Dakota Farmer

Little International celebrates 100 yearsLittle International celebrates 100 years

South Dakota State University students compete and celebrate this flagship year on campus.

Sarah McNaughton

April 10, 2023

2 Min Read
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS: SDSU students put on the Little “I” show each year. The 100th show made for special events for both alumni and students.SDSU Little International

The Little International at South Dakota State University marked its 100th year March 31 to April 1. This capstone event focused on the traditions of where Little “I” started and the vision of its future at SDSU.

Cody Gifford, a senior studying agriculture science from Arco, Minn., served as the event’s manager, with Isaac Berg, a junior studying animal science from Pipestone, Minn., as assistant manager. While these two were the main leaders of the event, more than 150 other students worked as event staff.

Each year, Little I selects an Honored Agriculturalist based on his or her dedication, passion and impact for the agriculture industry. The 2023 recipient was Rod Geppert, of Fort Pierre, S.D. An alumnus of SDSU, he is a regional manager with the American Angus Association.

OVERALL CHAMP: Makayla Nelson won top honors at the Little “I” contest, taking home Grand Champion Experienced Swine Showman and Round Robin Champion.

Current students competed in showmanship and fitting contests during the main show, including sheep, beef, goat, swine, horse and dairy. Students can compete in either novice or experienced categories. Honors were also given for hardest-working competitors. Results of the contests are below:

Showmanship. The winners in the experienced category are:

  • Sheep — Emily Nold (Round Robin Reserve champion)

  • Beef — Lucas Bjorklund

  • Goat — Bradyn Lachenmeier

  • Dairy — Kelsey Erf

  • Horse — Rachel Coudron

  • Swine — Makayla Nelson (Round Robin champion)

The winners in the novice category are:

  • Sheep — Cassidy Strommen

  • Beef — Jacob Chapman

  • Goat — Kelsey Swearinger

  • Dairy — Jenna Dougherty

  • Horse — Alexis Stolicker

  • Swine — Aubrey Van Briesen

Fitting. The winners in the experienced category are:

  • Sheep — Zachary Schoelerman

  • Beef — Lucas Bjorklund

  • Goat — Trevor Mente

  • Dairy — Taylor Festor

  • Horse — Jaylynn Frandrup

The winners in the novice category are:

  • Sheep — Sydney Sheffield

  • Beef — Bryn Anderson

  • Goat — Jerson Kopka

  • Dairy — Drew Stock

  • Horse — Alexis Stolicker

Hardest-working exhibitors. The winners include:

  • Sheep — Sydney Sheffield

  • Beef — Carter Sanny

  • Goat — Jerson Kopka

  • Dairy — Sophie Kyllonen

  • Horse — Shelby Holmes

  • Swine — Mackenzie Hanssen

To find out more information about the 100th Little International, visit sdsulittleinternational.com.

About the Author(s)

Sarah McNaughton

Editor, Dakota Farmer, Farm Progress

Sarah McNaughton is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture communications, along with minors in animal science and Extension education. She is working on completing her master’s degree in Extension education and youth development, also at NDSU. In her undergraduate program, she discovered a love for the agriculture industry and the people who work in it through her courses and involvement in professional and student organizations.

After graduating college, Sarah worked at KFGO Radio out of Fargo, N.D., as a farm and ranch reporter. She covered agriculture and agribusiness news for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Most recently she was a 4-H Extension agent in Cass County, N.D., teaching, coordinating and facilitating youth programming in various project areas.

She is involved in agriculture in both her professional and personal life, serving on the executive board for North Dakota Agri-Women, and as a member in American Agri-Women, Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority Alumni and Professional Women in Agri-business. As a life-long 4-H’er, she is a regular volunteer for North Dakota 4-H programs and events.

In her free time, she is an avid backpacker and hiker, enjoys running with her cattle dog Ripley, and can be found most summer weekends at rodeos around the Midwest.

Sarah is originally from Grand Forks, N.D., and currently resides in Fargo.

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