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World Dairy Expo Kicks-Off in Madison
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 10/02/2012

One of the largest agricultural events in Wisconsin begins today as World Dairy Expo opens its gates in Madison. Officials with the dairy and trade show say they expect about 70,000 people from over 90 countries to attend the five-day event through Saturday.

The festivities kicked off Monday with the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest, National Intercollegiate & International Post-Secondary Dairy Cattle Judging Contests, 4-H Awards Banquet and the International Post-Secondary Judging Contest Awards Banquet.

Tuesday's show ring activities include the International Junior Holstein Show, Central National Ayrshire Show and Central National Jersey Show. The FFA Dairy Judging Contests will also be held today. And the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest will hold an auction of all first place winners on Tuesday, where all proceeds will go youth dairy programs.

Organizers say this year's tradeshow has nearly 800 exhibitors from 28 countries providing dairy producers a chance to explore everything from new self-propelled feed delivery systems to computerized herd management systems.

Meanwhile, the show announced over the weekend that Dane County and the State of Wisconsin have agreed to a $13 million plan to replace and improve the aging barns at the Alliant Energy Center in order to accommodate the future needs of World Dairy Expo.

The project, if approved by county supervisors, would replace six of the 11 barns on the grounds with two larger, multipurpose metal barns covering nearly 200,000 square feet that will improve conditions for animals that are housed there for about 20 events each year between March and October. It would also increase the capacity to around 2,600 for cattle shows like the Expo's and 1,260 for horse events like the Midwest Horse Show.

Daily entrance fees for World Dairy Expo are $10 per person, or $30 for a season pass. Hours for the event run from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily.

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