By: Kentucky Exposition Center Examiner Special Contributor, Audrey Flagg
Whether it is the farmer down the street, the owner of a local grocery store or a family planning a grill out, agriculture affects everyone. The North American International Livestock Exposition, the biggest show of its kind, recognizes the importance of agriculture in our lives and celebrates the best farms and livestock from around the country.
The 38th Annual show is coming to the Kentucky Exposition Center Saturday, Nov. 5 through Friday, Nov. 18. Competitors travel to the show to compete in ten divisions of livestock entries including dairy cattle, dairy goats, llamas and alpacas, quarter horses, draft horses, market swine, beef cattle, Boer goats, mules and donkeys and sheep, for the chance to win more than $70,000 worth of premiums and awards. However, the livestock competitions are just one part of the huge event.
Education plays an equally important role at the expo, which hosts the majority of all 4-H and college livestock judging contests. The field trip program provides schools with an opportunity to take a guided tour through the expo. More than 4,000 students participated in the field trip program in 2010.
A popular part of the program is the Farmer for a Day children’s exhibit, open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the North Lobby. This exhibit gives children the opportunity to rope cattle, and learn how food comes from America’s farms to their tables. Children’s Barnyard, a small petting zoo, is available for children to visit and learn about livestock through first-hand experiences. At the Art of Wool Showcase children can see how wool goes from the sheep to a shawl with fleece displays, spinning, weaving and more.
Pre-registration is required for the guided field trip tours, which are provided by local volunteers in the agriculture community or local FFA members. Interested parties should visit the expo’s website. School tours are available for Nov. 8, 10, 11, and 14-17.
This family-friendly event also offers all patrons the opportunity to browse through the Giant Country Store with its nearly 150 commercial vendors selling everything from fine jewelry and food to western clothing and farm supplies.
The North American International Livestock Exposition offers patrons the chance to learn, play, shop, eat and enjoy some family time. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under, and senior citizens. During the 14-day event, there are more than 140 shows, sales, breed meetings, entertainment events, and judging contests, so everyone is sure to find something to peak their interests!