I recently had the opportunity to visit with Liz Matzke, Marketing Specialist for World Dairy Expo, about this year”s event. As you can imagine, the days for the WDE staff are quite hectic and busy leading up to what they hope is the best show yet! Despite their busy schedules they were able to answer some questions for me as we all get ready for the 2006 show.
Can you share some of the highlights we can expect at World Dairy Expo 2006?
This year marks the 40th anniversay of World Dairy Expo. Since its humble beginnings in 1967, the show has developed into the “Central” meeting place of the industry. Attendees can expect to see the latest and greatest the dairy industry has to offer in technology and animal genetics. The Commercial Exhibits continue to grow and diversify, featuring over 1,500 booths from 23 countries. As always, the dairy show will showcase some of the best cattle in the world with a backdrop of colored shavings and elaborate decor. Educational seminars and virtual farm tours continue to be forums for new ideas and producer experiences. All in all, there is something for every size operation and every age producer.
Are there any new additions this year?
There have been some grounds improvements this year, as well as technology improvements. A new wash rack has been built for cattle exhibitors in the Big Tent. There has also been additional lighting added around the barns for exhibitor and cattle safety. International registration is now available online. And again this year, up to the minute class results are available on our website during the show.
Can you provide some hints as to what this year”s ringside decorations will look like?
The theme this year is “Dairy Central.” The idea was derived from New York”s Grand Central Station. So, as you can imagine, an old-fashion locomotive and our own Grand Central Station, Dairy Central, will be a part of the showring decorations. Be sure to stick around for the naming of America”s Supreme Champion as we have a few surprises in store for the crowd.
What do registration numbers look like for this year?
Overall, this year”s numbers for the show are slightly up. Currently, there are just under 3,000 total animals entered in all eight shows.
How is the theme for next year”s WDE selected? Has the 2007 theme been selected yet?
Picking each year”s theme usually starts in March or April of the year before. Large lists of ideas and concepts are submitted to our General Manager, Tom McKittrick. Over a period of several weeks, themes are discussed and voted upon by all staff members. When one idea has been decided upon, it is given to a design company we have worked closely with over the last several years. They in turn come up with four or five design concepts adn the staff votes again to narrow it down to one design. From there, posters, postcards, letter head and the like are all developed to help promote the theme. The 2007 theme has been picked and will be unveiled during the Supreme Ceremony. All I can say is, next year”s theme might be one of our more “entertaining” themes.