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Ready for World Dairy ExpoReady for World Dairy Expo

Don’t miss World Dairy Expo, set for Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 in Madison, Wis.

Fran O'Leary

September 29, 2023

5 Min Read
Aerial view of WORLD DAIRY EXPO
WDE 2023: World Dairy Expo will officially begin with youth activities and contests Sept. 30. The dairy cattle shows start Oct. 1, and the trade show kicks off Oct. 3. Expo concludes Oct. 6 with the selection of the 2023 supreme champions.PHOTOS COURTESY OF WORLD DAIRY EXPO

Show organizers say there will be plenty for visitors to see and do at World Dairy Expo this year at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. According to Lisa Behnke, who returned in March as WDE communications manager after leaving in 2011, there are a few changes in store as well.

Behnke says most of the changes this year involve adjusting the schedule to accommodate a record number of dairy cattle.

“We had 2,663 dairy cattle exhibited at last year’s show, and we expect a similar number to cross the colored shavings at Expo this year,” Behnke says. “In order to handle eight international breed shows and that many animals, we will be showing cattle on six days instead of five days, and we have moved the youth fitting and showmanship competitions to Saturday, Sept. 30. We want to make sure each exhibitor has plenty of room to show their animal in the ring.

“We encourage everyone attending Expo to look very carefully at the show and sale schedule (see below). This year’s show starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, and ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6. It’s an exciting week. It’s well worth people’s time to come.”

The World Dairy Expo youth fitting and showmanship contests will take place Sept. 30. The fitting contest will be at 9 a.m. in the Sale Pavilion. Youth showmanship will kick off at noon in the Coliseum.

This year, in addition to picking winners of the junior, intermediate and senior divisions, there will be a supreme and reserve supreme showman. Each division winner will receive a $1,500 cash award, and each second-place winner will receive $750. Those six youth will return to the ring to compete for supreme champion showman. The supreme champion showman will receive $3,500, and the reserve supreme champion showman will receive $1,500.

The award is sponsored by the Jim Ostrom family and is called the Annette Ostrom Memorial Supreme Showman Award. Jim’s wife, Annette, lost her battle with cancer shortly after last year’s expo.

More than 460 youth participated in the showmanship contest last year. There is a $10 entry fee per exhibitor. Entries will be accepted exclusively online this year.

The International Junior Holstein Show will begin at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 1 in the Coliseum. The trade show will kick off Oct. 3, along with educational programming. World Dairy Expo will conclude Oct. 6 with the naming of the 2023 supreme champions. The Central National FFA events will be held Oct. 4, Behnke says. The rest of the youth contests, including dairy cattle judging, will be held Oct. 1.

Buy tickets online

Visitors are encouraged to purchase and download tickets on their smartphones prior to attending the show.

“We’re trying to make this year’s ticketing as seamless as possible,” Behnke says. “It’s just as if you are going to a major sporting event and need your ticket in hand to enter. Your digital ticket can either be stored on your smartphone, or you can print it at home and bring it with you. We also encourage visitors to download the free World Dairy Expo app to their phone. It is available in the App Store.”

crowds of people exiting a large building called Exhibition Hall

Forage experts will share information at free seminars on the Dairy Forage Seminar Stage, located in the Trade Center, Oct. 4-6. Attendees can also view the winning entries in the World Forage Analysis Superbowl, on display adjacent to the Dairy Forage Seminar Stage.

A Virtual Farm Tour on Oct. 4 will allow attendees to explore a successful dairy operation without leaving the Alliant Energy Center. The free visual presentation, led by dairy producers, is followed by a question-and-answer session.

“Along with educational favorites like Expo Seminars, Virtual Farm Tours and Dairy Forage Seminars, World Dairy Expo is bringing back Knowledge Nook Sessions — presentations highlighting new products, research and services,” Behnke says. Knowledge Nook Sessions will be held up to six times daily Oct. 3-6 in the atrium in the Exhibition Hall.

The World Dairy Expo Trade Show will offer a wide array of modern dairy farm equipment and products in the Outdoor Trade Mall, Coliseum, Trade Center and Exhibition Hall. Everything from the latest in manure handling equipment to robotic milking systems and animal health products will be on display.

Show information

Hours for the trade show are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 3-5, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 6. Purchase your World Dairy Expo digital admission tickets prior to Oct. 3. Daily tickets are $15 and season passes are $40 through Oct. 2. Starting Oct. 3, daily tickets will cost $25 and season passes will be $50. Parking is free.

Purchase digital tickets at worlddairyexpo.com. More ticket information is available by calling 608-224-6455 or emailing [email protected].

dairy cattle exhibitors showing cows

2023 show and sale schedule

Saturday, Sept. 30

  • 9 a.m. Youth Fitting Contest (Sale Pavilion)

  • Noon. Youth Showmanship Contest (Coliseum)

Sunday, Oct. 1

  • 12:30 p.m. International Junior Holstein Show

  • 7 p.m. World Ayrshire Event Sale (Sale Pavilion)

Monday, Oct. 2

  • 7 a.m. International Jersey Show — heifers

  • Noon. International Guernsey Show

  • 2 p.m. International Ayrshire Show — heifers

Tuesday, Oct. 3

  • 7 a.m. International Jersey Show — cows and groups

  • 9 a.m. International Ayrshire Show — cows and groups

  • 3 p.m. International Brown Swiss Show — heifers

  • 5:30 p.m. Top of the World Jersey Sale (The Tanbark)

Wednesday, Oct. 4

  • 7 a.m. International Brown Swiss Show — cows and groups

  • 7 a.m. International Milking Shorthorn Show — heifers

  • 2 p.m. International Red and White Show — heifers

  • 3 p.m. World Premier Brown Swiss Sale (Sale Pavilion)

Thursday, Oct. 5

  • 7 a.m. International Red and White Show — cows and groups

  • 8 a.m. International Milking Shorthorn Show — cows and groups

  • 1:30 p.m. International Holstein Show — heifers

  • 6 p.m. World Classic ‘23 Holstein Sale (The Tanbark)

Friday, Oct. 6

  • 7:30 a.m. International Holstein Show — cows and groups

  • 4 p.m. Parade of Champions and Selection of Supreme Champions

  • 5:30 p.m. Cattle release

Schedule is subject to change.

Read more about:

World Dairy Expo

About the Author(s)

Fran O'Leary

Wisconsin Agriculturist Editor

Even though Fran was born and raised on a farm in Illinois, she has spent most of her life in Wisconsin. She moved to the state when she was 18 years old and later graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Fran has 25 years of experience writing, editing and taking pictures. Before becoming editor of the Wisconsin Agriculturist in 2003, she worked at Johnson Hill Press in Fort Atkinson as a writer and editor of farm business publications and at the Janesville Gazette in Janesville as farm editor and feature writer. Later, she signed on as a public relations associate at Bader Rutter in Brookfield, and served as managing editor and farm editor at The Reporter, a daily newspaper in Fond du Lac.

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