The Saddle and Sirloin Club of North Dakota State University is excited to announce the arrival of their famous upcoming event, the Little International. This year will mark the 93rd Little “I” which will be Feb. 8-9.

The Little International Livestock Show is the largest student-run event on the NDSU campus involving over 300 students. The show features showmanship classes of beef, dairy, sheep, and swine as well as ham curing and public speaking contestants.

Audience members of the Little “I” show, happening at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 9 in Shepperd Arena on the NDSU Campus, will truly be able to see this year’s theme, “History in the Making,” as club members have put in hours upon hours of hard work to make this year’s event one of the best to enter Shepperd Arena. Those attending will have a fun-filled evening cheering on exhibitors and will have the opportunity to participate in the Ham Curing Auction, a 50/50 raffle, and the Silent Auction. This is a family-friendly event, so bring along the whole gang.

Agriculturist of the Year

The Little International also honors an Agriculturist of the Year. This honor is awarded by the North Dakota State University Saddle and Sirloin Club to recognizean individual who has not only excelled, but also contributed substantially to the agriculture industry of North Dakota. This year’s Agriculturist of the Year is Dr. Susan Keller of Mandan, N.D.

Dr. Keller and her husband along with their three kids live south of Mandan on the Keller Broken Heart Ranch. Dr. Keller puts in many hours on the ranch helping out with their registered Simmental and SimAngus cow/calf operation. They also put on a production sale every March. She has been a tremendous advocate for agriculture throughout her whole life and has instilled the passion for this industry into her three children, Luke, Jake, and Tessa. One of the many ways that she has inspired them to be passionate for agriculture is her involvement in their 4-H and FFA careers. While being a strong supporter of the two organizations, she has encouraged them to excel with both.

Not only is Dr. Keller a key part of the Keller Broken Heart Ranch, but she also has been the state veterinarian since 2004. Before becoming the state veterinarian, she was on the State Board of Animal Health serving as the deputy state veterinarian from 1997 to 2004. She has been practicing veterinary medicine in the state of North Dakota for the past 21 years. Dr. Keller has been a crucial part to control, suppress, and eradicate any and all contagious diseases among all animals in the entire state. Dr. Keller also served as the vice president of the National Assembly for two years and then served as president for the following two years. This allowed her to expand her boundaries beyond the state’s borders.

Agriculturist of the Year is awarded to individuals with the utmost integrity and dedication to North Dakota agriculture. These individuals have made an impact not only through their work in the industry, but also through their service to many organizations and associations that shape agriculture and represent producers throughout the state. Recipients of this award act as a role model for the students of the Saddle and Sirloin club to follow in their own endeavors.

Dr. Keller will be recognized as the NDSU Saddle and Sirloin club’s 93rd Little International Agriculturist of the Year at the Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 8 with a 5 p.m. social and 6 p.m. meal at the Avalon West Events Center.

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