World Dairy Expo opens Tuesday morning to a record-breaking year. 

“We’re very confident cattle numbers entered into the show this year will exceed previous years,” says Laura Herschleb, dairy cattle show manager with World Dairy Expo. Previous year’s cattle numbers have hit 2,500 head and the numbers are expected to surpass it. Show entries are up across all breeds, “but there is definitely an uptick in Guernsey entries,” notes Herschleb.

An additional 40 foot by 80 foot tent had to be constructed at the last minute to house cattle. “We’re excited to host more dairy exhibitors and their cattle this year,” says Herschleb. “We also appreciate exhibitors' patience and working with us as we constructed the new cattle housing on the fly.”

This is just one of the many records that World Dairy Expo hopes to break this year. More than 800 companies are exhibiting their products this week; including 130 brand new companies and companies from 28 different countries. “It’s wonderful to see the increased interest in exhibiting,” says Janet Keller, communications and public relations manager with World Dairy Expo.

Keller says an expansion of the outdoor exhibit space this year gives the show the ability to house fairly large equipment. “We made cranes available for the first time for companies to unload equipment,” she says.

As the show grows and becomes more international in scope, World Dairy Expo expects to see an increase in foreign companies exhibiting. This year marks the first time a Russian company will be exhibiting at the show; GERA Limited will feature a ultra-violet milk filter to help dairy farmers improve milk quality.

When asked what dairy producers can expect to see at this year’s World Dairy Expo, Keller points to high-end technology. “Technology has really started to hit the dairy industry,” she explains. “From cow management tools, heat detection transponders to robotic milking systems you can find it all.” The cool part she says is that a lot of the technology is designed for herds of all sizes, not just large herds. A large number of new products and services are expected to be unveiled at the show this week.

A boost of warm weather in Madison, Wis., should help the show hit record level attendance numbers. Typically, the show will see more than 65,000 attendees, including 2,500 international visitors. “Based on the number of phone calls we’ve received leading up to the show, we should expect to see an increase in international attendees this year,” notes Keller.

Both Keller and Herschleb credit higher milk prices and a positive outlook for the dairy industry’s future for the success of this year’s show.

World Dairy Expo has become the place to be no matter if you’re a dairy farmer, educator, student, university professional or sell a product or service. “It is the networking event of the year,” says Keller.