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Lawmakers fear World Dairy Expo may leave Madison because of local COVID restrictions

Posted at 1:10 p.m. on March 10, 2021

The Brillion News

MADISON - The World Dairy Expo, which is held in Madison, may be planning to leave Wisconsin due to COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Madison and Dane County.

The 54th annual World Dairy Expo is currently scheduled for September 28 through October 2 at the Alliant Energy Center.

"If events like the World Dairy Expo leave our state, we will be hard to ever see such an event like this in Wisconsin again - imagine the $30 million economic impact gone forever," state Senator Dan Feyen, R-Fond du Lac, said. "I'm afraid if we continue to put hurdles in the way of progress on the COVID front, we will continue to see businesses close or love to locations that say their state is 'Open for Business.'"

"Expo is still planning its 54th show in Madison this fall, but is also exploring alternative locations as a contingency plan," said Katie Schmidt, communications manager for World Dairy Expo. "We are not [at] liberty to discuss which venues are being considered or the geographic range."

The Brillion News asked her specifically if the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon was under consideration as a backup venue for the expo.

State Representative Travis Tranel, R-Cuba City, said the state can't afford the event, which he said draws up to 70,000 each year.

"It is very troubling to hear that the World Dairy Expo is considering leaving Wisconsin due to the lack of clarity and excessive pandemic restrictions imposed by the City of Madison and Dane County," Tranel said. He is an active dairy farmer.

He called on Governor Tony Evers to do everything in his power to make sure the World Dairy Expo stays in Wisconsin.

Dane County is offering to host the World Dairy Expo for 10 years - with the 2021 and 2022 events being free to the expo.

The World Dairy Expo has not announced any firm commitments yet.


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