Gearing up for World Dairy Expo


As I write this article, it is the morning of the National 4-H and Intercollegiate Dairy Judging contests at World Dairy Expo.

The shavings are red and the decorations are in place. In the next few days, thousands of foot and hoof prints will leave their mark in this arena.

New look

It is also a year in which the entire landscape of the grounds have changed as there are new barns to house cattle.

As we glanced to that area on our trip over from breakfast, I felt a sense of nostalgia as I could not peer in the barns to see cows and the hustle of their caretakers. However, in a few hours, I will be able to analyze the changes and listen to exhibitors discuss the transition from old to new.

After 35 plus years of stories and memories, it will be an adjustment to warm up to the new sights and sounds.

Designing the future

The theme of “Designer Dairy” is an excellent match for this year. As hundreds of events are spotlighted on the bovine runway, our judging teams will kick off all of them as they design placings and reasons for an official. However, they will actually be designing their own future as this experience will provide them a lifetime of relationships, collaborations, and memories.

We hope you will follow our journey because many of you have contributed in large and small ways to what is about to take place at the greatest dairy event in the world.


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Bonnie Ayars is a dairy program specialist at Ohio State University, coordinating all state 4-H dairy programs and coaching the OSU collegiate and 4-H dairy judging teams. She and her husband also own and operate a Brown Swiss and Guernsey cattle farm. In 1994, Bonnie was named Woman of the Year at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.



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