It’s not what you’d typically see in Madison.
Battered cowboy boots neighbor pristine Oxfords. Rolled-up programs bob up and down throughout the crowd of bidders. Young farmers and elder cattle breeders wearing white jeans embellished with dirt shuffle their show-cows into the packed Coliseum. The annual World Dairy Expo is in full swing.
The Expo, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, is a week-long event held annually at the Alliant Energy Center.
Displays of the latest innovations in commercial agrotechnology, bids on cows from across United States and Canada and best-of-the-breed shows featuring nearly 2,500 head of cattle are among the week’s hallmark festivities.
Participants won top honors on Oct. 8, concluding this year’s Expo. Sheeknoll Durham Arrow of Sheeknoll Farms in Rochester, Minnesota secured Reserve Supreme Champion cattle. Musqie Iatola Martha-ET of Milk Source, LLC in Kaukauna, Wisconsin won Supreme Champion cattle.
Pauline Schmidt (left) of Moy-ayr Farm in Wisconsin has been bringing her daughters to the World Dairy Expo since they were babies. Schmidt herself has been attending the event every year for the past three decades.
Schmidt said the Expo is like a reunion for farmers, and said she looks forward to “[seeing] people we only see once a year … a few [who live] across the country.”