Volunteers shine bright at World Dairy Expo dinner

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Five individuals were bestowed Friends of Expo honors for their outstanding service supporting World Dairy Expo. Hundreds of volunteers and industry partners traveled to Madison to socialize and celebrate the success of the most recent Expo and to congratulate these honorees December 9 at the Alliant Energy Center.

Friends of Expo 2013 honorees included Jeannie Marshall and Joe Feigley, AgSource; Dr. Mark Zidon, University of Wisconsin-Platteville; Ted Woodstock, Silk Screen Advertising and Diane Nichols, American Red Cross. Each year more than 500 volunteers offer expertise, skills, time and talent to support the various facets of Expo including a high quality Dairy Cattle Show, a world-renown Trade Show, youth contests and educational venues for dairy producers.

Jeannie Marshall and Joe Feigley were recognized for their many years of work supporting the National 4-H and Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contests. Both of them have been instrumental in developing software to process and calculate the thousands of score cards of contest participants. The pair has volunteered for over 20 years to calculate and rank more than 4,500 youth contest participants.

Each year, the Central National FFA Contests draw thousands of FFA members from across the Midwest to Expo.  For more than 20 years, Dr. Mark Zidon has been the superintendent for these four contests. He oversees the volunteer team that provides a series of competitive educational contests for FFA members, including the Central National Dairy Cattle Judging Contest, Showmanship Contest, Dairy Products Contest and World Forage Management Cup. Arranging the contest guidelines, registrations, judging, scoring and results are just a few of the key responsibilities that he has supervised over the years, ensuring a meaningful, hands-on experience for these high school students.

Ted Woodstock has provided outstanding customer service to World Dairy Expo for the hundreds of signs and unique screen printed items needed for each year’s event. For many years, he has worked behind the scenes to provide a wide variety of materials including indoor and outdoor signage and novelty checks for the Dairy Cattle Show. Ted has even assisted in creating last minute booth promotional materials for Trade Show companies.

World Dairy Expo’s live streaming coverage of the Dairy Cattle Show is viewed by cattle producers around the world, as well as Expo attendees across the grounds during the event. Diane Nichols has worked behind the scenes in directing ringside cameras during the cattle shows, ensuring the animals are captured on camera. Her previous experience on World Dairy Expo’s staff has provided her with the knowledge and eye for getting the right angles on the top contending animals within each class as over 2, 200 head of cattle parade across the famed colored shavings. Diane has spent hundreds of hours watching the cattle shows and working with the video crew.

World Dairy Expo is the premier international dairy event, attracting more than 70,000 dairy enthusiasts for the five-day networking opportunity each fall. If you are interested in becoming one of Expo’s volunteers, call 608-224-6455. Volunteer opportunities range from gift shop sellers to school tour guides to tram drivers. Next year’s World Dairy Expo theme is “Designer Dairy” and the event will be held September 30 through October 4 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Visit worlddairyexpo.com for the latest event information.



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