Nick Novak Speaks with the Wisconsin State Journal about Local COVID-19 Event Regulations

MADISON – Officials with the World Dairy Expo, the largest convention and exposition in Dane County, are exploring venue options outside the Madison area for this year’s event, due to local COVID-19 restrictions. Currently, Dane County, which has been home to the event for more than 50 years, remains the planned host for the expo. But event officials have been looking into alternative locations for the 2021 show, which is scheduled to run from Sept. 28 through Oct. 2.

“Our leadership believes that it’s important for us to bring the global dairy industry together in some form and fashion in 2021,” said Scott Bentley, the expo’s general manager. “That is the desire that has prompted us to consider alternative venues.”

One of the Madison area’s signature events, the World Dairy Expo was founded in 1967 and has grown into one of the premier agriculture events in the world. The expo includes shows, exhibitors, seminars and food events.

Nick Novak, spokesperson for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, said, given the uncertainty surrounding local governmental regulations, event organizers are forced to look to other areas in the state “that they are confident will allow these types of gatherings while still ensuring the safety of those in attendance.”

“Agriculture and the dairy industry are significant drivers of Wisconsin’s economy, and the World Dairy Expo puts our state on the global stage,” Novak said. “We can certainly understand the challenges their team is going through, but we have confidence that there are a number of excellent locations in the Dairy State that would be happy to host them this fall.”

Also on Wednesday, WMC, the state’s largest business lobbying group, announced plans to relocate the organization’s Business Day event, originally scheduled to be held in Madison, to Pewaukee. The event had been scheduled for Wednesday but was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions and will now be held Oct. 14, according to a letter to members.

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