South Dakota State University invites members of the public to watch the 98th Little International via livestream on the group’s social media sites as exhibitors carry on a modified version of the traditional event at the Animal Science Arena in Brookings March 26-27.
As the largest two-day, student-run agricultural exposition in the nation, Little “I” has proven to be one of the longest-standing traditions at SDSU. The event provides 4-H, FFA and collegiate students with an opportunity to compete in judging contests, showmanship competitions and fitting challenges.
After the campus closure forced the cancelation of the 97th Little “I” in March 2020, the 130-student staff found the theme “The Show Must Go On” appropriate for this year’s event. Despite challenges COVID-19 has placed on event protocols and procedures, the staff modified the 98-year-old tradition to create a safe and memorable experience for all.
While the event is not open to the public due to event restrictions, every show can be viewed through livestreaming services provided by Walton Webcasting. Livestream links will be posted to the SDSU Little International Facebook page immediately before each session: https://www.facebook.com/SDSULittleI.
4-H and FFA competitions will be held virtually on March 26 for youth competitors. Collegiate livestock showing and fitting and other contests will be held according to approved social distancing protocols on campus throughout the weekend.
Manager Jacob Rausch and assistant manager Grady Gullickson met extensively with the SDSU COVID-19 Response Team to ensure the event plan met university guidelines and kept safety as a top priority. While staff members have been planning for the event since early last fall, final approval to host the event was dependent upon Brookings County’s COVID-19 status. Approval for a modified event was not received until late January. Since receiving approval, staff volunteers worked even harder to ensure several components of the event could be held in person given modified protocols.
In addition to livestock shows and contests, Little “I” will recognize both the 97th and 98th Honored Agriculturalists, Donna Moenning and Kevin Vander Wal, respectively, on the evening of Saturday, March 27. Greg Harder and Colin Geppert will serve as the event’s masters of ceremonies.
For more information, full event schedule and the event catalog, go to sdsulittleinternational.com.