Students Participate in career development events at SDSU’s Little International

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Nearly 2,000 FFA and 4-H students and over 175 SDSU students participated in South Dakota State University’s 96th Little International held on March 29-30, 2019. The largest student-run livestock exposition in the country is run by a staff of 150 students overseen by student manager Tristin Fliehe of Tulare and assistant manager Colin VanderWal of Volga.

“The weekend is filled with so much excitement and energy as students get to showcase the hard work they have put in for the last few weeks and many alumni fill the Animal Science Arena to take part in this time-honored tradition,” Fliehe said.

On Friday, FFA and 4-H members, as well as SDSU students, competed in 18 career development events and judging contests ranging from livestock judging and farm business management to floriculture, veterinary science, dairy products judging and more, put on by Little International staff. The veterinary science competition was a new addition this year.

Since 1939, Little International has selected an honored agriculturalist to recognize at the event. This year, David Stenberg of Colman was honored for his many contributions to the cattle industry and South Dakota. Stenberg raises and sells purebred Hereford bulls, steers and heifer prospects with his grandson. He served as president and board member for the South Dakota Hereford Association, was recognized by the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association as Cattleman of the Year in 1999, was named an Eminent Farmer by SDSU in 2007 and served in the South Dakota House of Representatives.

Beginning Friday afternoon and going through Saturday evening, over 175 SDSU students competed as experienced and novice showmen in showmanship and fitting contests across six different species including beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, swine and horses.

“This event delivers on our college mission of hands-on learning,” said John Killefer, South Dakota Corn Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. “I am very proud of the Little International staff and participants.”

Nathan Linke of Woonsocket was named the high point freshman and Maggie Post of Lakefield, Minn., received high point upperclassman. Round robin champion was Jeremiah Johnson of Huron and reserve champion was Cole Jackson of Sanborn, Minn.

Students have an opportunity to show off their knowledge of the wool industry in the lamb lead contest at Little International. Clubs can choose a student member to represent them in the contest and participants must fit a sheep, model a wool outfit, and complete an interview where they are asked questions about their outfit and the wool industry. Winning lamb lead was Hannah Berg of Pipestone, Minn., representing the SDSU Dairy Club.

Experienced swine showmanship champion was Lacey Schmitz of Oakes, N.D., and reserve champion went to Haley Schwecke of Gibbon, Minn. Emily Walton of Sioux City, Iowa, was the novice swine showmanship champion and Kathryn Paulson of Garden City was named reserve champion.

Sierra Fastert of Rock Rapids, Iowa, won experienced goat showmanship and fitting and Daniel Scotting of Pipestone, Minn., was reserve champion in goat showmanship and fitting. Winning novice goat showmanship was Lexi Wetzel of Fairbault, Minn., and reserve champion was Josh Homann of Pipestone, Minn. Josh Homann won novice goat fitting and Lexi Wetzel was reserve champion.

Horse showmanship champion was MaQuelah Schueler of Willmar, Minn., and reserve champion was Emily Walton of Sioux City, Iowa. Winning experienced horse fitting was Callie Kukuchka of Belle Fourche and reserve went to Callie Mueller of Florence. Natasha Wiest of Napa, Calif., won novice horse fitting and Lindsey Wolles of Dell Rapids was reserve champion.

Jeremiah Johnson of Huron won experienced sheep showmanship and Ryan Franz of Windom, Minn., was reserve champion. Novice sheep showmanship champion was Jamie Beckstrand of Waldorf, Minn., and reserve champion was Amy Beckstrand of Waldorf, Minn. Experienced sheep fitting champion was Jaclynn Knutson of Viborg and reserve champion was Jeremiah Johnson. Novice sheep fitting champion was Kayla Kutzke of Lake Lillian, Minn., and reserve was Kate Dentlinger of Manning, Iowa.

Experienced beef showmanship champion was Jacob Sievers of Wolsey and reserve champion was Cole Jackson of Sanborn, Minn. Experienced beef fitting champion was Cole Jackson and reserve champion was Brittany Rhyner of Mineral Point, Wis. Winning novice beef showmanship and fitting was Riggen Zelinsky of Brookings and reserve champion in novice beef showmanship and fitting was Maddie LeQve of Rochester, Minn.

Johannah Nielsen of Russel, Minn., won experienced dairy showmanship and Laura Frye of Logansport, Ind., was reserve champion. Winning novice dairy showmanship was Lindsey Wolles of Dell Rapids and reserve went to Katelyn Vizecky of Toronto. Winning experienced dairy fitting was Laura Frye of Logansport, Ind., and reserve champion was Taylor Jerde of Northfield, Minn. Novice dairy fitting champion was Katelyn Vizecky and reserve champion was Lindsey Wolles.

–SDSU Extension