The region’s largest livestock show and rodeo kicks off in Billings on Friday, October 13th. The first Northern International Livestock Exposition in 1968 included livestock shows, horse shows and a rodeo all traditions that continue today at the NILE Stock Show and ProRodeo. However, in 2023 there will be some new events and updates to existing shows and youth development activities, covered in this article.
Cattle Drive Returns to Billings
To kick off the stock show the NILE has partnered with the Billings Industrial Revitalization District to bring back the annual cattle drive. Which will take place in the heart of the East Billings Urban Renewal District on 13th street in Billings, starting at 9 AM. NILE Board member Ty Thompson says the parade includes the cattle drive, several horse-drawn wagons, food stands and other kinds of vendors. The route itself begins at Western Ranch Supply down 2nd avenue to Shiptons on 17th street, and back up 3rd avenue to conclude at the parade start. This year’s grand Marshall is Rob Erickson with Western Ranch Supply.
Northern Ag Network’s Taylor Brown will emcee the event that includes teams and wagons, mounted riders and cowboys, six rodeo queens and two different groups of cattle. This is the first time a cattle drive has been held in Billings since the NILE in 2012. Find more information about this historic event at billingsbird.com.
A cornerstone of the NILE, this year’s PRCA rodeo performances will take place on Friday October 13th and Saturday October 14th, but for the first time will include a Sunday Matinee performance on October 15th.
More than 800 students competed in the 2022 the NILE 4-H and FFA Livestock evaluation contest, and this year staff hope to put on another great educational experience for youth in agriculture. Livestock Judging Superintendent Jess Moody tells Tamara Choat with Tri-State Livestock News that he likes to make the contest reflect the region with stock from around the local industry. Moody says that judging not only teaches livestock evaluation skills but also teaches competitors how to justify their opinion through the oral reasons portion of the contest.
This year the NILE is offering two new youth contests, meat evaluation for 4-H and FFA members and Vet science for FFA members. This is in addition to the other activities geared for youth including the Merit Heifer and the NILE Colt Classic.
A big part of the NILE is also the NILE livestock show which includes 14 open and junior breed shows, four junior fed market shows, a pen show and multiple breed sales. Find more information about NILE events and tickets at thenile.org.
NILE, Tri-State Livestock News, BIRD, Northern Ag Network