Little I puts ‘agriculture in action’ at SDSU

Denise Watt

Denise Watt

High-school senior Caleb Englin has been coming to South Dakota State University since he was eight years old.

For Englin, Little International has been a spring tradition for nearly ten years.

“I like judging livestock and it’s fun,” said Englin, who said he hopes to work with sheep at next year’s Little I.

Held March 31 and April 1 on campus, the 83rd Little International, “Agriculture in Action,” featured judging contests and showmanship and fitting competitions. More than 1,000 high-school students from 74 schools competed, said Crystal Mohrhauser, an agricultural journalism major and this year’s Little I manager.

“The weekend went extremely well,” she said.

Both high-school and college students participate in Little I. In addition to those showing cattle, swine, sheep, dairy cattle and horses, nearly 90 SDSU students participated in 11 judging contests, Mohrhauser said.

More than 110 SDSU students worked as staff members, preparing for and organizing Little I. The event is the largest two-day, student-run agricultural exposition in the nation.

Englin said Little I influenced his decision to attend SDSU next fall.

“I’d like to be involved in it,” he said.

His ag teacher, Kevin Quail, said he looks forward to coming to Little I.

Quail estimated he has attended Little I for nearly 30 years. As a high-school student, he judged livestock as a member of the Arlington FFA.

He said the event provides good agricultural competition, as well as a chance for students to look at SDSU.

“I hope the university looks at this as a recruiting tool,” he said.

Programs held Friday and Saturday nights featured showmanship and fitting competitions. The weekend included an alumni meat-judging contest and an honored agriculturalist reception for Roger Hunsley, as well.

“We had excellent turnout both nights,” said Mohrhauser.

Students participating in several Little I events could compete for high-points awards. These awards are given to those earning the most points throughout the weekend.

For each event students participated in, they could earn points that counted toward the high-points award.

#1.884547:1482147527.jpg:littlei02_lt.jpg:Students participate in the beef showmanship final on Saturday night during Little I.:Lena Thompson