Wisconsin’s lone dairy farmer-lawmaker says Gov. Tony Evers must step-in and save the world’s largest dairy show before it leaves Wisconsin.
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The Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. Shutterstock photo

Rep. Travis Tranel, R-Cuba City, on Thursday hand delivered a letter to Gov. Evers’ office pleading with him to keep the World Dairy Expo in Madison.

“Letting the World Dairy Expo leave Wisconsin would be devastating to the future of our state’s dairy industry,” Tranel wrote. “The Expo serves as a place for dairy producers, companies, organizations, and other dairy enthusiasts to gather to compete, and to exchange ideas, knowledge, technology, and commerce.”

The World Dairy expo draws nearly 70,000 people from more than 100 countries to Madison each year. The Expo has called Madison home for almost 50 years.

Last year’s Expo was canceled because of the coronavirus, and this year’s Expo is in danger.

Organizers this week said they are looking at other host cities. Madison’s coronavirus rules limit crowds, and would make hosting tens of thousands of people impossible.

Tranel said losing the World Dairy Expo would be an embarrassment to Wisconsin.

“We pride ourselves on being the dairy state. We put it on our license plates, for crying out loud. We are America’s dairyland,” Tranel said in an interview Thursday.

Tranel is a longtime dairy farmer in Grant County.

Tranel said if the Expo leaves Madison, there is a good chance it will never come back. And he said losing a yearly crowd of 70,000 is not the economic hit that Madison needs after essentially a year under pandemic lockdown orders.

“Now more than ever, the hospitality, retail, and restaurant sectors need the Expo so they can bounce back from the devastating economic hardship this pandemic and restrictions have caused their businesses,” Tranel wrote in his letter to the governor.

The World Dairy Expo is scheduled between September 28 and October 1. No one is saying when a final decision on where the show will be located will be made.

Last month, 14 of our dairy farms in Maine, as well as dozens of dairy farms across northern New England, got an unexpected and disappointing notice from Danone of North America saying that they were discontinuing their contracts with our organic dairy farmers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and elsewhere.

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  1. It would be a significant loss for the Expo to leave Madison for even a year, but did Rep. Travis Tranel support Governor Evers common sense measures to fight COVID and limit it’s spread or did he join his GOP collogues in opposing them and helping to spread the virus as much as possible? Is he now willing to work with Expo to implement steps needed to safely hold Expo? Seems he and the GOP should have thought of these possible impacts when they were doing nothing to stop the spread.

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