Appleton hosts national dairy convention

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - America's Dairyland is on display as Appleton hosts The National Holstein Convention this week. Representatives from 38 states and a dozen foreign countries are gathering to celebrate cows.

Dairy cows are on display at the National Holstein Conference in Appleton (WBAY photo)

Fifty milking cows aren't something you usually see in downtown Appleton, but the ladies, and holsteins in general, are center of attention this week.

"We've met a lot of nice people. The cattle look great here for sale and it's really good," says Robert Landis from Lancaster, PA.

The National Holstein Convention, with its local theme of "Making Legendairy Leaps" brings industry professionals, dairy producers and the future of the industry together in one place.

"To really compete and exchange ideas and learn from one another and grow from one another, to really leave feeling more empowered to take on the challenges that dairy farmers are facing right now and overcome them together," says Kristin Olson, a convention committee member.

One of the highlights of the week is the importance genetics plays in the dairy industry. For example, about 50 Holsteins which went up for sale at the convention look good from the outside, it's what's on the inside is that really counts.

According to Jerome Meyer from CentralStar Cooperative, "We can see so much more about a cow's potential and about an actual whole herd's potential based on her DNA instead of what we can just visually see, and so we can definitely make a lot more progress and just advance our breed and the Holstein industry forward quicker."

While the national convention is focusing on the future of the animals, the next generation of industry leaders are important, too.

"There are so many opportunities off the farm. You can be in marketing, you can be an AI specialist. There are so many opportunities off the farm that provides everybody something that they would love and enjoy," adds Kalista Hodoroof, a junior delegate.

Because even as dairy farming is a Wisconsin tradition, it is changing rapidly.

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