May 19, 2022


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World Dairy Expo names Laura Herschleb new general manager | Business News

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World Dairy Expo has found its new leader and she is from within.

The organization, which draws thousands of visitors to Madison from around the world each fall, said Thursday it has named Laura Herschleb, of DeForest, as its next general manager.


Herschleb, who has been marketing manager for World Dairy Expo since 2018, begins her new duties Feb. 28. She will replace Scott Bentley, who has been general manager since 2013 and plans to retire.

Herschleb’s charge will be to provide leadership, vision and strategic oversight to the organization and lead a team to produce the world’s largest dairy event, said Bill Hageman, president of the World Dairy Expo board of directors.

“Laura has the experience and perspective to truly know the challenges that are in front of us, and the commitment and vision to lead us into the future,” Hageman said. “Even more importantly, Laura has the passion to engage the World Dairy Expo family to seek continuous improvements and capitalize on opportunities.”

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World Dairy Expo

The cows returned in late September 2021 to World Dairy Expo after the week-long event was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. From left, Dr. Shelby Molina and Dr. Ellen Hooker, both with the state Department of Trade and Consumer Protection’s Animal Health, check in a Jersey cow for Allen Berry of Sherwood, Ore.

Herschleb, according to her LinkedIn profile, is a 2001 graduate of UW-Madison where she studied dairy science, agricultural journalism and business. Her professional career began as a director of agricultural programs for the Fond du Lac Area Chamber of Commerce before joining Alltech as a marketing manager from 2006 to 2008. The former member of the Badger Dairy Club spent five years as World Dairy Expo’s Dairy Cattle Show manager in the late 2000s before working in marketing and public relation positions with Badgerland Financial in Prairie du Sac and Compeer Financial in Sun Prairie.

World Dairy Expo

Rachel Evans washes Ayrshire cows in September from Sunny Acres Farm in Georgetown, New York. World Dairy Expo annually draws about 2,000 cows from North America that are exhibited in shows throughout the week.

Since rejoining World Dairy Expo in 2018, Herschleb has assisted with projects related to education initiatives, attendee services and the trade show.

“It is an immense honor to be selected as general manager for the meeting place of the global dairy industry,” Herschleb said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the staff, the Board of Directors, committees, exhibitors and stakeholders to host the event this year and for years to come.”

World Dairy Expo

Laura Elliott shows a Holstein heifer at World Dairy Expo in 2019.

Founded in 1967, the World Dairy Expo is the largest convention in Dane County and typically has a $25 million annual economic impact on the region and is a boon to hotels, bars, restaurants and retail shops. The event usually draws more than 60,000 people, 2,000 cows and 650 vendors, and uses about 500,000 square feet of exhibitor space at the Alliant Energy Center. The 2021 event saw a lower attendance than 2019 due to the pandemic and travel restrictions after the 2020 expo was canceled. This year’s expo is scheduled for Oct. 2-7.

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