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World Dairy Expo 2019: Featured World Dairy Expo volunteer: Richard Stampfl

Progressive Dairy Editorial Intern Courtney Moser Published on 30 September 2019

From show ring display setup to commercial exhibitor move in, working at World Dairy Expo’s official gift shop to parking cars, assisting ringside and beyond, Richard Stampfl has filled a variety of roles.

Richard and his wife, Ruth

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The longtime volunteer at World Dairy Expo got his start assisting with the annual event when his wife, Ruth, became employed by WDE. Though Ruth has now retired, Richard continues to be involved, primarily with the commercial exhibitions.

Richard Stampfl expresses his thanks for the experiences and connections the show has brought him. He shares more about his WDE involvement with Progressive Dairy.

How long have you volunteered at World Dairy Expo? How did you get your start?

STAMPFL: I volunteered about 30 years ago because my wife, Ruth, became employed by them. At the time, they needed volunteers, and I think I was volunteered to help.

What roles have you filled during your time helping with the show?

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STAMPFL: I started out putting in commercial exhibitors and helping them into their booths. I worked in the show ring and helped with that for quite a few years. While the crafters were there, I also worked with them. The Purple Cow Gift Shop is another thing I have helped with in the past. I even helped with parking cars and everything like that alongside of the Dane County Sheriff’s Office. Then, WDE got a tram, and I worked on that for a couple of years. I think that about covers it. I’ve finished up the past few years just putting in commercial exhibitors prior to the show.

During your time as a volunteer, what have a few of the highlights been for you?

STAMPFL: My favorite part of it – I think probably working on the show ring. We had a couple of really good displays. I was really glad to be part of that. We had a water wheel one year with a covered bridge. That was one of my favorites because we had actual water running through the wheel, so I thought that was probably the premier show ring we ever did. There was one called “Harvest Moon,” and that was a fall scene with wagons and pumpkins and all kinds of different things around. We helped build that, and my whole family had a photo taken in there one night in that particular display. I really enjoyed that one. Those are two that really stick out in my mind.

How do you think the show has changed over the years you have been involved?

STAMPFL: For me, it changed a lot about two years ago when my wife retired from World Dairy Expo. I do know that when she first started, they only had her and two other employees. That’s one of the reasons they needed so much volunteer help. Then, as the show started growing and getting bigger and bigger, they started adding employees. I think the changes have a lot to do with the way the show is being run today.

They have a very good manager in Scott Bentley. Of course, there have been a lot of people who have come and gone on the staff over those years. Some were excellent employees that did a lot but, for one reason or another, they moved on to other opportunities. The team continues to change and grow. The 50th World Dairy Expo celebration in 2016 was also a big program and a big deal.

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What inspires you to continue volunteering for WDE?

STAMPFL: It’s mainly because my wife was there. It wasn’t just a five-day show. There’s four or five days of full set-up ahead of time, so I would take a week off from my job and go in to help them out. Then, after the show, there was another day to clean up, move out and put things away. I guess I felt a lot of satisfaction in helping out at World Dairy Expo. I’ve never been sorry I helped out with it, that’s for sure.

Overall, I have met a tremendous amount of people – and really good people – that I was glad to get to know. That was one of the main benefits for me. I’ve really enjoyed being part of World Dairy Expo over the years.  end mark

PHOTO: Richard and his wife, Ruth, have been integral in the behind-the-sceens work of World Dairy Expo. They are pictured here at a celebration for Ruth’s 25th work anniversary. Photo courtesy of World Dairy Expo.

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