Tips for a Beginner — Exhibitor Version

The North American International Livestock Exposition is the world’s largest all-breed, purebred livestock event, with nearly 30,000 entries from around the country. That can sound intimidating for a first-timer. The hustle and bustle can seem overwhelming, but beyond the chaos of packs being perfected, fans running, clippers buzzing, and feed hitting feed pans are exhibitors just like you, who once felt all the same emotions.

For many, to have an animal walk the green shavings of NAILE is a massive undertaking of not only time but also money and sacrifice. Most people start small and have to climb to the top, but we’re all here for the same reasons -- because we love the agricultural industry, showing livestock, and chasing dreams.

Whether the trip here was across the country or just a few miles down the road, here are a few helpful tips to take on the 50th anniversary of NAILE:

  1. Take it all in - the good, the bad, and the indifferent. The show is what you make it, purple banner or no purple banner. Take time to visit with friends and make new ones when possible. Spend time with your livestock as they have done more for you than you can imagine, and in some cases, your time with them is limited.
  2. Stay hydrated -- Drink lots of water and maybe even some caffeine.
  3. Take lots of photos – some moments you won’t remember if you don’t take a picture. A lot is going on at any given moment. Photos capture emotions forever and can help you relive memories for years.
  4. Wear comfortable shoes – with so much ground and many exhibits to cover, lots of walking and standing is in store. Comfy shoes ensure that you won’t miss a step along the way.
  5. Take time to shop – with the holidays right around the corner, there are many vendors at the Country Store to shop with. Get presents for friends and family, or maybe to stock up on fitting supplies as you prepare for the show!