As we commemorate World Dairy Expo’s 50th anniversary, it’s a time to honor the past and celebrate its future.
When Expo started in 1967, cows averaged just 8,800 lb. of milk per year. We needed no less than 13,500 million of them to produce 120 billion pounds of milk annually. Today, fewer than 10 million cows average 22,000 lb. of milk per year and will produce 210 billion pounds annually. By any measure, that’s astounding progress.
In 1967, the industry was just recovering from recession-level prices and the tumult of milk dumping protests that resulted. Unbeknownst to Expo’s founders, the industry was on the verge of the prosperous 1970s.
Nearly universal adoption of frozen semen, far more accurate sire summaries, better understanding of dairy cow nutrition and rapidly evolving technology would all propel the industry forward.
In no small part, World Dairy Expo was among the leaders in this information transfer from universities and commercial companies to the farm where it would perform its magic. In a very real way, 2016 is not unlike the 1960s. Once again, the industry is facing uncertainty and tumult. Now competing globally, dairy’s future is again far from certain.
But just like in the 1960s, the dairy industry is poised to make another great leap forward. Genetics and genomics, nutrition, technology, digital information sharing and professionalized herd management suggest 30,000 lb. herd averages, now the exception, can become the new normal.
World Dairy Expo is where this future starts anew. Come join us there as we celebrate World Dairy Expo’s next 50 years.
Source – Dairy Today