City Center to Host Holstein Convention
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Please forgive me, but I want to milk this for all it’s worth.
The Saratoga Springs City Center will join such luminary cities such as Calgary, Alberta and Fort Worth, Texas as it transforms Saratoga Springs into a version of “Cowtown,” when it will be the site of the annual National Holstein Convention from June 27 to July 1. The Co-chairs of the event are Jeff and Becky King from King Brothers Dairy and Kings-Ransom Farm, located in Bacon Hill just outside of Saratoga Springs.
“We’re excited at the buzz this is already generating,” said Becky King, who had just attended statewide convention in Utica. “We can wait to show off our hometown area at our industry’s National Convention!”
The theme of this year’s convention is “New York Charm – City to Farm” and the estimated 800 -1,200 attendees, according to City Center President Mark Baker, will get a taste of some of the great attractions the Saratoga region has to offer – including the Saratoga Battlefield and The National Museum of Racing; fun stops like the Saratoga Strike Zone and Great Escape, in addition to Holstein breeder farm tours such as Kings-Ransom.
The convention attendees are potential buyers for the approximately 80 head of Holstein cattle that will be auctioned. “These are the most prized breed in the dairy industry,” Baker said. “The highest quality stock is here in the Northeast, and we anticipate interested parties coming in from all 50 states, as well as from Europe, South America and Asia.”
In explaining how this particular convention deal came about, Mark Baker cited several factors. “Our staff, in conjunction with the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau, are always on the lookout for new events. In this case, Jeff King was a key person – he and Kings-Ransom stepped up about six years ago; due to our recent expansion he said he believed that we were now big enough to host an event of this magnitude, and lobbied hard to get Saratoga on the schedule, which is planned years in advance.” He said. Baker also cited the emphasis that Saratoga County places on its agricultural industry as a factor in the decision to locate the convention here.
The economic impact on the local area, which Baker estimates could run upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars during the conventioneer’s stay, should udder-ly delight local hoteliers and merchants. Sorry.
But the convention attendees will also be here for serious business, and will spend from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars themselves on the prized dairy cattle. “Holsteins are the go-to breed in the dairy industry,” Baker said. While many of the events surrounding the convention are for attendees, Baker noted that there are several portions that the local residents could participate and enjoy.
The day before the convention, on Sunday June 26, the public will be able to view the prized Holsteins as they arrive, are groomed and loaded into the City Center facility. This will take place in the Maple Avenue parking lot – across from the City Center loading dock. During the conference, in the hotel pavilion area, organizations including the local 4-H and area dairy farms will have an exposition booth.
Then there is the live auction and sale itself, scheduled to be Thursday afternoon, June 30. The public can attend this, but much like Fasig-Tipton, you are advised to keep your hands in your pockets, lest you end up an unexpected houseguest.
But at least, it will bring the milk. I herd that!
For more information about the 2016 Convention nyholsteins.com/2016convention/index.html