The KDA will be on the job at the North American
The North American International Livestock Exposition Nov. 3-16 will be my first as your agriculture commissioner. I can tell you that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is dedicated to helping put on a world-class show in the great tradition of North American Expos past.
The state veterinarians office checks the health papers of every animal that enters the Kentucky Exposition Center grounds. Led by State Veterinarian Robert C. Stout, the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Associations 2010 Veterinarian of the Year, these dedicated folks carry out the yeomans task of preventing livestock disease from entering the Commonwealth. They have a sterling track record and decades of experience.
Division of Show and Fair Promotion staff and other department employees help conduct the livestock shows and keep them running smoothly. The North American is the traditional capstone of their show season after months of working district and preview shows, the three Kentucky Junior Livestock Expos, and the Kentucky State Fair.
The North American, of course, is the worlds largest all-breed, purebred livestock exposition. Entries will compete for nearly $750,000 in premiums and awards. A record 24,500 entries passed through the show rings at last years expo.
The NAILE offers 10 major divisions of livestock entries: dairy cattle, dairy goats, llamas and alpacas, quarter horses, draft horses, market swine, beef cattle, boer goats, mules and donkeys, and sheep.
While youre at the North American, make your way to Freedom Hall for the 34th Annual North American Championship Rodeo on Nov. 8-10 at 7:30 p.m. EST each evening. The rodeo is the invitational finals for the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Great Lakes Circuit. Top cowboys and cowgirls compete for more than $80,000 in prizes and the title of regional champion.
Nov. 9 is Tough Enough to Wear Pink night, and a portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to Horses And Hope, which is dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. Rodeo fans and contestants are invited to wear pink to show their support.
Several national 4-H competitions are held in conjunction with the North American. Senior and junior collegiate teams from all over the country come to Kentucky for national livestock judging competitions. Come out and cheer on our young people.
All the action takes place in the Kentucky Exposition Center, one of the premier venues in the United States with 1.2 million square feet of enclosed, climate-controlled exhibit space. From there, youre just minutes away from the Louisville International Airport, various fun and fascinating attractions, and dozens of restaurants that serve great Kentucky Proud foods.
For more information about the North American, the rodeo, the youth programs, and other events, go to www.livestockexpo.org.
While this is my first North American as ag commissioner, this is the last for Harold Workman as president and CEO of the Kentucky State Fair Board. Harold helped create the expo in 1974 and, under his leadership, it has grown into the worlds largest all-breed, purebred livestock exposition. I wish him well in his retirement, and I encourage you to do the same.
I hope to see many of you at the North American, whether youre buying, selling, showing, or taking in this signature event.