NDSU’s Little I Provides Connection To Agriculture For 93 Years
Outside of my grandma’s memories and pictures, I didn’t know a lot of what Little I is today, so I asked Anna to share more about the event.
“The 93rd Little International is a livestock show. And what students get is they can be assigned an animal that we have here at NDSU. And they get to work with that animal for about a month. Then they come back and they will present in front of the judge and show off their showmanship skills,” she told me.
Any student from any background or major can participate in the Little International.
“And that’s what I think is so great. We can have people who are engineering majors from Minneapolis who can show a dairy heifer. Or in fact, we have our student body vice-president showing a pig who has never previously been around agriculture, never been around livestock. I think that’s really cool,” Anna added.
As an agriculturalist myself who has never shown livestock but always wished I would have tried, I think it’s really cool too. There’s a novice category for beginners. To me, it’s what a teaching university with an agriculture school should be doing to connect non-ag students to agriculture.
Kacey Koester, a senior in animal science, is this year’s Little I manager. Kacey is the third-generation from her family to manage the event, as her grandfather and uncle both were managers during their years in Saddle and Sirloin. She said it has been her goal from the time she attended her first Saddle and Sirloin as a freshman to become a manager of the Little International. Last year she was the assistant manager and this year has moved up to manager.
“We will have 130 NDSU students that will be showing in this arena on Feb. 9. They will show a beef heifer, dairy heifer, pig or sheep. And they also have the opportunity to make a public speech or cure a ham,” Kacey said.
Far more than a livestock show, the event features entertainment for any age, kids games and more. I think the 93rd Little International is a celebration of agriculture in the heart of what is now thought of as an “urban” setting in the Upper Midwest — Fargo. Let’s get out and support it. If you venture to Shepperd Arena on Feb. 9 in Fargo, you can break up your winter routines with some possibly new-to-you agriculture fun and connection and see the tradition of agriculture continuing at NDSU.