Little International Celebrates 88th Year
Biggest student-run production showcases variety of events
Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 09:02
The lights go down and the crowd roars.
Two large Clydesdale horses burst through the open garage door of Sheppard Arena pulling a large red stagecoach carrying members of NDSU’s Saddle and Sirloin Club.
Little International, the annual livestock show and campus’s biggest student-run production, celebrated its 88th year Saturday.
“It takes over 300 students to make Little International happen,” said Levi Helmuth, this year’s Little International manager.
Students are on committees such as technology, banquet, flowers, art, ethics and more to prep for the show. Students can also participate by showing beef heifers, dairy heifers, sheep, pigs or horses.
Students who show animals are assigned an animal two to four weeks before the show. The student must train the animal so they can be led in an arena with others and respond to simple commands. They must also clip the animal’s hair or wool to certain standards — depending on the animal — to look presentable during for the show. Contestants are then judged upon their showmanship.
Students who showed horses trained the animals to perform certain commands such as walking in circles, sideways or backwards and trotting. This year’s overall horse showman was Nikki Naas, a junior majoring in agricultural economics.
Four types of beef heifers were shown: Commercial, Shorthorn, Angus and Simmental. The overall beef showman was Jared Seinola, a senior majoring in animal science. Seinola showed a commercial beef heifer.
Dairy heifers were separated into two classes due to the amount of contestants. The overall dairy showman was Rachael Lagein, a senior animal science major.
Contestants either showed a Columbia or a Hampshire sheep. The overall sheep showman was Taylor Friesz, a junior majoring in agribusiness. Friesz showed a Columbia sheep.
Four different types of hogs were also shown: Duroc, Dorset, Hampshire and Yorkshire. The overall pig showman was Jacqlyn Heins, a sophomore majoring in animal science. Heins had shown a Duroc hog.
Some students participated in curing a ham a couple weeks before the show. The hams are then judged by presentation and by overall taste. The top 10 hams are then auctioned off during the evening show. The 88th Little International overall ham winner was Kara Scherbenske, a senior majoring in animal science. Her ham was auctioned off for $1,100.
The five overall champions from each class then participated in a round robin competition. They had two minutes to show each animal: horse, dairy, beef, pig and sheep. The reserve showman was Friesz and the overall showman was Seinola.
“It was an unreal feeling when my name got called,” Seinola said. “There were lots of emotions. All of them good.”
Plans for the 89th Little International are already underway.