IDP Bus Tour to the World Dairy Expo

Through the eyes of a first time attendee...
What I Learned At World Dairy Expo
by Jackie Barber, American Dairy Association Indiana 
 Indiana Dairy Producers provides a lot of educational opportunities for its members, but one of the most fun has to be the annual bus trip. I've been on quite a few memorable bus trips now, but World Dairy Expo was definitely a unique experience. 
Despite working for Indiana dairy promotion for five years, I had never been to Expo before. I wrote a consumer-focused blog about the 7 Things I Learned at World Dairy Expo that you can find, here. The whole blog was brought on when a company we work with asked if I would be sampling different kinds of cheeses and ice cream in a giant Expo hall in Wisconsin. 
For a more savvy audience, here are three things I learned at World Dairy Expo.
1. It's a Great Place to Learn About Emerging Trends
Who knew a robotics company could haul a demonstration robot to a trade show? Speaking as someone who's carried plenty of displays into a trade show, I'm glad I don't own anything as large as that. I went to seminars about the science behind A2 milk (spoiler alert: there isn't any), saw a robotic feed mixer, and all kinds of equipment I couldn't begin to identify.
2. The Trade Show Never Ends
I would be interested to know how many booths were actually there because it seemed like they were everywhere. Interested in feeding Malaysian palm oil? There was a guy for that. Companies from all over the world had booths--it would have been a great place to practice your [insert language here] because you would have found a salesman who spoke it. Really amazing.
3. The Cattle Show Can't Be Beat
Just sitting and watching the show was absolutely amazing. Walking through the barns you almost felt like the cows were looking you up and down and judging your fashion choices. Everything was immaculate and the showiness of the cows was unbelievable. I certainly don't really know what to look for in dairy classes (four years of horse judging in FFA didn't really help, although some of the taller ones looked like they'd do alright in a jumping class), and it certainly gets harder when all the animals look like the breed association's logo cow.
For those of you who haven't been on a bus trip with IDP, I'd really encourage it if you have the time. Talking on the ride over is half the fun, and Doug does a great job picking the stops to ensure you always learn something new. I will have to say the quality of the bus snacks has increased exponentially since Alicia came on board and you could probably get most of your money back if you ate and drank everything she offered you.

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