SDSU hosts 91st Annual Little ‘I’
It’s a sure sign of spring on the South Dakota State University (SDSU) campus when the green chips and red barn make their way to the Animal Science Arena. SDSU continued its time-honored tradition of hosting the 91st Annual Little International (Little “I”) on March 28-29, 2014, on the SDSU campus, and it resulted in many great memories for the record books.
“This year’s event was a huge success,” said Riley Buck, a senior general agriculture major at SDSU, who also served on the Little “I” executive committee. “We had the biggest crowd ever this year that I’ve seen since being a part of this event the last four years. It was great to see so many people show up to support this event.”
Little “I” is the largest student-run exhibition in the country, with more than 100 agricultural students on staff. The event is complete with judging contests, livestock shows and premier leadership events, and brings together families and students from across the state. The event was emceed by brothers and past Little “I” managers Jared and Lee Sanderson of Lake Preston, S.D.
During the event, Loretta Bartosh, a junior agricultural education major from Dundee, Minn., was named the SDSU Ag-Bio Advocate. Club of the year was awarded to Sigma Alpha, a women’s agricultural leadership sorority. Best sausage created in the SDSU meat lab, judged and auctioned off during the event — went to Alpha Gamma Rho, a male agricultural fraternity. An auctioneering contest was also held, and Tanner Schroeder, a junior agricultural business student from Bellevue, Mich., was named the winner, for his fast-talking skills in auctioning off the best sausage.
Additionally, Gilbert and Rosemary Mohrhauser were named the 2014 Honored Agriculturalists. The Mohrhauser family has been farming on Rosemary’s childhood farm near Hartford, SD, since 1984. The farm has been in the family for more than 100 years and was recognized as a Century Farm at the 2013 South Dakota State Fair. The Mohrhauser family includes Gilbert, Rosemary, and their six children, including Tricia, Adam, Nathan, Wendy, Crystal, and Dustin, five of which are SDSU alumni and are all involved in agriculture today in one form or another.
“Each year, we select a deserving family as our Honored Agriculturalist,” said Buck. “This family is selected and voted on by our Little “I” staff, and the winning family represents leadership, tradition and solid values that create a lasting legacy in agriculture. Congratulations to the Mohrhauser family for winning this award.”
While judging contests, which included everything from dairy, to livestock, to nursery landscape and wool, take up a majority of the time of the two-day exhibition, the highlight is the Saturday evening show, which recognizes the top awards of the entire event — Round Robin and High Point.
The Round Robin event requires the champion and reserve champions of each livestock event (swine, sheep, equine and cattle) to show against each other in a take-it-all event. The Round Robin Champion was Jacob Englin, a senior agricultural education student from Bruce, S.D., who also won Grand Champion Sheep Showmanship honors. The Reserve Champion Round Robin showman was Calli Pritchard, a senior agricultural leadership studies student from Aurora, S.D., who also won Reserve Grand Champion Swine Showmanship honors.
The High Point award is given to the upperclassman and freshman who are able to score enough points overall in as many contests as they can complete during the two-day event. This means showing livestock, participating in the judging contests, entering seeds in the crop judging event, and taking part in events like lamb lead and ag sales. It requires planning ahead, dedication and being able to be highly competitive on many levels in order to gain enough points to win.
The High Point Upper-Classman honors went to Lane Peterson, a senior animal science student from Holabird, S.D. The High Point Freshman was Kendra Davis, from Glenville, Minn., respectively.
“The winners of Round Robin and High Point were all very deserving of these awards as they all worked very hard on their projects and planned accordingly to be able to participate in the contests, with the time constraints that are presented with such a busy two-day event,” said Buck. “They all represented Little ‘I’ very well in their respective areas.”
After the last of the animals and people left the arena, Buck was ready for a break from all of the work of putting on the event.
“At the end of the day, Little ‘I’ is a lot of work to put together, but with the collaboration of amazing staff, our executive committee, and the leadership of our manager D.J. Buseman, I think it was a huge success,” Buck concluded.
Buseman, a senior animal science student from Canistota, S.D., will hand over the reigns of managing the event next year to John Weber, a junior animal science student from St. Paul, Minn. Make plans to attend next year’s Little “I” event on the SDSU campus to celebrate agriculture and support the next generation of agriculture leaders. Date is yet to be determined.
For complete results on Little “I,” check out the event’s Facebook page.