World Dairy Expo to remain in Madison - no kidding

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
After months of considering a Plan B, World Dairy Expo officials announced the global event is staying put in Madison.

On a day known for pranks and fake news, a post on April 1 announcing the return of World Dairy Expo this fall in Madison was clearly no April Fool’s joke.

World Dairy Expo officials made the announcement on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon that after months of meetings and contingency planning, the 54th World Dairy Expo would be held Sept. 28-Oct. 2 at the Alliant Energy Center.

“The clarity that Expo’s leaders sought from Dane County officials regarding the path forward for responsibly and safely hosting World Dairy Expo 2021 at the Alliant Energy Center has come to fruition,” shares Bill Hageman, WDE Board President. “We are grateful for the patience and commitment to World Dairy Expo exhibited by our stakeholders and the dairy community throughout this process. Expo is excited for Madison to once again be the place where the global dairy industry meets!”

Discussions regarding the contract extension proposed by Dane County in early March concerning World Dairy Expo’s use of the Alliant Energy Center, a county-owned facility, will take place over the coming months. 

“We are eager to build upon the strong partnership between Dane County and World Dairy Expo as the organization moves forward with plans for its 2021 event in Madison,” states Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “The only home World Dairy Expo has known is Dane County, Wisconsin, and we are ready to welcome the dairy industry’s premier event back to our community this fall.”

State Rep. Travis Tranel, R-Cuba City, who sent a letter to Governor Tony Evers on March 4 asking him to take action to keep the Expo in Madison expressed his pleasure in the WDE board's decision to stay in Madison.

“We are just elated that the World Dairy Expo has decided to remain in Madison, Wisconsin. This never should have even been a topic that was up for discussion, but thankfully with all of the media attention and all of the grassroots efforts from around the state, we were successful in convincing the Expo to stay," Tranel stated. "I look forward to the event remaining in Madison for years to come.”

New events for the event include morning keynote speakers highlighting industry leaders sharing educational insight as well as seminars in Spanish designed for farm managers and mid-managers.

Visitors young and old enjoy the vendor exhibits inside the trade show at World Dairy Expo.

The Tanbark move to the Arena Building where it will become a centrally located hub for dining, nightly happy hours and a place to meet with customers and friends.

The cavernous Trade Center is being improved to house additional exhibiting companies, the World Forage Analysis Superbowl and Dairy Forage Seminars.

The announcement also noted that the Youth Showmanship Contest will move to Monday, September 27 at 2:00 p.m.