There are some things you don’t forget. Most people could rattle off the day their kids were born, the day they got married – you know the usual. Though for most livestock exhibitors, many might be able to recall a relation with the NAILE and those beautiful green shavings a day they will never forget. Perhaps it was your first time showing there, the sound of the organ, walking down the walkaway into Freedom Hall. There is something about the nostalgic event that runs deep in the veins of livestock exhibitors.
So it is no surprise that when news articles and rumors started spreading on Facebook about the future of the North American International Livestock Expo that many people – well for lack of a better term – got their panties in a wad. I felt that since we are a livestock business based in Kentucky that we help shed some light on the subject. DP Sales Management, of course, hosts a prestigious Simmental sale at the NAILE each November, and that is where we want the home of the NAILE Select Sale to remain. (DP Sales is now accepting consignments to the NAILE Select Sale.)
Yes, there have been quite a few shake ups going on up in Louisville. The NAILE is not the only event that is feeling this. The Kentucky Beef Expo’s 2016 date will be earlier due to a helicopter convention that was placed on top of the long standing Expo date. Since the helicopter convention is a closed event, meaning no other events or spectators on the grounds – well let’s say the expo got booted. The National FFA Convention will not return to Louisville after 2016 due to the lack of hotel accommodations in the Louisville area. And like you have read the NAILE has lost a few of its very dedicated and knowledgeable staff members including Corinne Fetter and Harold Workman. Jack Ragsdale, chairman of the NAILE committee was let go then asked to come back as a honorary chairman. Nice gesture from the Governor, but will they allow him to have a say; I guess we will find out.
Considering the Expo, NAILE, and the FFA Convention, it would seem that the trouble surrounds Agriculture events. I, personally couldn’t tell you. I know that Mr. Rippatoe’s (Chair of the Fair Board and NAILE manager) doesn’t have an Agriculture background. That doesn’t mean he does not support them. Events such as the NAILE and the National FFA Convention, bring great commerce to the city of Louisville and the Expo Center. I mean have you seen the price of a cheeseburger? I would hope that he sees how Agriculture events in Kentucky are supported both locally and nationally by the Agriculture and livestock industries.
In a recent Farm World article, numerous Kentucky Agriculture officials such as the head of Farm Bureau, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and others try to reiterate the importance of the NAILE to the state of Kentucky. I guess that is there way of trying to restore the faith of concerned livestock exhibitors.
Good thing livestock exhibitors don’t lose their faith too easily. We all love the NAILE and find it to be the Super Bowl of all livestock shows. So what do we need to do? Come. Exhibit. Buy the expensive bedding (much love to Rick at Feeders Supply), and most importantly work hard to take home those coveted purple and gold felt banners. These business people with their fancy suits can try to get us down, but the livestock community will continue to support an event that they have loved and will continue to love for many years. We just need to continue to show the Fair Board, the NAILE committee, and the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center that the NAILE in Louisville is an event we will continue to support. Let’s make this the largest number of entries the NAILE has ever seen!
Unless you take away the green shavings – and then all beats are off!
See you in Louisville!