MADISON, Wis. – Each year, World Dairy Expo brings the international dairy community into one parlor.
Teyanna Loether, Wisconsin’s agricultural ambassador as the 68th Alice in Dairyland, talked about the expo’s importance in showcasing Wisconsin – including the state’s prominent role in bovine genetics. The expo, which wrapped up Saturday at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, attracted about 75,000 people from more than 90 countries.
“We are the leader in the export of bovine genetics, so we are very interested in sharing that knowledge and expertise and the science behind dairy nowadays with the rest of the world here [at the expo],” Loether said.
Accelerated Genetics, Westby, Wis., is one of the largest genetics companies in the world, selling semen and embryos in 96 countries, plus the United States, Wisconsin Public Radio reported this spring. The European Union is its biggest customer.
Wisconsin is a top exporter of cattle genetics, the report said. Accelerated Genetics, along with other companies across Wisconsin, accounted for more than half of all U.S. bovine semen exports last year. Those Wisconsin exports had a value of almost $91 million. Wisconsin also sold millions of dollars in embryos overseas last year, according to the radio report. For more of the public radio report, click here.
Loether completed her master’s degree this year in animal sciences – with an emphasis in reproductive physiology – from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“Being here in America’s Dairyland, this is a huge celebration for us to be able to share our passion and our heart and soul with the rest of the world,” Loether said. “It is truly a unique opportunity for all of us to be together in one place for one week to celebrate the dairy industry, which makes roughly a $43.4 billion economic impact on Wisconsin alone.”
Ben Brancel, Wisconsin’s Secretary of Agriculture, talked about the significant role the annual World Dairy Expo plays in facilitating international commerce during his visit to Exhibition Hall on the expo grounds. Ongoing talks with international trading partners are crucial to developing those long-term relationships, he said.
The focus of discussions is not on future trade scenarios, but rather on what is happening today, Brancel said.
“They’re talking equipment. They’re talking genetics,” the ag secretary said. “Yesterday, in visiting with the minister of agriculture for Lithuania, it was genetics that they really wanted to discuss. They wanted to talk about embryos and semen and the ability to get the genetics that we have here in the United States and specifically Wisconsin. So, those are all avenues of marketing in the international community that come about because World Dairy Expo is held here.”