Dairy producers and allied industry supporters gathered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for the Central Plains Dairy Expo March 25-27.
The three-day event, located in the heart of the I-29 corridor, serves nearby dairy producers from the Dakotas, Iowa and Minnesota.
The expo kicked off with a country music concert, followed by a full agenda of seminars, an extensive dairy trade show and plenty of opportunities for networking.
This marked the fourth year that dairy farmers invited the public to the expo’s annual “Be Our Guest Reception,” bridging the gap between producer, consumer and those in need.
For a $10 donation to Feeding South Dakota, attendees received a pass to the “Roots and Boots” concert tour, featuring country music performers Joe Diffie, Aaron Tippin and Sammy Kershaw.
As a result, a donation of $13,000 earmarked for dairy product purchases was presented to the hunger relief organization on behalf of dairy farm families. Thanks to this effort, nutritious dairy options will be distributed to food banks across South Dakota.
Among other expo highlights, Katelyn Grehl was crowned the 59th South Dakota Dairy Princess. The 19-year-old daughter of Frank and Julie Grehl grew up on her family’s 100-cow dairy farm near Hitchcock.
The South Dakota Dairy Producers (SDDP) recognized Heidi Selken as the 2014 Friend of the Dairy Industry. Selken is the herd manager at Boadwine Farms Inc., Baltic, South Dakota, where she takes an active role in educating the public on dairy production through tours and social media channels. PD
BEYOND PRINT: Click here to view a related video, featuring South Dakota dairy farmer Mike Frey.
PHOTO ONE: A check for $13,000 was presented to Feeding South Dakota by South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch and newly crowned South Dakota Dairy Princess Katelyn Grehl. These funds support the purchase of dairy products, which will be distributed at food banks around the state.
PHOTO TWO: The bigger, the better. Companies rolled out their larger-than-life displays, including this cow-spotted monster truck from Vi-COR.
PHOTO THREE: Herd manager Heidi Selken was recognized for her dairy promotion and education efforts with the South Dakota Dairy Producers’ Friend of the Dairy Industry Award.
PHOTO FOUR: Country music greats Joe Diffie, Sammy Kershaw and Aaron Tippin took the stage to kick off the Central Plains Dairy Expo on Tuesday evening, March 25. The “Be Our Guest” reception and concert were open to the public with a $10 donation to Feeding South Dakota. A total of 2,800 people were in attendance, half of which were dairy farm families.
PHOTO FIVE: More than 200 dairy suppliers, manufacturers and dealers filled the halls of the Sioux Falls Convention Center for the expo. Photos by Peggy Coffeen.