Thursday, June 15, 2017/Categories: Popular Posts, General News, Ag Conferences, Videos, Today's Top 5, People in Ag, Livestock, National News, International
Billings, MT--This October the Northern International Livestock Exposition, shortened to NILE, celebrates 50 years of existence. The stock show and rodeo attracts hundreds to thousands of people to the city of Billings since the beginning. This longevity is thanks in part to the City of Billings and Billings Chamber of Chamber of Commerce.
The NILE began in 1967 when a group of progressive cattlemen and businessmen got together because they had a vision. Leaders like Pat Goggins, Conrad Burns, and Allen Walton knew the importance of Agriculture and wanted to make sure that generations later also knew the importance of this industry. Fifty years later here we are, we're the largest stock show and rodeo in Montana. We have contestants from all of the United States entering our cattle shows, horse sales, and rodeo. The people of Billings feel our impact because our week-long event brings thousands of people to town. The vision was a membership organization--gathering like minded people to preserve and embrace the western way of life. What exactly is the western way of life? It's a state of mind. It's go-until-the-job-is-done-right work ethic. It's teaching kids about life, leading by example, generosity of time and goods. It's a grit-your-teeth-and-get-through-it attitude. It's a way of life that we value in Montana and in our shrinking wide open spaces. If we don't continue to promote what we love the American cowboy and cattleman will only be in pages of history.
Having the backing of the Chamber's Ag Committee has supported the growth of the NILE. In turn the NILE works to make the event attractive for exhibitors and spectators to attend. Additional exhibitors help the NILE succeed as well as the Billings' businesses. Trucks have to be fueled, bellies have to be filled, heads needs beds to rest on. One study shows that on average for every one exhibitor entered an additional four people can be counted. The entire experience is important in attracting and retaining exhibitors. The NILE strives to make their experience a positive one while on the grounds, but the hospitality of Billings also affects their likelihood for returning the following year. Consistently the NILE reports higher and higher attendance thanks to the City's welcoming attitude and support of agriculture.
One of the Chamber's efforts over the years has been adding Visit Billings, an organization focused on bringing visitors to the area. We want to return the support that the Chamber has shown us by supporting their efforts. Collaboratively we can bring thousands of visitors to Billings to have a big economic impact. We especially love attractions that respect agriculture. For example, the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) hosts the World Livestock Auctioneering Contest every year and Billings hosts 2017's convention. Hundreds of auctioneers are expected to compete bringing with them their families and friends. June 15-17th the NILE will present the Billings Chamber of Commerce with a plaque thanking them for their support at the LMA convention.
Lots of things have changed in the past half century. Community support and Montana hospitality haven't changed--both have remained steadfast and true. Promotion from the Chamber over the years have been crucial to the success of the NILE events. Thank you to the Billings Community and Billings Chamber of Commerce for 50 years strong. We hope you'll saddle up and ride along with us for the next 50 years! Join us in our mission to preserve and embrace the western way of life--enter our shows, attend our events, get your neighbors to become members, or volunteer for a committee. Happy 50th Anniversary!
Picture: The NILE
The NILE 2017
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke calls the achievement a "great conservation success".