Purebred farms from nearly every state and Canada bring livestock to compete in one of ten expo divisions: dairy cattle, dairy goats, meat goats, beef cattle, quarter horses, draft horses, mules and donkeys, sheep, swine, and llamas and alpacas. More than 200,000 American and foreign visitors attend the hundreds of individual breed shows, sales and events. In addition to the recognition and prize money that comes with winning at the NAILE, the value of the champion breeding stock is significantly enhanced.
Breed association events are not the only NAILE feature. The expo is also home to numerous youth events that are an important part of the livestock industry’s traditions, including: Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup; Youth, Junior College and Senior Collegiate Dairy Judging Contest; Dairy Quiz Bowl; National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest; National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest; Junior College Livestock Judging Contest; and National 4-H Poultry & Egg Conference.
Additionally, youth exhibitors enter market animals, those targeted for meat production, in the Junior Steer Show, Junior Market Swine Show or Junior Wether Show. These youth shows are sponsored by Farm Credit Services of Mid-America and are nationally recognized for both the quality of competition and prestige of winning. Champions from these shows are sold at the “Sale of Champions” on November 18 at 6 p.m.
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Great Lakes Circuit Rodeo Finals takes place November 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets for the invitational finals rodeo are $20 on Thursday, $30 on Friday and $32 for Saturday’s performance. Children under 12 get in for $10 on Friday and Saturday with paid adult. Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.
From the 200,000 square foot giant country store and food court, to the entertaining PRCA Rodeo, NAILE visitors find lots to do and see in addition to attending the livestock competitions.
The NAILE is produced by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Kentucky State Fair Board. It is held at the Commonwealth’s giant Kentucky Exposition Center, which features over 1,200,000 square feet of climate-controlled exhibition space.