Every year, as kids go back to school in the fall and farmers work busily on their harvest in the fields, Dairy Star staff gears up for our booth at World Dairy Expo.
    It is an event I look forward to every year. There is so much in one place – good cows, dairy friends and a huge trade show displaying nearly every product needed to dairy farm. What has been great about working the booth at World Dairy Expo in the past has been the large amount of dairy farmers we meet face to face in one place. We enjoy hearing what stories people like in the paper, what is going on in different coverage areas and how we can make the paper better suit the needs of the people we are trying to serve – the dairy farmers.
    However, for the second year in a row, I have not worked the booth for longer than half of a day. This does not mean I was not working. In fact, a handful of staff members were working at World Dairy Expo, but did not frequently show our faces in our booth. We were busy putting out a newspaper. (Imagine that!) From Sept. 30 through Oct. 7, Dairy Star worked in conjunction with World Dairy Expo to write and publish the Expo Daily Edition, a daily newspaper printed for one week during the annual event.
    Although we set up shop in Expo’s media room for the week, we spent a lot of time amongst the cows, in the trade show or catching people as they strolled from one area to the next.  We talked to people showing their cows, commercial exhibitors, virtual farm tour attendees, food stand vendors, international visitors, dairy farmers from across the country, volunteers who help make Expo successful and kids who visit World Dairy Expo as a learning experience. The list goes on of all the people who were at the event and the number of people we interviewed. It was great to learn about other people and their ties to dairy or the passion people have for the industry.
    It is fun to learn about other people’s parts of the world, too. I interviewed a man who is a former dairy farmer and currently runs his own genetics company in England. The farm where he lives has been in his family for 15 generations and the farmhouse was built in the 1500s. Amazing! I won’t hear that story during my travels throughout southeast Minnesota. Likewise, he was interested in my family’s farm and what makes it unique here.
    Putting together a daily paper meant long hours. Each morning after breakfast we headed right to work, oftentimes not getting done until about 10 p.m. or later. It was fun each day to talk to all the people we did, but I don’t think I could write for a daily newspaper. I like the twice-a-month schedule of Dairy Star.
    Although it was busy, I like attending World Dairy Expo because I have the chance to work with my co-workers in person. I don’t mind doing all my daily interactions with the staff through email or phone, but nothing beats a good conversation in person. It always confirms my true appreciation for working with others who are passionate about sharing dairy news with people in the industry.  
    If you missed the Expo Daily Edition while down in Madison or were not able to attend World Dairy Expo, you can find each issue on Expo’s website. Go to www.worlddairyexpo.com and click on the News & Media tab at the top. A Publications link will take you to a page that has all the papers we published during the dairy event. You can also find the publication on our website (www.dairystar.com) under the Special Sections tab.
    This will show you a lot of the happenings during the event and give you a glimpse into Dairy Star’s whirlwind World Dairy Expo.