Little I slated for March 31 and April 1

Denise Watt

Denise Watt

Area high school and college students will put agriculture into action March 31 and April 1 at South Dakota State University.

The 83rd Little International, “Agriculture in Action,” will feature judging contests, showmanship and fitting competitions, as well as displays and an honored agriculturalist reception.

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

“We have a really committed staff that has worked diligently preparing for the event. The staff members have a variety of majors and come from different backgrounds, so it’s a great opportunity for everyone that enjoys agriculture to become involved,” says Crystal Mohrhauser, Little I manager.

In addition to the hundreds of high school 4-H and FFA members, more than 200 SDSU students are slated to compete. Little I boasts 11 judging contests and showmanship/fitting contests for six species. Events range from livestock and dairy products judging to range plant identification and farm business management.

Little I kicks off with high school contests Friday morning. Opening ceremonies will take place at 6 p.m. Friday evening’s program will feature showmanship and fitting events.

Saturday’s activities include several showmanship events, as well as an alumni meat-judging contest at 1:30 p.m., and an honored agriculturalist reception for Dr. Roger Hunsley beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Tompkins Alumni Center.

Followed by opening ceremonies at 6 p.m., Saturday night will feature beef, swine, sheep, horse and dairy showmanship finals. Lamb-lead finals, as well as round-robin showmanship and awards presentations, will conclude the event. A dance at the Brookings Swiftel Center will begin at 10 p.m.

All evening programs are free and open to the public, and will take place in the Animal Science Arena.