Dakota Farmer

SDSU Little 'I' a success despite COVID-19

Slideshow: Theme of this year’s expo “The Show Must Go On” is appropriate as the 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Schulz, Editor

April 13, 2021

15 Slides

Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series overviewing the activities and events of the 98th Little International at South Dakota State University.

South Dakota State University’s Little International exposition took place as planned the last weekend in March, though the show looked a little different than that of past years. Little “I” as it is called, began in 1921, and has only been canceled four times: in 1926 due to the scarlet fever epidemic, 1944 and 1945 because of World War II, and last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: Little ‘I’ a family affair for Rausches

The first Little I was patterned after the Chicago International Livestock Exposition. SDSU’s Animal Science Arena is the third location on campus to house the event, hosting the two-day event since 1977.

Though the exposition is known for its livestock shows, college students also try their hand at ag product sales, agronomy, farm business management, livestock judging, meat judging and wool judging, among many other categories to improve agricultural knowledge.

Beef heifers and bulls, dairy cows, horses and sheep that are showed over the two days originate in the respective SDSU livestock units, while the hogs are purchased from a producer and Boer goats are rented.

SDSU students get a limited amount of time before the show to train, primp and familiarize themselves with the animal. For some students, Little I presents a first time for showing an animal, while other students use the show as an opportunity to spread their wings in the show ring by working with an animal that they may not be familiar with.


About the Author(s)

Kevin Schulz

Editor, The Farmer

Kevin Schulz joined The Farmer as editor in January of 2023, after spending two years as senior staff writer for Dakota Farmer and Nebraska Farmer magazines. Prior to joining these two magazines, he spent six years in a similar capacity with National Hog Farmer. Prior to joining National Hog Farmer, Schulz spent a long career as the editor of The Land magazine, an agricultural-rural life publication based in Mankato, Minn.

During his tenure at The Land, the publication grew from covering 55 Minnesota counties to encompassing the entire state, as well as 30 counties in northern Iowa. Covering all facets of Minnesota and Iowa agriculture, Schulz was able to stay close to his roots as a southern Minnesota farm boy raised on a corn, soybean and hog finishing farm.

One particular area where he stayed close to his roots is working with the FFA organization.

Covering the FFA programs stayed near and dear to his heart, and he has been recognized for such coverage over the years. He has received the Minnesota FFA Communicator of the Year award, was honored with the Minnesota Honorary FFA Degree in 2014 and inducted into the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame in 2018.

Schulz attended South Dakota State University, majoring in agricultural journalism. He was also a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and now belongs to its alumni organization.

His family continues to live on a southern Minnesota farm near where he grew up. He and his wife, Carol, have raised two daughters: Kristi, a 2014 University of Minnesota graduate who is married to Eric Van Otterloo and teaches at Mankato (Minn.) East High School, and Haley, a 2018 graduate of University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She is married to John Peake and teaches in Hayward, Wis. 

When not covering the agriculture industry on behalf of The Farmer's readers, Schulz enjoys spending time traveling with family, making it a quest to reach all 50 states — 47 so far — and three countries. He also enjoys reading, music, photography, playing basketball, and enjoying nature and campfires with friends and family.

[email protected]

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