two examples of technologies that were initially adopted in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand prior to being embraced by U.S. dairy producers after their introduction at World Dairy Expo,” says Bentley.
He also points out that the World Dairy Expo has become known as the global destination for networking opportunities for producers, academia and professionals. The exchange of research, technologies and new ideas that assist dairy herd management around the globe makes World Dairy Expo a unique international event.