Real Maine staff were able to experience one of many Maine school children’s favorite days of the year. Over 1,500 children from more than 20 schools attended The Northeast Livestock Expo (NELE) Kids Day at the Windsor Fairgrounds. More than 20 farms, agricultural, and natural resources exhibits were set up to create hands-on learning experiences for children in grades K-6, their teachers, and many parent and grandparent chaperones. Lambs, calves, starfish, and lobsters were the highlights for many young participants.
What is the Northeast Livestock Expo (NELE)?
NELE is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to provide marketing, selling, and educational opportunities to local livestock producers and to educate the public on the connection between local farms and their products. NELE offers a unique opportunity for livestock producers to market premier breeding stock, meat, animals, and participate in educational seminars and expositions to promote food safety and quality farm products. In 2006, the Maine Beef Producers, Boer Goat Breeders of Maine, and the Maine Sheep Breeders Association collaborated to create a multi-specie event that would help livestock breeders to promote their breeds. Over the years, several other organizations have supported the expansion of NELE to include equine, rabbits, and fiber animals. NELE brings agriculture programs together for a weekend-long learning experience as they exhibit livestock and develop skills and knowledge through competitions and exhibitions.
NELE Kids Day is Made Possible Through Sponsorship Support and Many Volunteers!
An event as special as NELE kids day requires a strong team of supporters. Many schools located within 60 miles of Windsor were able to receive bus transportation grants allocated by Maine Agriculture in the Classroom. Event volunteers were made possible through Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, Northeast Livestock Exchange, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Real Maine, Pineland Farms, and Farm Credit East.
Schools interested in attending NELE Kids Day in 2024 may reach out to Maine Agriculture in the Classroom to join the mailing list for next year’s event.