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NILE Salutes

Celebrating 50 Years!

"Over the next twelve months, the NILE will salute the many partners who have aided in the success of this organization. Without a doubt, the success and longevity of this organization is attributed to the hard work and efforts of our many supporters. Those involved with farming and ranching are tied together with common values of hard work, and are grateful for the blessings that the land and the industry provide us all. The NILE embraces this spirit of gratitude. Many thanks to all of our partners over the past 50 years that have supported, and continue to support, the NILE."
--Jason Euell, NILE President 2016-2017
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Media

50 Years is quite a milestone and the Northern International Livestock Exposition is proud to have reached it in 2017!

Back in 1967, businessmen, cattlemen and industry professionals gathered up with a vision to "Support and Embraces the future of Agriculture and the Western Way of Live". The individuals formed an exceptional panel of insight, education and foresight. Their goals were lofty yet so well worth the effort. By supporting many of the segments in Ag and creating a platform and foundation to give youth a foothold in to the future of Agriculture was a primary focus.

These talented, driven individuals mission remains strong today and we are proud to celebrate those segments who have allowed the NILE to reach 50 outstanding years! Half a century later the vision remains and the small livestock shows developed into an event with thousands of people celebrating the rural lifestyle.

"Over the next twelve months, the NILE will salute the many partners who have aided in the success of this organization. Without a doubt, the success and longevity of this organization is attributed to the hard work and efforts of our many supporters. Those involved with farming and ranching are tied together with common values of hard work, and are grateful for the blessings that the land and the industry provide us all. The NILE embraces this spirit of gratitude. In November, we thank our media partners. Without the support of publications, radio, and television, the NILE would not have been able to share the story of our industry and our vision and hope for the future of agriculture. Many thanks to all of our media partners over the past 50 years that have supported, and continue to support, the NILE." - Jason Euell, NILE President 2016-2017

We roll into the 50th year of NILE by saluting our industry partners, founders and supporters and continuing to promote, embrace and support the future of agriculture. Hosting the PBR, the MATE and Stetsons & Stilettos prior and culminating at next year's 50th, the NILE Stock Show and Rodeo will be one for the history books. The NILE invites you to join us monthly from now until October of 2017 as we Salute and Thank those entities who have given us a foothold to grow and thrive.

This month, our goal is to celebrate and thank our long time media partners for keeping the NILE message moving. Without each and every entity over the past 50 years getting the NILE word out, we would not have experienced the longevity and stay ability that is NILE. Singling out one or another would be our demise as it has taken every media outlet to share our message. While the recent addition of TV time seems the highlight, many years of print media and radio advertising captured the interest of exhibitors and visitors alike. The effective and outstanding media entities who are dedicated to promoting the NILE have created that opportunity to get the word out and let people know what happens here at NILE. To our media partners, we at NILE salute you. Thank you for your dedication, years of service, years of promotion and love for the events.
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Cattle Industry

50 years ago, in 1967, businessmen, cattlemen and industry professionals gathered up with a vision to "Preserve and Embrace Agriculture and the Western Way of Live." As we celebrate our past and look the future we thank the many people who have been a part of our mission.

This month's NILE Salutes is the Beef Cattle Industry. For 50 years the cattlemen of Montana and the surrounding regions have supported and promoted the NILE by attending and exhibiting their livestock.

The NILE was founded by some of the most progressive cattlemen and businessmen in the industry. It is only fitting that we salute and Thank all of the many beef producers who have built the NILE into what it is today.

Cattle are a huge part of the NILE, filling up the barn from start to finish, packing the schedule with shows and sales all week long. The 77,400 square foot Expo Center Building is completely full of 14 different cattle breeds. When the NILE started the pens at the Public Auction Yards were utilized. Even though the Expo Center is full, the NILE has grown so much that additional buildings need to be used to fit all the exhibitors. The Montana Pavilion houses the sale ring and the historical Heritage Building houses the Commercial Pen Classic Heifer Show.

At the turn of the century, in 2000 the NILE started the Merit Heifer Program. The purpose of the project is to help youth get a start in the beef cattle business by awarding heifer calves to project participants chosen on the basis of merit, future goals and ability to care for the animal. Kids between 12 and 16 years old can apply for a heifer.

Over 325 heifers and kids have gone through this program--that's a lot of future cattle producers who have gotten a leg-up in this industry. That's also a lot of donors. Generous ranchers have given up one of their heifers for the sake of this program--some giving a heifer multiple years. People like this truly make the cattle industry special and we salute you! The NILE Merit Heifer Program would not be possible without the support of beef producers. Thank you!

Each program participant will own their calf jointly with NILE until the completion of the program, at which time NILE officials will sign off and the participant will take full ownership of the heifer and her offspring. During the program duration, participants are responsible for raising the heifer, arranging for her to be bred, completing the record keeping procedure and bringing the animal back one year later as a bred replacement heifer for exhibit at the NILE Stock Show.

Cattle are a big part of Montana's culture and we're glad to be a part of Montana. Thank you to all of the Cattle Producers and their families! The NILE would not be what it is without you--thank you! Please enjoy this video about the December NILE Salutes
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Rodeo

NILE Salutes Rodeo

January 
The very first indoor rodeo in Montana was at the 1969 NILE, just two years after the inaugural Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE). 50 years later the NILE salutes the rodeo industry for riding with us for the past five decades.

The NILE began when the Billings area businessmen, cattlemen and industry professionals came together with the vision to "Preserve and Embrace Agriculture and the Western Way of Live." As we celebrate our past and look the future we thank the many people who have been a part of our mission.

This month's NILE Salutes is the Rodeo industry. For 50 years, rodeo cowboys and cowgirls of Montana and the surrounding regions have entered up at the NILE rodeo. The spirit of competition and camaraderie makes for an atmosphere unlike any other. Crowds of thousands attend the NILE professional rodeo annually, some people come back every year and wouldn't miss it, while others experience the Western sport for the first time.

There are many entities to thank for the success of the NILE rodeos. Without the dedication of the associations, contestants, committees, and behind-the-scenes workers, it wouldn't be possible. The Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and Women's Professional Rodeo Association are excellent partners that validate the NILE as a premiere and professional event. The partnership with those associations gives credit to the hard-work that goes into maintaining the title of first, and best indoor rodeo in Montana. The NILE also salutes the contestants-without them the rodeo wouldn't exist. It's impossible to have a rodeo without contestants, so thank you for risking the ride and giving the crowd someone to cheer for. The NILE Rodeo committee is one of the largest committees of volunteers for the NILE. Numerous people dedicate their time to help put on the event, from opening gates, taking off ropes, and wrangling kids for mutton bustin' and wild pony racing, the volunteers are a big asset.

In the next 50 years the NILE wishes that rodeo remains the number one sport in the region, and that Billings, Montana is marked on the map for providing the highest quality rodeo for contestants and spectators.

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MATE

The Montana Agri-Trade Exposition (MATE) has been going and growing strong since 1976. It's the largest agriculture trade show in the region; filling up 125,000 square feet, over 600 vendors, and recording attendance of over 18,000. In 2008 the NILE purchased the MATE and hasn't looked back since! It's a no-brainer for the two to be one. Promoting agriculture, supporting the businesses and individuals in this industry are both at the core of these shows. The NILE would like to thank the vendors for returning year after year, the volunteers who work tirelessly to make it go seamlessly, and the visitors who give the businesses a booth during the third week of February.
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FFA

"Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve," is the National FFA Organization (FFA) motto--what valuable words to live by. Since 1928, the FFA has been around striving to encourage young students to get involved in agriculture. In many ways, the FFA and the NILE share the same values and dedicate time to today's youth in Agriculture. Fueling the fire in FFA students, promotes the Western heritage in the generations to come.

Over the course of a year, the NILE hosts a handful of youth programs, giving a special emphasis to FFA students. Chapters from the far corners of Montana, and surrounding states such as, Wyoming, North Dakota, Idaho, and Washington, send their members to compete in various events each Fall. From the Jr. Fed Market Shows, to the Sales and Service and Livestock Judging CDEs, FFA has been a part of the long-standing traditions of the NILE Stock Show and Rodeo.
Not only does NILE promote youth in Agriculture at the fall show, the NILE hosts other opportunities for FFA members to be involved. FFA members are often found at the Montana Agri-Trade Exposition (MATE) selling raffle tickets for this or that, partaking in a self-driven scavenger hunt, or simply participating as a guest at the show taking in the new products on display.

Spring months bring on the chance to apply for a NILE Merit Heifer, applications open March 15 and close June 30 of the given year. Applications are open to FFA and 4-H members ages 12-16. Recipients are not limited to the state of Montana. The NILE limits the recipients to members of FFA or 4-H because of the proven results from these organizations. Giving a live animal to a minor is a big risk, but there is assurance of a quality kid when they are involved in FFA or 4-H because of the ideologies they strive for and teach.

The NILE also promotes secondary education and financial assistance for high school seniors and current college students through scholarships. Open to youth who have been involved with NILE in some way. More often than not that NILE involvement comes from participating in the FFA and 4-H contests, or the livestock shows.

Experience is one of the best teachers, going back to learn by doing. The NILE selects a group of college students as interns for the week of the stock show and rodeo. When deciding which applicants will make the cut past experiences are often the determining factor. Repeatedly on the applications experience with leadership roles and critical thinking are from FFA experience. The NILE salutes the FFA organization for building strong, young individuals that become a part of our team. They're help during the third week of October is essential, and the skills that the interns come in with can be attributed to what they learned in FFA.

Through the FFA motto, creed, and mission statement, it's easy to see the impact the FFA Organization has had on past and present FFA members. For these reasons, and many more, the NILE salutes the Montana FFA. Thank you for promoting and embracing the western lifestyle, by developing today's youth through agriculture education. FFA is a light of energy, a sea of blue, and most of all has given the NILE hope for the next 50 years!

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PBR

Bull Riding action is a long standing tradition in Billings. Dating back to 1993 when the first Bull Riding event hit town brought to Billings by the NILE.


The PBR began when a group of professional bull riders broke off from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1992. This new organization boasted a single event format that was sure to excite bull riding fans. An action packed event that the NILE organization was happy to embrace, NILE hosted its first in the spring of 1994. With that a long standing tradition was formed and become history making as the longest running event in PBR's history. That is 24 years of bringing exceptional stock, talented cowboys and an adrenal rush like no other to Billing, MT.

The NILE salutes the PBR for partnering with us for the past two decades. The PBR exhibits the cowboy spirit of grit, determination and bravery--traits of the Western way of life that we work to preserve and embrace. Being progressive and constantly coming up with new ideas may seem contradictory to the stereotypical rural way of life. However, the most dangerous words in farming and ranching can be "do it the way we've always done it." The PBR has done an exceptional job of changing it up. Keeping the Bull Riding action packed with the most impressive animal athletes, extremely competitive cowboys and a production that is sure to excite year after year.

NILE Foundation President Butch Bratsky speaks of the first PBR event fondly. "From being a NILE Board member and Officer and on the Rodeo Committee back in the early to mid-1990s, I'd like to thank the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) for giving us the opportunity to host one of their top tier events in 1994 and every year since then. It's been a great partnership and one that we are certainly proud of and to be one of the elite venues working with the PBR is great for Billings, Montana and our bull-riding fans!!"

It is with a tip of our hats that we salute the fans of the PBR for continue to attend and support those professional bull riders who compete in Billings. The Billings fans are known for their knowledge of the event, dedication to the sport and warm welcome give to the cowboy's year in and year out. The electric feeling in the air is addictive and contagious--thank you for being a part of that and coming back to get more.

50 years of NILE means a history of exceptional partnerships. We count ourselves fortunate to have had a partnership lasting 24 years strong this year with the Professional Bull Riders event. Thank You PBR, fans, and cowboys alike for your role in making NILE 50 years strong.

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Equine Industry

There's something about the outside of a horse that's good for the inside of man. Anyone who has been around a horse has probably had a captivating experience. There's something amazing about an animal with so much power can also be so delicately docile. Every month the NILE is saluting a group that makes the NILE all that it is. As we work to preserve and embrace the Western way of life we salute the many facets of the horse industry. What would the West be without the influence of a horse?

Think of the thousand plus pound animal that somehow knows the when a little girl is on it's back. The good horse somehow intuitively knows how to be gentle and take care of it's precious rider. How many young kids shimmied up a good old horse and gained innumerable confidence from riding? These gentle giants teach life long lessons that can't be replicated.

Remember witnessing the incredible raw power of a bronc jumping out of the chute. The energy and determination sends out a kind of energy that can't be captured. The bucking horse's fierceness suggests that they'll never be tamed. A romantic notion that speaks to a small piece of everyone. There's a beauty to being wild and free and the horse reminds us of that feeling.

The partnership between horses and humans has been around for thousands of years. Connecting with a horse is an incredible experience. The capability to perform a variety of tasks proves the flexibility of the horse. Athletic in some cases is an understatement. Watching a cutting horse switch directions so rapidly and get so low to the ground is just one example of the quickness these animals have. Trotting up and down hills checking pastures from sun up to sundown just skims the endurance ability of horses. The versatility of horses makes them appealing to many people. Although differences in breeds and disciplines exist the common love for equine is strong.

The NILE events utilize horses in the spotlight and behind the scenes. There's an entire department dedicated to NILE horse events. These events put horses in the spotlight. These horses perform at top levels showing off athleticism and carefully curated breeding. Behind the scenes and back at the ranch is where the true value of horses lays.

Huge thank you to all involved with the NILE Horse Department; the raffle filly donors, judges, horse committee, volunteers, exhibitors, and consignors. Thank you for the faith in our programs, dedication to our success, countless hours volunteered and wealth of knowledge shared to develop the successful NILE Gold Buckle Horse events.

The partnership with many associations is invaluable. Without the cooperation and collaboration of these other organizations NILE wouldn't be possible. We salute the AQHA, MQHA, NRCHA, CMRCHA, APHA, ApHC, and many more. Thank you to all the producers, exhibitors, and enthusiasts, we salute you!

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City of Billings and the Billings Chamber

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 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!
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4-H

The four leaf green clover is often associated with luck for many people, but in the agriculture industry it also means 4-H. Each leaf of the clover standing for one of the H's: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. With roots in agriculture and a focus on youth, the NILE and the 4-H organization work cohesively.

The NILE has developed many programs to include kids in agriculture in order to meet the mission of preserving and embracing the Western lifestyle. Some programs introduce agriculture to kids to spark their curiosity. Other programs provide opportunities to take on responsibility and gain experience. All of the programs inspire youth to get involved or stay involved in the industry that supplies the world.

The largest 4-H and NILE partnership is the Livestock Judging Contest. Clubs from across Montana, and surrounding states such as: Wyoming, North Dakota, Idaho, and Utah, send their members to compete. Hundreds of kids fill the grounds to test their skills in judging the composition of animals, working on their decision making skills, and public speaking.

The NILE incorporates 4-H members into other programs such as the Jr. Fed Livestock Show. This program is a livestock show specifically and only for youth. They care for and raise an animal learning first-hand responsibility, compassion, stewardship, nutrition and numerous other life skills. The hard work and dedication culminates at the NILE Jr. Fed Show.

Spring months bring on the chance to apply for a NILE Merit Heifer, applications open March 15 and close June 30 of the given year. Applications are open to 4-H and FFA members ages 12-16. Recipients are not limited to the state of Montana. The NILE limits the recipients to members of 4-H or FFA because of the proven results from these organizations. Giving a live animal to a minor is a big risk, but there is assurance of a quality kid when they are involved in 4-H or FFA because of the ideologies they strive for and teach.

The NILE also promotes secondary education and financial assistance for high school seniors and current college students through scholarships. Open to youth who have been involved with NILE in some way. More often than not that NILE involvement comes from participating in the 4-H and FFA contests, or the livestock shows.

The NILE is lucky to have a partnership with such a great organization. Youth involved in 4-H that participate in NILE events are respectful, and enjoyable. We welcome them back every year and look forward to see 4-H alumni continue their involvement with NILE.
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Educators

Celebrating a 50th anniversary doesn't happen by chance. There is a lot of dedication that goes into keeping an organization up and running for half a century.

It's not an accident that the NILE stock show and rodeo is having its annual event again this year. The board members, staff, volunteers, and supporters have made conscious efforts to make the NILE what it is today. One of the strategies or values has been youth--getting kids involved and make them want to come back as adults.

Passing on the lessons, the experiences and the fun from NILE is part of passing it on to the next generation. For that we would like to take this month to thank educators--those that dedicate their efforts to teaching kids.

The NILE has many educators that help with different programs all year long, and during the week of the stock show and rodeo. We are so grateful for their expertise and generosity. Giving up time and giving out energy is something so many of them do without even thinking twice.

One special program that brings students and teachers to the stock show and rodeo is the 4th Grade Agriculture Education Program. All 4th grade classrooms in the Yellowstone County area are invited to this field trip. Approximately 2,000 kids rotate through the stations. Students learn about water and soil conservation, honey bees, beef, weeds, crops, and come face to face with farm animals.

A few of the program's organizers gathered to plan details for the upcoming year. They shared a few of their favorite memories from the years of bringing agriculture a little closer to kids.

Not all corn is popcorn, nor is it sweet corn. Chocolate milk doesn't come from brown cows. THAT smell you smell on the south side of Billings, is sugar beets. The questions that usually get a couple chuckles start off innocently with "How do you tell if the animals are boys or girls?"

The 4th Grade Ag Ed Program is probably the most traditional education program in the sense that it's 4th graders and teachers. However, there are so many excellent role models and educate youth as well as the general public. They teach about agriculture, but also the values in the culture of farmers and ranchers--hard work, dedication, compassion, just to name a few.

The NILE salutes the educators, the ones that are making a positive impact for the next generation.

The patient parents who provide life lessons every day for their kids. Thank you for helping them with their chores, getting their entries in, and for inspiring this lifestyle.

The Merit Heifer donors that provide guidance to the recipients. Teaching them about raising a heifer, best practices for breeding, nutritional needs and the beef industry.

The ring stewards and volunteers that bend down to get to a kids level and whisper encouraging tips. It's a comfort to a junior to just have someone there while leading a thousand pound animal around.

The 4th Grade Ag Education presenters, seeing about 2,000 school kids in three days, and exposing the industry that surrounds them, and feeds them.

The teachers that value the importance of learning about agriculture and bring their students to the NILE.

The college advisers who promote the NILE internship program and support students to pursue career goals.

The FFA teachers and 4-H leaders that supplement learning beyond the classroom. Thanks for bringing your clubs and chapters to the NILE contests and for helping them with their projects.

And to everyone else that has ever given a spare moment to a kid, or a lasting piece of a advice. We salute you for being an educator.
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Partners

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Thank you for riding with the NILE!
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