Author: Kristy

This week begins the North American International Livestock Exposition, one of the classiest and best livestock shows in the world. Held in Louisville, Kentucky, this show is elegant, professional, and attracts the best cattle from around the world. Cattle from coast to coast, Texas to Montana come to this one of a kind livestock show.

So, while you’re there, make the most of it. Here are 10 Things You Must Do At the North American.

1. Visit the Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Gallery. The S&S Portrait Gallery is the livestock hall of fame. Each year, one highly deserving individual is selected to be added to the collections. Portraits are proudly displayed in the hallways of the Expo Center and in the new addition that was recently added. It is great to read the history and bios of pioneers in the livestock business and learn about the industry’s forefathers.


Dr. Dave Hawkins, 2013 Portrait Recipient. Photo from Michigan State University.


2. Eat at the Cardinal Grill Hall of Fame. I hate to even write this because this place is already usually working on a 1 hour wait during the NAILE and I don’t want more people to try to go and slow up my service. But….it’s a Louisville must. You have to do it. The food is — well, okay – but the atmosphere is great and you’ll see tons of people from the show!


3. Visit the “Country Store” – The Country Store is Louisville’s exhibit hall. It is giant. It has lots of great vendors for shopping and gifts…and just in time for Christmas too! One thing I really like about going to the Louisville exhibit hall is that all of the boots are in one location, and there are a lot of livestock themed gifts…like stuffed farm animals, farm books, livestock décor, etc. A great time to stock up on holiday gifts.


4. Walk through the tie outs. Seriously. I know it sounds crazy, but there will be trailers with individual pens and tie outs lined up as far as the eye can see. These little areas are like self-sufficient forts. They’ll be set up with tarps, generators, sometimes heaters, trim chutes, pens, tents, you name it. These people could survive out there for a week or more. They do all of their business on the tie outs, then simply parade the animal up to the showring when it’s time. It’s their own little world.


5. Walk down the ramp in Freedom Hall. Whether you are showing or not, I highly advise walking down the ramp of Freedom Hall onto the show ring floor. Even for just a few minutes to scope it out. Even a spectator can feel the momentum as you briskly walk down the ramp and hit the green shavings. Look up from the floor up into the stands and just take in the sights of Freedom Hall. Whether you’re leading a calf, or just carrying your purse, it’s a feeling you won’t forget.


6. Watch the horse show. These horses are majestic! They are just amazing. Lots of times, the livestock exhibitors and the horse exhibitors are on different parts of the fairgrounds so we never get to see these gorgeous horses. The horse show is on November 14-15 and features hitches, stallions, mares, and more. Along these same lines, watch other species than what you normally show. This show has the best of the best in cattle, sheep, hogs, steers, horses, and more.

F5- North American Livestock Expo

7. Do something “Touristy”. Visit Churchill Downs. Tour the Louisville Slugger facility. Go downtown and eat at a fancy restaurant. Go shopping. Though my family never personally did this, I have a lot of friends who do it each and every year. (We always just preferred to stick around the cow show J ) Louisville is a lovely city, and there is more to the town than just the livestock show.


8. Attend the RHD Workshop on Saturday, November 15th. Shameless plug. We are hosting a full day of our livestock marketing and photography workshops during Louisville this year at the Crowne Plaza. This is a great opportunity to slip away from the barns during the day and come learn with us. You can choose to come for the entire day, or just a few classes that interest you. And, Catherine and Luke Neumayr will be hosting a “Sunset Shootout” which will be awesome.

9. Eat a Pork Burger. Venture into the food court and look for the Kentucky Pork Producers booth. Get a pork burger. Or two. Yes, even if you are a beef producer, these burgers are worth every penny. They are delicious.


10. Enjoy the SHOW! Above all, take some time to sit in the cozy chairs of Freedom Hall, soak up the organ music with show tunes playing in the background and enjoy the show! You’ll see some of the finest livestock in the entire world. It’s a show that everyone should attend!

Posted in In The Industry |

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