South Dakota State University’s Little International tradition continues | TSLN.com

South Dakota State University’s Little International tradition continues

Each year, South Dakota State University (SDSU) hosts Little International (Little “I”), which is known as the largest two-day agriculture exposition in the country. The event started in 1921, and today, offers agriculture competitions to more than 1,600 college and high school students.

The 88th Annual Little “I” was held on April 1-2, 2011 on the campus of SDSU in Brookings. This year’s event was organized by manager Lee Sanderson, along with more than 100 student staff members. The event consists of livestock fitting and showmanship competitions, as well as contests such as farm business management, nursery landscape, lamb lead, agriculture sales, floriculture, horse judging, crops judging and more.

“This year’s theme was ‘Lasting Legacy,’ and I can’t think of a better expression for Little International,” said Sanderson, a senior animal science student from Lake Preston, SD. “The beliefs, work ethic, skills and traditions passed down throughout the years have a strong influence on staff and participants and make Little ‘I’ what it is today.”

Backing up Sanderson in his efforts was Colton Buus, assistant manager.

“I have had the privilege of serving as assistant manager with over 130 staff members,” said Buus. “They have all made the preparations for this big event both memorable and enjoyable. Even with all our man-power, this event would be very limited in its success without the generous financial support received from various businesses, families and alumni from across the region.”

Of the many scholarships and awards given throughout the two-day exposition, there are four trophies awarded at the end of the evening that are the most coveted – High Point Freshman and Upper Classman and Round Robin Champion and Reserve Showman. The trophies stand over two-feet tall, and are a symbol of the lasting legacy of Little “I.”

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The Round Robin contest consists of horse, sheep, swine and beef showmanship, and Kyle Sommers, from Waseca, MN, earned top honors, with Sarah Sample, from Kimball, SD earning reserve.

High point honors went to Brett Tostenson, a senior animal science student from Milan, MN. Winning the freshman High Point award was D.J. Buseman, a first-year animal science student from Canistota, SD. To achieve this award, Buseman and Tostenson had to compete in as many contests as possible. For Tostenson, that meant taking tests, entering crops and clipping and fitting a dairy heifer, bull and a sheep for showmanship and lamb lead.

“Winning High Point at my last Little International was something I have wanted since I was a freshman,” said Tostenson. “After I won, it felt like the completion to all of my years with this event, working on staff and competing in the contests. In preparing for all the events, I had to organize my schedule in order to fit in the competitions and contests.”

This is no small task for those vying for the High Point prize. Often, contest times overlap and getting three animals ready for the show ring at varying times throughout the same evening can be complicated.

“With my animals, I had prior time spaced out in order to train the animals to walk and get them prepared for the show by clipping and washing,” said Tostenson. “All the time spent was paid off the instant I won the trophy.”

As the lights flashed over the green wood chips and red barn at the 88th Little International at SDSU, the weeks of hard work by the student-based staff was evident. Without a doubt, the “Lasting Legacy” of the Little International will continue to celebrate the tradition of agriculture and the leadership of youth excited to be a part of it.

Each year, South Dakota State University (SDSU) hosts Little International (Little “I”), which is known as the largest two-day agriculture exposition in the country. The event started in 1921, and today, offers agriculture competitions to more than 1,600 college and high school students.

The 88th Annual Little “I” was held on April 1-2, 2011 on the campus of SDSU in Brookings. This year’s event was organized by manager Lee Sanderson, along with more than 100 student staff members. The event consists of livestock fitting and showmanship competitions, as well as contests such as farm business management, nursery landscape, lamb lead, agriculture sales, floriculture, horse judging, crops judging and more.

“This year’s theme was ‘Lasting Legacy,’ and I can’t think of a better expression for Little International,” said Sanderson, a senior animal science student from Lake Preston, SD. “The beliefs, work ethic, skills and traditions passed down throughout the years have a strong influence on staff and participants and make Little ‘I’ what it is today.”

Backing up Sanderson in his efforts was Colton Buus, assistant manager.

“I have had the privilege of serving as assistant manager with over 130 staff members,” said Buus. “They have all made the preparations for this big event both memorable and enjoyable. Even with all our man-power, this event would be very limited in its success without the generous financial support received from various businesses, families and alumni from across the region.”

Of the many scholarships and awards given throughout the two-day exposition, there are four trophies awarded at the end of the evening that are the most coveted – High Point Freshman and Upper Classman and Round Robin Champion and Reserve Showman. The trophies stand over two-feet tall, and are a symbol of the lasting legacy of Little “I.”

The Round Robin contest consists of horse, sheep, swine and beef showmanship, and Kyle Sommers, from Waseca, MN, earned top honors, with Sarah Sample, from Kimball, SD earning reserve.

High point honors went to Brett Tostenson, a senior animal science student from Milan, MN. Winning the freshman High Point award was D.J. Buseman, a first-year animal science student from Canistota, SD. To achieve this award, Buseman and Tostenson had to compete in as many contests as possible. For Tostenson, that meant taking tests, entering crops and clipping and fitting a dairy heifer, bull and a sheep for showmanship and lamb lead.

“Winning High Point at my last Little International was something I have wanted since I was a freshman,” said Tostenson. “After I won, it felt like the completion to all of my years with this event, working on staff and competing in the contests. In preparing for all the events, I had to organize my schedule in order to fit in the competitions and contests.”

This is no small task for those vying for the High Point prize. Often, contest times overlap and getting three animals ready for the show ring at varying times throughout the same evening can be complicated.

“With my animals, I had prior time spaced out in order to train the animals to walk and get them prepared for the show by clipping and washing,” said Tostenson. “All the time spent was paid off the instant I won the trophy.”

As the lights flashed over the green wood chips and red barn at the 88th Little International at SDSU, the weeks of hard work by the student-based staff was evident. Without a doubt, the “Lasting Legacy” of the Little International will continue to celebrate the tradition of agriculture and the leadership of youth excited to be a part of it.

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