North American International Livestock Exposition Wraps Another Successful Year 

The event celebrated 50 years of tradition and legacy 

The 50th anniversary North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) has just entered the history books. The milestone anniversary was marked with award presentations in the show ring, special recognitions for long-serving volunteers, commemorative merchandise, special exhibits and videos, and more. 

The show rings were busy at the fifteen-day annual livestock show from November 2 to November 16. The expo drew more than 27,000 livestock entries, with exhibitors representing nearly every state and Canada. Exhibitors and their livestock participated in over 100 shows and events throughout the two weeks with hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to the Kentucky Exposition Center to watch. The NAILE hosted international guests from nations including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa. 

“The North American International Livestock Exposition is the place where the best of the best in the livestock industry come together. It’s where we support those who are the future of agriculture grow,” said David S. Beck, President & CEO of Kentucky Venues. “NAILE is a special place, and it will never get old presenting the purple and gold banners to exhibitors as they beam with pride on the green shavings.” 

Held in conjunction with the livestock show, the three-night North American Championship Rodeo brought in a record-breaking Thursday night crowd and sell-out crowds on Friday and Saturday. Altogether, the three shows broke records with over 36,400 tickets distributed – increasing about 4% over last year.  

Visitors to the Golden Anniversary NAILE also experienced:  

  • The 378th honoree was inducted into the Saddle & Sirloin Club Portrait Gallery, the hall of fame honoring the most significant leaders in the livestock industry. Housed at the Kentucky Exposition Center, it is the largest portrait collection honoring a single industry in the world. Each year, a new member is inducted, and the portrait of Jarold Callahan of Edmond, Oklahoma, was unveiled at a special ceremony on November 14.  
  • Educational Contests – Students from across the nation competed in the 118th National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest, held at the North American since 1976. In addition, this year marked the 50th year that youth from across the country arrived in Louisville for the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest. The North American is the destination where the future leaders of the livestock industry are recognized, in these and other student contests.    
  • The North American Country Store - Between watching livestock shows, visitors shopped western wear, livestock equipment, show supplies, and more at the once-a-year shopping experience inside the North Wing.