World Dairy Expo: Where dreams come true … and fairy tales too

This article was written for Progressive Dairyman, published on September 15, 2017. You can view the full version here


What is it that you want to do? What’s your dream come true at World Dairy Expo (WDE)?

Become an elite judge? WDE has the world’s most challenging and (arguably) rewarding contest.

Find the best cheese curd? Don’t bother searching – it’s the garlic dill.

Meet lifelong friends? That’ll probably happen celebrating supreme champion on Saturday evening.

Or maybe, it isn’t something quite as predictable.

Fueling a passion through a career.

WDE has been something I’ve attended since I was 8 years old. It was a vacation that my siblings and I looked forward to all year. At the age of 25, I’m still attending, except it’s even cooler because I’m getting paid to be here. Perks of a great gig, right?

I never thought I’d end up at WDE chasing after a dream career. My journey started in 2012 when I was competing on the Penn State dairy judging team. My coach (shout out to Dale Olver) introduced me to Josh Hushon, whom I interviewed with for an internship at Bader Rutter, a successful and respected marketing agency. It was during that summer that I learned my passion still lied within the dairy industry, but I needed a creative outlet too.

After graduating from Penn State, I joined Cargill’s marketing team in 2014, moving specifically to a dairy marketing role in early 2015. Josh joined the dairy team not long after that (it’s a small world), and the team has added several incredible teammates over the past two years. Through this position, I’ve been able to work with our dairy sales team and customers on a variety of projects. I’ve learned valuable life lessons, made a lot of great friends and been able to hear the stories of dairy producers all over the country. Getting to work within the dairy industry and for a business that I believe in is rewarding and drives me to be the best version of myself.

Little did I know that over these past three years, I would also be a key part in leading our plans for WDE. It’s crazy how I went from spending 12 hours in a car (bonding, kind of) with family to being a part of the show professionally. Go after what fuels your passion!

meg josh bec wde 2017

Fall in love …

WDE can also be a place to fall in love … with something other than the grilled cheese. It sounds impossible, but just ask Mandy Brazil and Graisson Schmidt. Mandy, a California native, met Graisson originally in passing at a California state show where he was working as a fitter. They exchanged numbers, should they ever cross paths in Wisconsin, Graisson’s home state.

mandy and graisson

 

Read the rest of the article here and learn how the love story ends, and how WDE might just change your life!

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I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 21.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 10/21/17

“Hey, that’s pretty neat.” Visitors of World Dairy Expo

The World Dairy Expo (WDE) is an annual event that draws in a lot of people from around the world to celebrate dairy cows and the dairy industry. During this event, the well known publication Dairy Herd Management awards dairy industry companies with “Innovation Awards.” Technology is evolving in our world, especially in agriculture. You can see the top 10 winners listed out here, and learn from innovative companies like DeLaval, Cargill, McLanahan and others.

“Did you do something different with your hair?” Wisconsin

No, but the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center is getting a new name. Starting in 2018, this non-profit organization will be executing business under the fresh name and logo Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center. The end goal of this? They needed a name that was a “stronger, market-friendly brand that would be easy to say and to remember.” President of the WAEC Board of Directors and owner of Soaring Eagle Dairy Julie Maurer stated,  “We could not be more excited for the day when the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center becomes a household name like other notable Wisconsin destinations like, Lambeau Field, House on the Rock or the Harley-Davidson Museum.” If you’re interested in helping the group continue in revamping their brand, you can donate here to their “Create. Cultivate. Educate.” campaign.  Dream big, Wisconsin!

“Did you see how cute the new milkman is?!” Generation Z, probably

Rumor has it, the milkman is making a comeback. There are several farms across the country that are delivering food and beverage straight to your door, including milk in old school glass bottles. This article lays out several businesses, where they’re located, what they’re selling and where they’re delivering. Maybe there’s a cute milkman (Or woman? Milkwoman? Milkperson?) near you…

Picture of the week

Princess, super hero, cutest dairy farmer ever… this girl can do it all. Miss Raelyn Stambaugh of Maryland is here to tell you, milk is the #1 beverage!

stambaugh

 

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 20.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 10/13/17

“Have you heard about Tom Brady’s diet?” Me, ’cause #GoPats

The Patriots are pretty good at football, but maybe Tommy should rethink dairy in his diet (and maybe Aaron Rodgers should stop trying to be Tom and reintroduce dairy as well). These two quarterbacks avoid dairy because they believe it causes “inflimmation and slows healing and recovery.” A study done at University of Wisconsin (UW) shows that meeehhh, you boys might be wrong. Dairy foods researcher Bradley Bolling dives into the issue, stating “But dairy products, particularly fermented dairy products, have anti-inflammatory properties in humans not suffering from allergies to milk.” You hear that, boys? Grab a yogurt (just don’t call fellow QB Cam Newton for an Oikos fruity greek).

“Mmmm… bettah not.” Raw milk consumers

Milk goes through a process called pasteurization to make sure that it is safe for human consumption, and it’s not recommended by health officials to drink it raw. Despite this, there is still a niche market for it. Pride & Joy Dairy sells it in the state of Washington, but recently had to pull a batch product off shelves because it was tested positive for salmonella. No one has been reported sick, however the Washington State Department of Agriculture released a health alert after the farm refused to stop selling their product. Lesson: milk is pasteurized for a reason. Learn more about the importance of it here.

“Sorry, my budget is a little tight.” FL rebuilding after IRMA

Irma did some damage to FL agriculture – $2.5 billion in damage. This includes business ranging from dairy farms, beef ranches, citrus groves.. you name it. You can read more details in this news release, but I’ve shared a break down by industry ($ damage) below, as seen in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ preliminary report.

• Total Florida agriculture: $2,558,598,303.

• Citrus: $760,816,600

• Beef Cattle: $237,476,562

• Dairy: $11,811,695

• Aquaculture: $36,850,000

• Fruits and Vegetables (excluding citrus): $180,193,096

• Greenhouse, Nursery, and Floriculture: $624,819,895

• Sugar: $382,603,397

• Field crops: $62,747,058

• Forestry: $261,280,000

If you can help out a friend in FL who is struggling to make a come back, do it.

Picture of the week.

Yesterday (10/12) was #NationalFarmersDay, which is a day dedicated to all of the hardworking people that make sure you have breakfast on the go, lunch with friends and dinner on your plate. If you look up the hashtag #NationalFarmersDay on social media, you’ll find pictures and posts of how people celebrated. Thank you, farmers!

bec and josh national farmers day