By: Maria Hager
The Little International, on second thought, may be quite incorrectly named. After all, the event really is not so little anymore.
First occurring in 1922, the Little International or more commonly, Little “I”, is the largest student-run event in the state of North Dakota put on by the largest club at North Dakota State University.
The student showmanship competition has grown to include over 300 participants and attract more than 600 individuals to Fargo, N.D. every February. Students can compete in showmanship categories spread over beef, dairy, sheep and swine as well as participate in the infamous ham curing competition, public speaking competition, and photo contest.
Over the span of two days, Little “I” encompasses a multi-state 4H/FFA Judging Contest, the annual, prestigious Hall of Fame Banquet, Showmanship Preliminaries and Finals, as well as the Dance in the Chips.
The entire event is equipped with its very own Little “I” Queen and Princesses, talented Emcees, witty, hardworking Pooper Scoopers (a.k.a Ring Men), and opening ceremonies with a horse-drawn stagecoach – it’s a show you do not want to miss!
The prestigious Hall of Fame Banquet – sounds like an important program. That is because the banquet, and the entire Little “I” weekend, has its roots bedded to honor and recognize the Agriculturist of the Year; an individual inducted by the Saddle and Sirloin club every year that has made a considerable impact on North Dakota agriculture. A person who portrays a humbleness that places good for their fellow men above personal acclaim, rightness in the eyes of God above monetary gain, and an understanding of the need of youth to be recognized as a part of the ever changing economy in this most rural of areas.
The theme of this year’s 89th Little International is “We Stand for the Brand” and will be occurring at Shepperd Arena in Fargo, N.D. on February 13th – 14th, 2015.