World Dairy Expo still has presence in 2020

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Stands in the Alliant Energy Center's coliseum will remain empty this year due to World Dairy Expo being canceled. However, many online events will help dairy producers stay connected and informed.

For the past 53 years, the Alliant Energy Center is a hub of activity during the first week of October. Each year tens of thousands of visitors from across North America and beyond travel to Madison to attend World Dairy Expo.

During the show's five-day run, guests are treated to up close views of some of the world's best dairy cows and privy to the latest and greatest farm technology during the large trade show.

While World Dairy Expo is among countless shows that have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, show organizers say there are still some exciting things taking place.

As a way to support farm families across the country, World Dairy Expo is pledging 10% of profits from the online Purple Cow store in 2020 to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, located in Marshfield, Wis.

Purple Cow Gift Shop

The Expo apparel and dairy-themed paraphernalia WDE attendees would normally find at the Purple Cow Gift Shop has moved online for the first time. As a way to support farm families across the country, World Dairy Expo is pledging 10% of profits from the online store in 2020 to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, located in Marshfield, Wis. The Purple Cow Gift Shop’s online store will remain open through the end of the year at with additional items added periodically, including during Expo week, so watch the Purple Cow Gift Shop Facebook page for updates.

Pavilion Promotions

This year World Dairy Expo is unveiling Pavilion Promotions, a new online space where Dairy Cattle Show exhibitors can feature all of the world-class items WDE attendees have grown accustomed to finding in the New Holland Pavilions and Cattle Tent. As the 2020 show season continues to be impacted by COVID-19, Expo developed this new service to provide breeders a free marketing tool to showcase their animal genetics, farm, and dairy show cattle services now and into the future. Pavilion Promotions is found at  

Cutting Edge T Delilah is led across the colored shavings by Kyle Barton during the World Dairy Expo Parade of Champions on Oct. 5, 2019 in Madison.

The Dairy Show

World Dairy Expo is joining the podcast world with its new program, The Dairy Show. Each episode features a new guest who discusses a topic related to the dairy industry or World Dairy Expo. Find The Dairy Show wherever you listen to podcasts and at starting on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Innovation Unveiled

COVID-19 may have disrupted life as we know it, but the pandemic isn’t stopping companies from launching new products and services that serve the dairy industry. Explore new offerings from our intended 2020 Trade Show exhibitors with Innovation Unveiled at

Tune into World Dairy Expo's social channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to catch the following events and broadcasts. 

Allen Hetts of Crescent Beauty Farm, Fort Atkinson, exhibited the Grand Champion Holstein cow at the first show in 1967. More than any other person, Hetts is credited with conceiving the idea of a new major cattle show and having it located in Madison, WI. Here he is joined Cheryl Johnson who was selected as Cinderella of the World at the show.

Tuesday, Sept. 29

54 years of World Dairy Expo—World Dairy Expo week kicks off with a stroll down memory lane as we remember the moments that make Expo great. From videos of current Expo volunteers to stories of the past, there will be something to resonate with everyone.

Wednesday, Sept. 30

World Forage Analysis Superbowl—Wednesday is all about forages as the 2020 WFAS winners are announced and six new Dairy Forage Seminars are launched. Watch the live announcement of contest winners at 11 a.m. (CST) by registering for the free program at

Thursday, Oct. 1

Global Dairy Tech Start-up Spotlight—Hosted by AgriTech Capital, Expo is proud to endorse this virtual event that will spotlight 10 start-ups in the dairy technology sector, at 1 p.m. (CST) on October 1. More information about this event and registration is available here.

Friday, Oct. 2

Survey Says—Join World Dairy Expo officials during primetime for the pilot episode of Survey Says! as Expo’s Dairy Cattle Show judges go face-to-face with an exhibiting family in this feud-style program to see who knows more about WDE fan opinions.

Saturday, Oct. 3

Supreme Champions—Continuing an Expo tradition that began in 1970, the show closes with a program honoring the Supreme Champions of World Dairy Expo.