Showmen Praise North American International Livestock Expo Will Go On

( Annie Grinstead )

The North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) posted on Facebook on Thursday that they will have a show, but it will be modified from the event that typically attracts tens of thousands of spectators. The 2020 show will be for participants only, but the show is on.

The event will take place similar to the Kentucky State Fair, open to participants only. Those attending the event will have to wear a special wristband.

This announcement comes on the heels of news that the National Western Stock Show has cancelled its 16-day event in Denver, Colo., in January 2021 due to the pandemic. 

A Family Tradition
The news that NAILE was moving forward was a welcome relief for Annie Linville Grinstead of Greenfield, Ind., who started showing in Louisville when she was in sixth grade. Her daughter, Rylee, and nephew, Landon, are planning to exhibit lambs and Rylee will also exhibit pigs at the 2020 show. It's a family tradition that Grinstead treasures.

"A standing ovation to the staff of the NAILE, thank you for honoring the industry by letting the show go on,” Grinstead says. “There has been a big question mark over the fall shows. So when Denver cancelled, I believe people were waiting for the other shows to drop."

There is no other industry like the livestock industry, Grinstead adds. "Livestock producers have grit, they have the grind and they continue to keep going," she says. 

Annie Grinstead
Annie Linville Grinstead receives the champion senior showmanship award from Dennis Liptrap, swine superintendent, at the 1994 NAILE.

As a kid, Louisville was the show she looked forward to all year – she recalls how the barn was set up, hanging out with her friends and making years of memories. Today, she's grateful to pass on this passion to her daughter. 

"Having the opportunity to create those kinds of memories for my little one and watching my sister Katie and our families enjoy the same show and industry that has built us is remarkable," she says. "That is often what people do not understand... it is more than the show arena itself or the prize. Livestock shows are the building blocks of our lives and how we are choosing to build the next generation."

23 years later, Annie's daughter, Rylee, stands with Liptrap and her third place showmanship award at the 2017 NAILE.

2020 is allowing leaders to emerge in the tough times, Grinstead says. People are digging deep, pushing through the "hard" and finding ways to continue to lead, live and teach in the process. She believes this has been one of the bright spots during the pandemic.

“It’s so important that we teach kids today how to persevere and never give up. We’ve got to teach them how to find a way to continue to live and move forward so our industry stays focused on the future,” she says.

More Information Coming Soon
NAILE noted the show entry deadline is shifting to Oct. 1 with late entries due Oct. 10 for most livestock shows and the Quarter Horse deadline is moving to Oct. 19. The premium book and online entries will be posted on the NAILE website on Sept. 18. More information will be released soon on their website.

NAILE is the largest all-breed, purebred livestock event in the world, with 10 livestock divisions and nearly 30,000 entries from the 48 contiguous states — all under one roof, according to their website.

More from Farm Journal's PORK:

The Show Went On at the Missouri State Fair

National Western Stock Show Cancels for 2021

Will COVID-19 Forever Change Livestock Shows?

A Conflicted Mom’s Take on Showing Livestock During COVID