October 2020 will be the 53rd year of the Northern International Livestock Exposition Organization. However, due to the lasting economic impacts facing the region, guidelines set forth by the county and state health department regarding the health of the community, the NILE staff and board of directors have designed a new version for this fall’s event.
The NILE will be will held in it’s 53rd year. It is fact that Agriculture is Montana’s number one industry. Attendance each year has grown to nearly 63,000 attendees including exhibitors, contestants, volunteers and NILE enthusiasts with an economic impact of over 6.4 million dollars each October to Billings and Yellowstone County. The NILE Stock Show and Rodeo has continually worked to promote agriculture and the western heritage and will continue to do so long into the future.
The team at the NILE has worked diligently utilizing the advantage of time, to plan for an event that can capture the mission of our organization, continue to focus on youth, provide opportunities to feature outstanding livestock, FFA/4-H events and educate the 4th grade students across the state. Phenomenal horse flesh and exceptional cattle will again be a highlight of NILE this October!
Events will run from September 30th through October 18th. This includes some classic events and some new events to be held at the Miller’s Horse Palace in Laurel, Montana. Other shows will see virtual digital technology come to the forefront, keeping the high-quality standard of livestock set by NILE for many years. While most events will continue, some events simply won’t work in the current situation and limitations, such as Rodeos.
Many horse events across the county and state have been given clearance by the Governor and County Health Officials. The NILE staff feel that they can manage the current restrictions (social distancing, sanitation, etc.) all while continuing to provide exhibitors with high quality shows and sale.
Events pertaining to youth will continue to be held, based on NILE’s mission. The smaller events of the Club Calf Show & Sale and NILE Merit Heifer Program are manageable based on the restrictions. Both shows and the sale will also be broadcast online.
Unfortunately, the Open Breeding Cattle Shows, Progeny Pen Parade and the Commercial Heifer Pen Show will not happen in 2020. In working through the logistics leading up to the decisions made, it became very clear that with the current restrictions, it would not be possible to properly social distance exhibitors in the stalling area, wash racks, staging areas and seating areas. However, all divisions will be brought back in 2021.
In regards to the Jr Fed Sale, with the shows being held virtually, the thought of holding a virtual sale was discussed. Ultimately, because exhibitors come from all across the region, it was decided that it would be very difficult to get each animal sold back to Billings to be sent to its final destination.
Sadly, the featured Ranch and PRCA Rodeos will not be a part of this year’s October line up. Simply, the economics of extremely limited seating combined with the hard hit to our sponsors plus the overhead will not allow the NILE to host these rodeos this year.
While NILE Version 2.0 in 2020 looks a little different, the NILE leadership team guarantees that it will allow them to come back in 2021 stronger than ever with their exceptional Cattle Breed Shows, Marketplace Trade Shows and Rodeos. For more information visit www.thenile.org.
Below is the current tentative schedule for this fall’s event: