South Dakota State University Hosts 95th Little International March 23 and 24

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SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences

BROOKINGS — South Dakota State University is bringing together the Brookings community, alumni, current students and high school students once again for the 95th Little International, March 23 and 24. The event takes place on the SDSU campus in Brookings, with livestock shows on Friday and Saturday at the SDSU Animal Science Arena.

Little “I’ is a two-day, student-run, agricultural exposition that carries tradition among SDSU students and alumni. A select group of 150 SDSU students plan and conduct the event that hosts a variety of contests for high school 4-H and FFA members, and SDSU students.

With over 230 SDSU students signed up to show an estimated 168 animals, and an additional 1,300 high school students being drawn to campus, Little International is easily the largest student-run exposition in the country.

SDSU’s students compete by showing animals in a variety of competitions, including: beef, sheep, swine, dairy, goat and horse competitions. Additionally, participants can compete in judging contests, an auctioneering contest, barbecue competition, and meat or dairy products contests, among others.

Events are held each year in the SDSU Animal Science Arena on the “green chips, “wood shavings that are colored by staff and have become a signature of the Little “I” exposition.

“The green chips, the white picket fence … it’s a big tradition in the College of Ag and Bio,” general manager for Little International and senior agriculture business major, Kendrah Schafer of Goodhue, Minn., said.

The annual Livestock Drawing makes it possible for any student, regardless of experience, to work with a species of their choice for three weeks prior to competition. This year, the Little “I” staff is trying to increase community outreach and participation.

“We’re doing more community outreach and allowing kids who don’t have the opportunity to show that opportunity,” assistant manager and junior agriculture business major, Tristin Fliehe of Tulare, S.D., said.

Not only is Little “I” a wonderful promotional event for SDSU, but it brings business to Brookings.

“Bringing back alumni, they all come here, they spend money at the businesses and promote the local economy which is really nice to see,” Filehe said. “Basically Little International turns Brookings from kind of a busy town to the busiest town in South Dakota for about two days.”

Friday’s fitting competition begins at 7:30 a.m. and continues through the day. A full day of judging contests and fitting competitions follows. At 5 p.m., opening ceremonies begin for the livestock fitting finals.

On Saturday, the showmanship contest picks up again at 8 a.m. and continues the rest of the day. An alumni reception will be held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, located at 977 11th Street in Brookings. An Honored Agriculturalist from the state of South Dakota will be recognized at 8 p.m. Opening ceremonies for the evening competitions begin at 5 p.m. with showmanship finals to follow. Saturday wraps up with a round robin competition and awards ceremony.

The public is welcome to attend Friday and Saturday’s competitions, and there is no charge for admission. A complete schedule of events can be found at this link

For more information, visit the SDSU – College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences Facebook page at or the SDSU Little International Facebook page at

SDSU’s Little International is the largest student-run livestock exposition in the country. SDSU photo
Many SDSU students, alumni and stakeholders come to the SDSU Animal Science Arena each March to watch Little International competitions. SDSU photo
A staff of 150 SDSU students plans and conducts Little International, led by an Executive Committee made up of, Back row left to right: Tye Harris), Andrea Schubloom, Jonathan Linke, Andrew Berg, Cameron Goodrich, Sam Johnson. Middle row left to right: Lydia Hite, Peyton Dejong, Sienna Kampsen, Ashley Reiner, Madison Schafer, Alison Durheim. Front row left to right: Brianna Buseman, Tristin Fliehe (Assistant Manager), Kendrah Schafer (Manager), Lisa Smith. SDSU photo
This year 230 students will be showing animals during the SDSU Little International in Brookings. SDSU photo