New Horse Events, Workshops Added to Schedule
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Keystone International Livestock Exposition, or KILE, kicks off today in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex.
The show, dubbed the largest on the East Coast, will feature livestock and horse events, youth competitions, club sales, cooking contests, and seminars.
As a result of additional shows, horse numbers are up, according to Lois Rankin, executive director of the Pennsylvania Livestock Association.
“We have a pretty big show this weekend,” she said.
The horse department added several new contests. The all-breed Open Horse Show, starting today, will feature English and Western pleasure, hunter, equitation, driving, gaited, trail, showmanship, barrel racing and pole bending classes.
Returning favorites, the Heavy Horse Hitch and Halter Show will be held Oct. 4-6, and will feature the Belgian, Clydesdale, Haflinger, Percheron and Shire breeds, culminating in the North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series.
The Haflinger Pleasure Show will be Sunday, Oct. 7.
The other new feature is an educational forum.
“We were missing the educational component of our show,” said association board member Mike Firestine. “You will walk away with a lot of knowledge there.”
The Pennsylvania Livestock Association and the Grasslands Conservation Initiative will hold a Livestock and Equine Forum on Oct. 5-6 in the PA Preferred Banquet Hall.
Jana Malot has spearheaded the committee that is organizing the forum.
“I think they have done a really good job on pulling it together,” Rankin said.
The keynote speaker for Oct. 5 is Kevin Oschner, an agricultural consultant from Denver, Colo. He will also be the host of Cattleman to Cattleman and master of ceremonies for the NCBA Environmental Stewardship Award program.
Ron Gill of College Station, Texas, will provide the keynote address for Oct. 5 talking about “Effective Stockmanship Skills.”
Other topics include grazing management, manure and odor management, livestock concentration areas, animal identification, exercise areas for equine/livestock, livestock and equine diseases, and liability of Pennsylvania animal operations.
KILE has been designated as the venue for national and regional shows for the Hereford, Limousin, Charolais and Shorthorn breeds. Added this year are the all-other-breeds show and youth junior breeding beef supreme champion female.
Firestine said many exhibitors from Western states are traveling to Harrisburg to compete in the national and regional contests.
The other focus of the show is youth.
“We put a lot emphasis on youth because that is our future in agriculture,” Firestine said.
The board works to schedule youth contests for the weekends and has several scholarship programs to assist young people with their college education. He said 4-H and FFA members attend the feeder calf sale to purchase their next beef project.
The annual Youth Beef Benefit Auction will again fund the beef scholarship program, providing two beef youths with $1,000 and $500 scholarships.
The swine department will host the Keystone Classic Show and Sale with eight swine breeds.
In the sheep ring, the Keystone Lead Line will be Oct. 6 and the Keystone Bred Ewe Spectacular All Breeds Sale will be that afternoon.
The highlight of each show includes the selection of supreme champion male and female in each department.
Editor’s note: For a complete schedule and more information on the livestock and equine forum, go to www.keystoneinternational.state.pa.us.