Farm Progress

More than 70,000 visitors from around the world are expected at the five-day event in Madison, Wis.

Fran O'Leary, Wisconsin Agriculturist Editor

October 1, 2018

4 Min Read
TOP COWS: At Word Dairy Expo, cattle compete in five full days of shows. Six breed sales also take place during the week.

World Dairy Expo features five full days of world-class cattle competition among North America’s top dairy breeders. More than 2,300 head of dairy cattle will parade through the show ring, across Expo’s famous colored shavings.

Eight international breed shows will culminate with the crowning of World Dairy Expo’s 2018 supreme champion on Oct. 6. Six breed sales featuring top-shelf genetics also will take place on the grounds during the week.

70,000 visitors
More than 70,000 visitors from nearly 100 countries are expected to experience the largest dairy-focused event in the world Oct. 2-6 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. Some 850 commercial exhibitors from nearly 30 countries will unveil their newest products and services at this year’s show, as well.

“World Dairy Expo truly is the must-attend event for everyone in the global dairy industry,” says Kristin Olson, World Dairy Expo media relations manager. “Whether you’re traveling to Expo on business, spending time there as a family on vacation, or anything in between, Expo provides endless opportunities to exchange ideas, network and move the dairy community forward to the next frontier.”

According to Olson, attendees come to Expo for inspiration. “Even in the midst of tough times — like the challenges U.S. dairy farmers are facing today — Expo’s electric atmosphere helps to boost spirits, build morale and form a sense of community, leaving people energized, revitalized and ready to overcome adversity,” she says.

The theme of this year’s show is “The Next Frontier.”

Nearly 900 participating companies from 28 countries, seven Canadian provinces and 42 U.S. states took part in the 2017 World Dairy Expo, and a similar group will unveil their newest products and services this year. The huge Expo trade show offers a wide array of modern dairy farm equipment and products in the Outdoor Trade Mall, Arena, 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.

To learn about new products featured at the trade show, visit the Innovation Unveiled section at

Daily seminars
World Dairy Expo also offers free daily seminars on dairy management and other industry issues. These programs will offer visitors technical expertise to help them stay knowledgeable and competitive in the global marketplace.

Forage experts will share valuable information at free seminars on the dairy forage seminar stage Oct. 3-5.

Virtual Farm Tours allow attendees to explore a variety of successful dairy operations from across North America without leaving the World Dairy Expo site. Each free visual presentation, led by dairy producers, is followed by a question-and-answer session. Attendees can tour farms and learn about them face to face, producer to producer.

World Dairy Expo also hosts numerous competitions, including national and international judging and skills contests at the 4-H, FFA, intercollegiate and postsecondary levels.

In addition, winners of the 2018 World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Products Contest will be honored on opening day, and winning forage samples from the 2018 World Forage Analysis Superbowl will be on display throughout the week.

Hours for the Expo trade show are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 2-5, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 6. Daily admission is $12 per person, and season passes are $35 per person. Parking is free.

For more information, visit, call 608-224-6455 or email [email protected].

2018 show schedule

To complete eight cattle shows in five days, several breed shows must take place at the same time in the Coliseum (C). Most sales take place in the Estrumate Sale Pavilion (SP).

Oct. 2
7:15 a.m. International Junior Holstein Show (C)
7:30 a.m. International Ayrshire Show (C)
3 p.m. International Jersey Show — heifers (C)
3 p.m. International Milking Shorthorn Show — heifers (C)

Oct. 3
7:30 a.m. International Jersey Show — cows and groups (C)
12:30 p.m. International Milking Shorthorn Show — cows and groups (C)
2 p.m. International Brown Swiss Show — heifers (C)
4 p.m. Top of the World Jersey Sale (SP)
7:30 p.m. World Ayrshire Event Sale (SP)

Oct. 4
7:30 a.m. International Brown Swiss Show — cows and groups (C)
1:30 p.m. International Guernsey Show — heifers (C)
1:30 p.m. International Red and White Show — heifers (C)
2 p.m. World Premier Brown Swiss Sale (SP)
6 p.m. Youth Showmanship (C)

Oct. 5
7:30 a.m. International Guernsey Show — cows and groups (C)
7:30 a.m. International Red and White Show — cows and groups (C)
Noon International Holstein Show — heifers (C)
2 p.m. International Guernsey Classic Sale (SP)
Following Guernsey sale, World Premier Milking Shorthorn Sale (SP)
7 p.m. World Classic ’18 Holstein Sale (C)

Oct. 6
8 a.m. International Holstein Show — cows and groups (C)
4 p.m. Parade of Champions and Selection of Supreme Champions (C)

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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