|By TIM THORNBERRY
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The world’s largest all-breed, purebred livestock competition and expo will make its way to the Kentucky Exposition Center Nov. 4-17.
The 33rd annual North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) will bring more than 20,000 head of top quality livestock together with an estimated 200,000 visitors to the area creating an estimated $11.6 million economic impact.
Purebred livestock from nearly every state will compete for top breed association honors and national recognition in nine divisions for nearly $650,000 in premiums and awards.
There will be livestock competitions for beef, sheep, dairy cattle, dairy goats, llamas and alpacas, quarter horses, draft horses, market swine and Boer goats in 140 shows. Seven major youth judging contests are also scheduled.
The North American Championship Rodeo, North American Quarter Horse Show and the U.S. Disc Dog National and International Finals will run during the NAILE, as well.
The championship rodeo is the invitational Great Lakes Circuit Finals for the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA). The total purse of $80,000 ranks among the top 10 percent of all PRCA rodeo prize money and is the second largest purse for a circuit finals.
The North American Quarter Horse Show is consistently ranked as a top five AQHA show and attracts more than 5,200 entries in competitions including: cutting, reining, halter, showmanship, hunter under saddle, pole bending, barrel racing, western pleasure, calf and steer roping and team roping.
The NAILE will again feature the Giant Country Store with nearly 150 commercial vendors selling everything from jewelry and food to western clothing and farm supplies.
The annual Farm/City Luncheon will be Nov. 10 at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon, produced by Louisville’s Agribusiness Industry Network, features the presentation of the Agribusiness of the Year award and the fun-filled Wing Tip Rodeo, a light-hearted roping competition between metropolitan business leaders and their agribusiness colleagues.
One of the expo’s most rewarding events is the North American Sale of Champions which is scheduled for Thursday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kentucky Exposition Center’s East Hall.
The Sale of Champions will feature NAILE’s Grand and Reserve Champion market lambs, steers and hogs on the auction block. Last year’s auction sales totaled $94,500, which broke the previous year’s sales price for all six animals and equaled a 14 percent increase over 2004’s total of $82,500.
Not only do the sellers benefit from their high-priced livestock but buyers generously donate the meat from their purchases to Kentucky Harvest, a Louisville-based outreach organization that helps feed the hungry in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. An additional 10 percent deduction is also donated to Kentucky Harvest for use in the Blessings in a Backpack program to feed area school children.
NAILE is produced by the Commonwealth of Kentucky under the direction of the Kentucky State Fair Board and in cooperation with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 12 and under. Parking is $5. A pass for all 14 days of the NAILE is $20, and a parking pass for the entire event is $25.
For more information about the NAILE, go to www.livestockexpo.org