When a bidder at the American Southdown Stars of Louisville sale bid one more time Saturday, a sheep bred in Minnesota wound up in California instead of Indiana. In another instance, one more bid meant the difference from a sheep going to Texas instead of Indiana. That animal was bred in Kentucky. One sheep breeder took home a sheep from Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky as he tried to pick the pieces he needed to improve his flock.
Sales are just one part of the North American International Livestock Exposition now in its final week at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. Truly an International event, one exhibitor even brought a breed of cattle with ties to development in South Africa.
During the national Shorthorn Heifer Futurity sale held on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 15, more than 20 heifers were sold to ranches all the way from Iowa to Nebraska and Ohio to Tennessee. The sale was billed as a sale of donor heifers. While that terminology would have seemed strange 40 years ago and novel 20 years ago, flushing cows to get extra eggs from the very best females and implanting fertilized embryos into recipient cows, where all that matters is that the cow can be a good mother, is now so common that it was what the breed manager spent the most time emphasizing before the sale began.
The diversity of location across the country was apparent just from a stroll down the aisles. Cattle from Texas stood next to cattle from another part of the country, perhaps Maryland or Delaware. Cattle from Tennessee were in the same barn with cattle from Nebraska.
This show features everything from beef shows and sales to sheep shows and sales, to dairy shows, plus judging of livestock and dairy by top high school and collegiate teams form all over the country. Results of various shows and other activities are posted online at: www.livestockexpo.org.
You can not only get results, but you can watch livestock shows live over this site! Streaming video from four show rings at once, usually two on cattle and two on another species, such as sheep, lets you both hear and see an event that interests you. Chances are that someone from your neck of the woods will be in one or more of the shows. At the Web site you can also click on schedules to determine what will be showing in each ring each day.
A junior division hog show for youth was added to the event several years ago. There are no open hog shows at NAILE. Both the grand champion and reserve grand champion market hog went to Hoosiers this year.
NAILE concludes Nov. 20. Whether you raise livestock yourself or not, take advantage of the Web site to see what's going on in the modern livestock arena today.