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.
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.