Ever since I met my husband, I count my life blessings by World Dairy Expos. It all started the weekend after the 2003 World Dairy Expo when we first met. Since then we haven’t missed a single one and have experienced every aspect of it fully.
We started by showing the cows and thoroughly enjoyed the cold mornings in the barn, the early battle for the wash rack, snuggles with our cows on the straw, chats with neighbors, and even the stress of getting our cows ready (clipping, polishing, and wiping, and wiping). I recall the nervousness and excitement of walking into the ring, the clutched belly of how they would place, and the relief of a satisfying result followed by the barn party and the camaraderie that’s only possible amongst the dairy community.
A couple of years later we went as vendor staff, revealing a whole new dimension of Expo. We exhausted our feet standing in the Exhibition Hall, stuffed our faces with doughnuts in the morning, ate too many steaks at dinner time, and partied way too late at the Sheraton at night.
In 2008, we came to the World Dairy Expo for the first time as a family. We braved it all with a stroller and a brand new baby girl. We changed diapers in tiny bathrooms and tried to find quiet hidden places for nursing. We attended seminars, collected trinkets, and shopped until our feet couldn’t hold us anymore. We then sat down to watch the show and eat. And before we left, we strolled the barns to visit with old friends.
When the time came to open our new business, Golden Calf Company, we planned it to coincide with World Dairy Expo 2010. That year we introduced the ColoQuick Colostrum Management. We had a tiny, ten-foot booth in the basement of the Cow Coliseum, in between four other tiny booths. We could barely fit ourselves and the colostrum thawing and pasteurizing equipment into the booth. Since then we grew our booth four-fold, enough to be able to fit six staff, colostrum thaw, six capacity colostrum pasteurized, and a twelve capacity pasteurizer together with a couple of screens and a Colostrum Freezer Bank.
In 2017 we were able to start giving back to the World Dairy Expo community and became a sponsor of the cow show. And since we are in the business of raising healthy calves, we have been sponsoring both the Junior and the Open Heifer Show, as well as the Dairyman of the Year ever since.
The 2020 World Dairy Expo would have been our 11th expo as Golden Calf Company and we were planning to celebrate our ten year anniversary. While I feel the loss and sadness of it, I want to focus on the joy and the friendships WDE has brought to us.
As I go through the pictures of the last ten years, I feel grateful for the friends we have made. Our vendor neighbors have become part of our extended family, after all, standing next to each other for a week will do that to you. We have met scientists, researchers, and other vendors and made friendships that last a life time.
WDE has allowed us to meet our customers and put a face to a voice we know from phone calls only. Thanks to WDE, we have seen our customers grow their families and expand their farms, we have been able to meet people from our home town and from around the world. And no matter what role we attend the World Dairy Expo, it is always about the people, and every year feels like an important family reunion.
Sadly, while we have to skip this year’s show, I know in my heart, that Dairy farmers are a resilient lot. So, I look forward to seeing everyone again, next year.