Tips From The State Vet For Smooth Check-In

Every November, for two weeks, ten species from nearly every state and Canada travel to the North American International Livestock Exposition.

Behind the scenes, it takes a dedicated crew to ensure the safety of the different animals and people visiting during NAILE. Led by Kentucky Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian Dr. Steve Velasco, the team of licensed vets works long days and nights to provide a safe and smooth check-in process for all exhibitors.

“We try to streamline the process so there’s not a big back-up. I don’t think anybody has had to wait here more than 15 or 20 minutes to get through,” said Dr. Velasco.

After three years at the Texas Animal Health Commission, this is Dr. Velasco’s first year in Kentucky taking over the state veterinary role.

“The whole experience has been really positive,” Dr. Velasco says. “Everyone is very welcoming.”

Always being on the move, a typical day for the vet team consists of checking the health credentials of animals, ensuring all animals are healthy when they enter the grounds, and monitoring the health of animals throughout the show.

As the first week of NAILE wraps up, beef cattle and sheep will move in shortly. Dr. Velasco shares some tips for the incoming exhibitors traveling to Louisville:

  • Make sure the cattle have their BVD/PI testing done prior to getting here to speed up the check-in process
  • Have all animals properly identified according to the NAILE show premium book
  • Ensure health papers were issued within 30 days of the show
  • Double-check the NAILE premium book for recommendations and rules