Three attendees and an exhibitor tell what brings them back to Expo
Seeing Is Believing
Steve Young of Albany, Ky., had heard great things about Expo from his son, Matt, who had made several trips to the show as a chaperone for a Young Farmers tour sponsored by the Kentucky Dairy Development Council. Last year, Young decided he had to see for himself.
"It was amazing how much useful information was in one location," says Young, who manages a herd of 250 registered Holsteins with Matt. "A lot of breeders shared tips on how to produce high-quality show animals. We were also impressed by the sheer size of the trade show. We’re thinking about switching from a herringbone to a parallel parlor. At Expo, we were able to talk to reps from three leading parlor makers. We gathered a lot of ideas and information in a short period of time."
A Working Vacation
Getting away from the day-to-day pressures of managing a 4,000-cow dairy is John and Dorane Vanderlaan’s reason for coming to Expo from their home in Frederick, Okla. Last year’s trip was their third. "We come here to relax," Dorane says. "We think of it as vacation with a purpose."
John is impressed by the technology on display at the trade show. "I learned that one of the companies is going to introduce a new hay mower with a 50' cut," he says. "That’s something we’ll definitely want to take a look at. At Expo, you hear about the very latest developments. You feel like you’re on the cutting edge of what’s going on in the industry."
Dorane likes the dairy cattle shows best. "We have all Holsteins at our dairy, so we go to the Holstein shows. But one of our kids started showing Ayrshires a few years ago, so now we go to those shows too," she says. "This is a great place to learn more about all the breeds from the best dairy cattle breeders in the world."
Still the Best
Last year’s visit to Expo was Larry Hackett’s first in 15 years. "It’s still a fantastic show," he says. "We’re a commercial dairy now, but we used to have registered cattle. It was great to get to several of the breed shows and see all the great cattle."
Hackett, who milks 150 cows in Rice, Minn., also used his time at Expo to visit the exhibits of companies marketing robotic milking systems. "We think it’s probably the way to go for smaller herds," he says. "We’ve spent a fair amount of time going to different farms that have the systems in place and talking to other farmers about them. Here at Expo, we had the chance to talk directly with several company representatives and get more ideas on how we can make a robotic parlor work for us."
World’s Largest Bagger
Ag-Bag’s X1114 Professional Silage Bagger is the largest, highest-capacity bagger in the world. "We’ve had up to three, large self-propelled choppers working in front of this unit and have been able to keep up," reports Taylor Weisensel, national sales manager for Ag-Bag, a Miller-St. Nazianz, Inc. company. ?"You can pack up to three tons per foot in the Genuine Ag-Bag bag."
The machine features a 14' diameter tunnel with an 11' packing rotor and can make bags up to 500' long. The power source is a 580-hp C15 Tier III Caterpillar motor.
Weisensel notes that the machine is entirely self-contained and has a transport width of 9½'. "You can either pintle-hitch it down the road or drive it onto a lowboy trailer for transporting it over longer distances," he says.
Ag-Bag returns to World Dairy Expo this year with a booth located in the Exhibition Hall.