World Dairy Expo Board Welcomes New Directors - Cowsmo

World Dairy Expo Board Welcomes New Directors

World Dairy Expo’s Board of Directors approved three new members at their annual meeting, held March 5 at the Alliant Energy Center. The board is composed of a variety of dairy business professionals from the United States and Canada. Established in 1970 as World Dairy Expo, Inc. (WDE), the board serves in an advisory role to the management. Three new members will join the board of directors. The new directors include: Olivier Hiers, Larry Purdom and Steve Blessing.

Olivier Hiers, representing BouMatic, is the Global Marketing Director of that company. He had previously headed the European Marketing Division of BouMatic. Olivier has extensive marketing experience with RFID and medical device development. Additionally, he has hands-on experience as a milker in an Australia dairy. Olivier, Marissabel and their son, Kenneth recently relocated to Madison, Wisconsin.

Larry Purdom, representing Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), serves on DFA’s Board of Directors and as chairman of DFA’s Dairy Educational Political Action Committee.  Active in the industry, he is chairman of both the Missouri Dairy Association and Congressional Agriculture Advisory Committee and serves on the Midwest Dairy Association and the county Farm Bureau boards. He previously served on the National Dairy Board.  Larry received the Missouri Dairy Hall of Honors Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award in 2011. Larry, along with his wife and daughter, milk 140 cows, grow corn silage and hay, and raise a small herd of beef cows on 700 acres in Purdy, Missouri.

Steve Blessing, representing the Purebred Breeders of World Dairy Expo, owns Blessing Farms along with his brother, Stan.  They have developed a globally recognized Brown Swiss herd, breeding and showing over 40 All-American Brown Swiss animals and numerous leading A.I. sires. Steve and his family have exhibited cattle at World Dairy Expo for over forty years including winning Grand Champion twice and Reserve Supreme Champion at World Dairy Expo. Over the years, Steve has served as president of the Indiana Brown Swiss Association, a member of Indiana Farm Bureau and deacon of his local church. Steve has also judged at state and national dairy cattle shows. Steve and his wife reside in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

The current WDE Executive Committee includes Mike Holschbach, President; Debbie Crave, 1st Vice President; Steve Larson, 2nd Vice President; Al Deming, Secretary/Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair; Bob Kaiser, Interim General Manager; Jim Crowley, Jr., Dairy Cattle Show Superintendent; Dean Hermsdorf, Commercial Exhibitor Committee Chair; Tom Morris, Dairy Cattle Exhibitor Committee Chair; Jeff Lyon, WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP); Bill Barlass, Purebred Breeders of World Dairy Expo and Bill Hageman, Jr., At-Large Director.

World Dairy Expo is recognized as the largest dairy-focused event targeting dairy producers from around the globe. Elite dairy cattle shows, Expo Seminars, Virtual Farm Tours, youth competitions, contests and over 850 exhibiting dairy companies from around the world offer producers an abundance of dairy management tips, research sharing and the newest in products and technologies. The 2013 World Dairy Expo theme is “Center of the Dairy Universe” and will be held October 1 through October 5 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Visit for the latest schedule details or follow us on Facebook at

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