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New faces join 2013 World Dairy Expo staff

PD Editor Karen Lee Published on 29 August 2013

Center of the dairy universe

In April, with less than six months to the big event, World Dairy Expo began welcoming new staff members to its team.



Progressive Dairyman introduced the new general manager, Scott Bentley, in the July 1, 2013, issue.

Bentley leads the 11-member staff, including its three new employees: Ann Marie Magnochi, dairy cattle show manager; Crystal McNett, trade show and project coordinator; and Carrie Jo Leum, project specialist. Read on to learn more about these three individuals.

What are your new responsibilities?


MAGNOCHI: In short, the position of dairy cattle show manager is just as it sounds: managing and overseeing the eight breed shows of World Dairy Expo.


It encompasses a little bit of everything having to do with the cattle side of the show, including but not limited to preparing the premium book and other show-related literature, processing entries, coordinating awards and sponsorships, and contracting judges and sales managers.

I work closely with the dairy cattle superintendents and the Dairy Cattle Exhibitor Committee, as well as helping to support the several youth contests happening during the week.

I will also play a role in transitioning to the proposed new Alliant Energy Center Pavilions. (Read more about


the pavilions in the Sept. 21, 2013 issue of Progressive Dairyman .)

MCNETT: As part of the trade show team, I work to secure commercial exhibitor booth contracts and sponsorships, and the details that go along with hosting more than 850 exhibitors from around the globe.


Customer service is a core part of my job as we work to make sure our commercial exhibitors and attendees have a great experience at World Dairy Expo.


I primarily contract and manage meeting room sales, am the show floor manager for the New Holland Trade Center, assist with the Dinner with the Stars program, national judging contests and sponsor recognition.

I will also be working with the World Forage Analysis Superbowl, Expo’s 50th Anniversary and the International Dairy Short Course.

Please describe your agricultural background.

MAGNOCHI: I am the fourth generation in my family to be involved in the dairy industry.

I grew up on our family’s small pasture-based dairy in western Washington, showing Registered Holsteins and Brown Swiss.

I was raised actively participating in 4-H, FFA, and the Junior Holstein and Brown Swiss Associations.

As an adult, I continued to be extremely active in these organizations, co-leading both a 4-H club and the Washington Junior Holstein Association for seven years, and serving as an adviser for Cedarcrest FFA.

I still own a small herd of Holsteins and Brown Swiss and continued to show up until my relocation to Wisconsin.

MCNETT: I was raised on a dairy and cash crop farm in southwest Wisconsin and have been a part of the family farm for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I participated in showing, judging and dairy bowl through the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association and FFA.

I have a bachelor’s degree in dairy science and agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where I was active in the Badger Dairy Club and the Association of Women in Agriculture. In addition to working for World Dairy Expo, I co-own and operate McNett Grain Farms with my father and brother.

LEUM: I was raised on my parents’ Jersey farm near Viroqua, Wisconsin, and have been very involved with the dairy industry from day one. I am still active on the farm today, too. Growing up, I exhibited at many shows and was very involved with 4-H and FFA.

What previous positions have you held?

MAGNOCHI: I was a small farms and dairy nutrient management planner for the King Conservation District for six years. I worked primarily with dairy producers to ensure they remained compliant with the Washington State Nutrient Management Act.

I also worked with small- farm owners of all species, assisting them to be better stewards of their lands, focusing on mud, manure and pasture management.

During this same time, I served on the planning committees for several county and regional youth dairy shows. I was also the adult chairperson of the Washington State Black & White Show for the past seven years.

MCNETT: I was a sales and marketing communications specialist with Select Sires of Plain City, Ohio, and previously worked as assistant editor of Agri-View.

LEUM: I have held internships with Accelerated Genetics and ABS Global in their semen- processing laboratories. I was also a biological science aide at the USDA Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dr. David R. Mertens’ lab.

Why did you choose to work for World Dairy Expo?

MAGNOCHI: I have always known I wanted to work and remain within the dairy industry, and what more iconic place to do so than World Dairy Expo? With my previous experiences, the position of dairy cattle show manager was a perfect fit.

It is exciting to be part of the World Dairy Expo family and play a role in the greatest dairy show in the world. World Dairy Expo literally is the center of the dairy universe; beginning a new life halfway across the country was a big decision, but words from my father offered some solace: “If you want to be a movie star, you have to move to Hollywood.”

MCNETT: World Dairy Expo is truly a unique and world-class event, and I’m excited to be a member of the team that works year-round to plan it.

The staff is a great group of people to work with who have a strong passion for the event and the dairy industry as a whole. And as part of the trade show team, I get to work with hundreds of people from across the globe, which provides a new challenge every day.

LEUM: Working for World Dairy Expo allows for connections to be made throughout the industry as well as around the world. Being behind the scenes has always interested me.

I wanted to be part of the team that makes the show happen every year. People look forward to it, so it is special being able to give people what they want.

What has been your past experience at World Dairy Expo?

MAGNOCHI: I first attended World Dairy Expo my sophomore year of high school for the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest. I have attended nearly every year since.

I returned in college to compete in the National Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest and later attended as a coach for the Washington State 4-H Dairy Judging Team and an exhibitor.

MCNETT: I’ve been attending World Dairy Expo since I was a young child and have had the chance to participate in many aspects of the show. I’ve participated in the FFA dairy judging contest and youth showmanship competition.

In college, I was a member of the Badger Dairy Club crew that works behind the scenes at the show. As part of the Agri-View staff, I helped create the Expo Daily Edition newspaper. And as a member of Select Sires’ communications team, I’ve attended World Dairy Expo as a commercial exhibitor.

LEUM: From showing, attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison and being involved with the Badger Dairy Club and Association of Women in Agriculture (AWA), I have had a lot of exposure to working with World Dairy Expo.

For two years, I was an assistant in the media room where we proofed and wrote the press releases with results and happenings from the show days.

What are you most looking forward to at your first World Dairy Expo as a staff member?

MAGNOCHI: Simply put, I am excited to be a part of everything. I am enthusiastic to carry on the tradition of excellence that World Dairy Expo represents, to see the payoff from the months of hard work and planning and to be in the belly of the beast during that first week of October.

I have experienced the show as a spectator, competitor and exhibitor, and am very much looking forward to experience it as a member of the staff team.

MCNETT: I’m eager to see the entire staff’s hard work and planning come to life. It is a full-time job for 11 staff members to handle all of the details of this high-caliber show, and being a part of the planning process is exciting.

I’m also looking forward to seeing many friends in the dairy industry that I don’t get a chance to see throughout the year.

LEUM: I am most looking forward to putting faces to names and meeting the people I have been working with these past few months. Also, I can’t wait to see everything I have worked so hard to organize come together and be successful.

As the show draws near, what keeps you up at night?

MAGNOCHI: Honestly, there is not a part of the planning process or specific portion of the show that causes me heartburn. The amount of planning and preparation that goes into this event is impressive.

Even though there are several new staff members, the Expo leadership is exceptional, and those newbies are familiar with Expo in many capacities. I am confident the show will run smoothly and efficiently for both exhibitors and spectators.

MCNETT: As a member of the trade show team, it is part of my job to ensure World Dairy Expo’s success and also to help our commercial exhibitors have a successful show.

It’s a challenge to keep up with all the requests and needs of the 850-plus companies attending the show. I would have to say that my “to-do” list is what’s on my mind.

LEUM: Worrying if I’ve forgotten something. But we have an excellent team working together to make World Dairy Expo great, so I shouldn’t be worrying.

What have you enjoyed most about your position thus far?

MAGNOCHI: I have been extremely impressed with how welcoming staff, committee members and exhibitors have been. Before making the move to Madison, I was greeted with a slew of emails and text messages welcoming me to the team.

Closely related, I have absolutely loved getting to know all the volunteers and exhibitors that come together to make World Dairy Expo what it is. As well, it has been extremely interesting to see how things work on the inside.

MCNETT: The variety of people and companies that we work with makes the job fun each day. Every time the phone rings or an email comes in, it’s something different. There’s a true sense of respect for World Dairy Expo, and it’s very exciting to be a part of the staff that works year-round to put on the show.

LEUM: So far, I have really enjoyed meeting new people. Working with companies and people from all over the world has provided many learning experiences.

I love how so many people in the agricultural industry come together for the same purpose each fall to make Expo great – year after year.

What impact do you hope to have on this world-class event?

MAGNOCHI: I hope to help continue to grow World Dairy Expo into an even more elite event for dairy cattle breeders and exhibitors. Expo is on the cusp of some extremely exciting changes, the proposed new pavilions being one of them, and I hope to help guide our exhibitors through this change as smoothly as possible.

MCNETT: Starting off in my new role, I hope to help our commercial exhibitors have a great show with the opportunity to do business. As I gain more experience on staff, I’m hoping to be able to bring new ideas to the table to enhance the show to keep it as the premier global dairy event.

LEUM: I hope to continue the tradition of making people want to come back again! PD


Karen Lee
Progressive Dairyman