During the early years, the facilities were modest and the event attracted mainly Holstein dairy farmers and young people wishing to test their cattle leading skills. The Tatura showground was chosen as the site, as it is situated within Australia’s most densely concentrated dairy region. Held in January during one of Australia’s hottest months of year, the show was displayed in the open air with the only protection for exhibitors and onlookers being the shade of a large gum tree.
At this point, no one could have predicted the success that IDW would achieve.
Hard work and vision has built an annual event that is today undisputably the largest international dairy cattle sale and show in the southern hemisphere. IDW is increasing recognised internationally as being amongst the best shows in the world.
As interest grew other dairy breeds were invited into the show ring and offered for sale. The Jerseys and Brown Swiss were introduced in 1997 and the following year the Ayrshire and Guernsey. In 1999 the Illawarra joined the show, representing all main dairy breeds in Australia.
In 1997 the facilities at the Tatura showground saw a marked improvement and IDW was moved undercover with the introduction of a large hoecker that was 25m wide and stretched the entire width of the football ground.
The next few years saw many changes and developments that increased the reputation and stature of IDW. In 1998 the City of Greater Shepparton took an active role in supporting and promoting IDW and made a bid to the State Government for a $2.6 million grant to build new facilities at the Tatura showground. The grant was successfully secured and was announced in 1999 by the Hon. Premier of Victoria, Mr. Jeff Kennett at the opening of IDW. The first stage of the new facilities was completed for IDW 2000 and included a large hosting arena 80 meters long and 40 meters wide and improved cattle wash and housing facilities.
2001 marked the 10th anniversary of IDW and included the opening of the final stage of the facilities by the Hon. Mr. John Brumby, Minister for State and Regional Development. This included a new conference complex for functions and meetings and shower and change facilities for exhibitors.
IDW Today and Into The Future
International Dairy Week has become Australia’s premier dairy event. Over five days 1000+ head of first class Australian dairy cattle and 180 dairy breeders compete for prestigious awards. The value of winning a ribbon at IDW is immense and rewards exhibitors for their hard work and perseverance during the year. 100+ dairy companies and businesses make up a large dairy focused trade exhibition displaying the latest in products and technologies. A series of seminars allow industry professionals to provide up-to-date information on the Australian and global dairy industry. Progeny tours are held on-site at IDW and also to local dairy farms in the region.
IDW is a great social occasion – a great place to catch up and a great place to do business. It provides visitors and exhibitors with the opportunity to take a break from farming, catch up with friends and colleagues, make business deals and learn the latest industry developments.
The week attracts over 4,000 exhibitors and visitors from all Australian states and from an increasing number of established and dairy countries such as USA, Canada, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.
IDW aims to become the premier dairy event in Australia and mirroring the prestigious World Dairy Expo in Madison within the Southern Hemisphere, but doing so in such a way that retains the wonderful uniqueness of the Australian event.
IDW’s objectives are:
- To provide a safe and secure event for all patrons, visitors and people attending IDW.
- To become the premier expo event on the Australian dairy calendar.
- To promote the Australian dairy industry as a whole to the national and international arena.
- To continually provide new and innovative ideas for dairy farmers to enhance the quality of their enterprises.
- To acknowledge and reward excellence within the Australian dairy industry.
Credit for the success of IDW is shared amongst a number of volunteers and sponsors. Hundreds of volunteers throughout the community have devoted their time through the cricket, football and netball clubs and also the local service club to provide services such as catering to visitors and exhibitors.
IDW is self-funded through the support of a number of sponsors that display their latest innovations and services to the Australian dairy industry. Naming right sponsors are Semex, Lely, Nutrien Ag Solutions and The City of Greater Shepparton whilst ABS Australia and Ridley are jointly the proud sponsors of the National All Breeds Youth Show.