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Laura Herschleb has a rich history with World Dairy Expo.

Fran O'Leary, Wisconsin Agriculturist Editor

September 9, 2022

3 Min Read
Girl showing cow at World Dairy Expo
2022 SHOW: World Dairy Expo will be held Oct. 2-7 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. Courtesy of World Dairy Expo

Laura Herschleb, named general manager of World Dairy Expo in February, says she is looking forward to the event, set for Oct. 2-7.

“It is an immense honor to be selected as general manager for the meeting place of the global dairy industry,” Herschleb says. “It’s going to be a fantastic event that I’m incredibly excited for. I want everyone to mark their calendars for Oct. 2-7. I’m very proud to be a part of the World Dairy Expo family.”

Laura Herschleb, general manager of World Dairy Expo

Herschleb, 43, (pictured) is the first woman to serve as general manager of World Dairy Expo. But she is not alone. In fact, this year’s entire WDE staff of 10 are women.

Herschleb replaces Scott Bentley, who retired in February after serving eight years as general manager.

As general manager, Herschleb provides leadership, vision and strategic oversight to the WDE organization, and leads its team to produce the world’s largest dairy event.

“Laura has the experience and perspective to truly know the challenges that are in front of us, and the commitment and vision to lead us into the future,” says WDE Board President Bill Hageman. “Even more importantly, Laura has the passion to engage the World Dairy Expo family to seek continuous improvements and capitalize on opportunities.”

Herschleb has a rich history with World Dairy Expo. She is a former member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badger Dairy Club. She spent five years as the WDE dairy cattle show manager, from 2008 to 2013, and in 2018 returned to the team as marketing manager. Most recently, she has assisted with projects related to educational initiatives, attendee services and the trade show.

“I have worked with the staff, leadership and volunteers before,” Herschleb says. “It has been a great benefit having that relationship with them so we could hit the ground running.”

During her 21-year career, she was also employed by Compeer Financial and Alltech.

Farm girl

Herschleb grew up on a small dairy farm in Washington County, Wis., near Germantown.

“It was very much an urban area, but I lived on a dairy farm,” she recalls. “I was always promoting agriculture and explaining to my city friends what agriculture is about. Those are very fond memories that I am grateful for.”

While growing up, she was a member of the Washington County Junior Holstein Association and 4-H.

In 2001, Herschleb graduated from UW-Madison with a double major in dairy science and ag journalism.

“My mom and dad graduated from UW-Madison,” Herschleb says. “My dad majored in dairy science and my mom majored in ag journalism. I am so thankful for my family and am proud to be from Washington County.”

Herschleb says the WDE staff works 365 days a year to plan each event.

“We learn a lot with each year’s event. That will especially be the case with Monday [Oct. 3] this year,” she says. “The cattle shows will start on Monday morning, and we will also have commercial exhibitors moving in. I’m approaching this with my eyes wide open and am eager to learn from our incredible staff, volunteers and exhibitors. I’m certainly very excited about this year’s World Dairy Expo!”

Herschleb and her husband, Mike, live in DeForest, Wis., with son Kolby, 13, and daughter Lily, 11.

The 55th World Dairy Expo is Sunday, Oct. 2, to Friday, Oct. 7, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. Learn more at worlddairyexpo.com.

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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