The Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) is dedicated to the promotion of livestock, agriculture education, and preserving the western way of life. NILE is a week long stock show and rodeo held in October every year. Hundreds of exhibitors from across the region (38 different states) bring livestock to show and sell. Hundreds of horses are also competed on and sold that week. The NILE has a long standing tradition of top notch rodeo performances.
NILE also operates the Montana Agri-Trade Exposition (MATE) held in February each year. This trade show celebrates farming and ranching and the businesses the help make those operations work.
Before the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) became an association the NILE hosted an invitational bull riding in April of 1992, ever since then NILE celebrates the tough determination of cowboys through this event.
The NILE is a non-profit,membership organization 501(c)3. Please join us in preserving and embracing the western way of life.NILE and all of its moving parts.
If you’ve ever walked through the barns
or across the grounds during the stock
show and rodeo you understand the chaos. There’s a lot of moving parts. It’s surprising that we don’t offer a cat showmanship class
because it sometimes feels like the staff is herding cats. There’s cattle, and lambs, and pigs, and goats, and show horses, and rodeo
horses, and bucking horses, and 4-her’s, and FFA-ers, and their moms, and announcers, and auctioneers, and judges, and how about
those volunteers, and vendors, and visitors, and media, and that one guy, and of course the interns, to move cohesively, seamlessly,
simultaneously. Oh my! Talk about a lot going on at once. You get it; there’s a ton of activity the third week of October, but did you
know about everything else we do?
We’re not just a stock show and rodeo
. Sure, it is a proud, big part
of our organization but we
can also clean up quite nicely! High heels and hats get dusted off for Stetsons and Stilettos, our annual fundraiser. It actually falls
under the jurisdiction of the NILE Foundation, a separate organization that has a different tax ID that allows us to have an endowment
fund and accepts donations more effectively. The NILE Foundation has its own board of directors, and its own bank account where
the scholarship money comes from. Did you know we also give away FREE heifers?! That’s right, 100% no-money, free heifers are
given to approximately 20 kids through our Merit Heifer Program. Starting out in Agriculture can be tough, but we must involve the
next generation. This is one way that we meet our mission. We facilitate getting young farmers and ranchers a head start in the cattle
industry. We’re a year-round organization, yes our biggest event is in the Fall, but trust us, we’re busy all twelve months. The MATE
show (not a speed dating event), is our left hand if NILE is our right hand. The Montana Agri-Trade Exposition is our second
largest, attendance wise, event and we love it! Bringing the latest technology and the trusted equipment in farming and ranching to the
region is an honor. The three-day trade show is in February every year. The NILE purchased the MATE in ‘08 and we haven’t looked
back since! Also in the spring we have the Century Dinner, Professional Bull Riding, and we usually take a day to go golfing. The history
of the Century Dinner is best told in person from someone who has attended it many years, and may have had a headache the next
day a couple of times. Track down one of our board members if you just gotta know what it’s all about. In 1993, a great opportunity
bucked out of the chutes. An event with ONLY bull riding was brought to Billings. We had bull riding before it was cool. Shortly after
our Bull Riding Only invitational the PBR became an organization and we became one of their oldest tour stops every April. We do a
lot of business and we’re pretty serious about what we do... but there’s an occasional fun day. Many of our board members are bankers,
and it’s widely known that to be hired as a banker you have to golf. Anyway, due to this, we take a day to hit the green and chat. It’s an
opportunity for the board, members, and staff to talk outside of a meeting. It’s a chance to visit and build relationships. We also do that
at our annual summer picnic. This is for the whole family, and we highly encourage that the kids get drug along too! Potluck style ties us
back to the original idea behind the NILE being a membership organization. We finish every year with the Christmas party, including
the infamous white elephant gift exchange tradition. We gather like-minded people for fun and to accomplish amazing things together.
That’s just a short and sweet snapshot of everything we do.
As a member of the NILE,
you have a standing invitation to all of it. We would love to see
you, your family, and your neighbors attend all of our events. Give the office a call or visit to find out how to get more involved.
How it works: There’s two boards, no, not wooden ones. The NILE is a 501(c)5 nonprofit, and the NILE
Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. NILE is governed by 22 individuals, each director has a
term of three years, and must be a member for two years before being eligible to be on the board. There’s a president, president-elect,
vice president, and secretary/treasurer--each of their terms is two years. The NILE Foundation is overseen by individuals selected by the NILE Board,
they meet quarterly. Below the boards and committees are listed. They get things done! Without them the events wouldn’t be successful.
Jump in and join one of the many committees: 4th Grade Ag Ed, Breeding Cattle, Budget, Hospitality, Horse, Jr. Fed, Membership,
Rodeo, Stetsons & Stilettos. Of course, we can’t forget the staff, it’s a small but mighty group of women who passionately pursue
the direction of the directors. Jennifer Boka is the General Manager; she’s been with the NILE since 2014. Monica Cellmer is the
master of keeping track of things; she tracks the money, members, contracts, and the sticky notes. She’s seen a lot throughout her many years. Traci Marchwinski manages the MATE show like nobody’s business! She’s the best in the trade show business and she
came too with the purchase of the MATE. She also oversees the NILE Trading Post. She’s been building relationships with vendors
since 2004 and been a part of the NILE team since 2008. Shelby Shaw has been involved with the NILE ever since she was big
enough to show cattle. We call her the unofficial poster child because she was a Merit Heifer recipient, Scholarship recipient, intern,
volunteer and now works for NILE. Shelby puts together all of the livestock shows, and youth programs. If you want scholarship
money--she’s the one to talk to. Kenzie Holmberg is another import from Colorado, but like her in spite of that. Kenzie runs the horse events,
ranch rodeo, and is the one behind many of the clever Facebook posts. These five are the year-round full-timers. We also have part-timers
that we love whole-heartedly. Those who help us out during our busiest times are truly treasured. Got a question? Call the office, we promise we’ll only tease
you a little. (406) 256-2495
Perks and Responsibilities Because the NILE is a membership organization (that
means YOU), there are certain benefits of paying your
dues. However, there’s also a few business items that you’re responsible for too. We’ll save the perks for later, just like dessert. YOU
have the power to elect and re-elect the board of directors for the NILE. Elections and updates happen at the Annual Meeting. Be informed about YOUR membership,
learn about the NILE’s economic impact, the budget, and our plans for this year and beyond. This is also when the board of
directors is elected and re-elected. We’ll also give awards for members who have stuck with us for 5, 10, 30 or more years. We’ll
announce our Friend of the NILE, and Volunteer of the NILE awards. Now let’s talk about the fun stuff! What do you get for being
a member? One perk is the food! Trust us, we know how to have fun. At every single one of our event there’s drinks (water too, get
your head out of the gutter). Each night before the rodeo performances and PBR performances we have a hospitality room. NILE
members have exclusive entrance into the hospitality room. You get a great meal, drinks, visit with your NILE pals, catch a glimpse
of rodeo stars, and potentially win money in a calcutta. Depending on your level of membership you also have the opportunity to
advertise. Think about the number of eye balls at our events--that’s pretty powerful in marketing. Get your business message in the
rodeo program, day sheets, premium book horse sale catalog, signs in the arena, and more! Most importantly, your membership is
a commitment to help us preserve and embrace the western way of life.