Thoughts on the 2024 Cheese Expo

By Tanner Dixon, Project Manager

As WDS Construction has increasingly become involved with the dairy and cheese industry, the company has attended and participated in a variety of industry conferences and trade shows. The most recent of these was the Cheese Expo | Global Technology for Dairy Processors, which was held in April 2024 at the Baird Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, this event pulls together thousands of leaders in the dairy industry – from plant managers to marketers to CEOS – and the companies that serve them. The event is billed as the world’s largest cheese and whey processing expo.

Some observations from our time spent at the event:

  • Technology and automation continue to disrupt the industry and provide new approaches to production, with a number of newer automated production equipment options on our radar for future projects. The expo provides value in a lot of different ways, but gaining insight into newer technologies to share with clients and project partners is certainly at the top of the list.


  • One of the keys to success when working in a cheese processing, dairy, or food processing environment is having the right people involved. Although we have our “go-to” project partners, we were able to make new connections with several subcontractors with great resumes in cheese, cold storage, and food processing facilities. This will only help our clients as we continue to look to bring high levels of value. With new connections in flooring, mechanical, plumbing, and fire sprinkler construction and installation, we are further able to match project partners with the projects at hand. For instance, highly specialized firms licensed to construct Quell sprinkler systems in cold storage facilities constructed in Wisconsin – there aren’t many of them, but they are an important part of our partner network!


  • WDS is always on the lookout for newer specialty products to enhance the experience for our clients, and we have some new sourcing options for products like specialty enclosures for equipment in wash-down environments, specialty panels and dairy boards, and specialty flooring to utilize for unique circumstances where we are called in to provide maintenance or service. Although we might not use these items on a regular basis, they are great tools for when we do get asked to solve some of those difficult challenges that other contractors shy away from. These options allow WDS to continue to provide out-of-the-box type thinking.


  • Of course, any expo like this needs quality client time, and we were able to spend time with a number of great clients in the industry, discussing their current and future needs, challenges, and collaborative opportunities. Meeting new contacts and learning about their operations as we share a bit about WDS Construction was also valuable. The cheese industry is really a tight-knit community, where new acquaintances may quickly become partners and friends.


Altogether, it was another great experience at the Cheese Expo that allows WDS Construction to stay on the forefront of the industry and expand both our knowledge base and connections. Oh, and did I mention that there were some really great cheeses to sample along the way?

If you are looking to upgrade, renovate, expand, or construct a new cheese facility, we’d love to chat! Reach out to me, Tanner Dixon at or Tom White at