‘Little I’ celebrates 100 years

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — For 100 years, students at Penn State have been gaining experience in handling large animals through showing at Penn State’s Little International Livestock Exposition, the “Little I.”

This year’s 100th anniversary event, hosted by Penn State’s Block and Bridle Club, will be held April 8 at the Penn State Snider Ag Arena, beginning at 8 a.m.

“Little I” is a livestock show that allows students to work with their species of interest — beef heifers, horses, swine or breeding ewes. Throughout the day there will be a variety of special recognitions of alumni from the College of Agricultural Sciences, including the Distinguished Animal Science Alumni, the 2016 Penn State Judging Team and other judging teams that are present, previous champion and reserve champion showmen, previous show managers, and Block and Bridle presidents.

Kasie Kerr, a senior from Bangor, Pennsylvania, is this year’s show manager. She said the show is a “great way for students who are not from farms to get hands-on experiences in handling animals.”

She credits those who are experienced showmen with helping the students who are handling animals for the first time.

Participating in the “Little I” and managing the show has been a dream of Kerr’s since she watched her older brother serving as manager when he was at Penn State.

“I knew then that I wanted to do it.”

‘Tremendous’ opportunity

Bill Rishel, ’67, North Platte, Nebraska, will be the beef judge for the show. In addition to showing animals as an undergraduate, he was also show manager and was a member of the 1966 national champion livestock judging team.

“Serving as manager was a tremendous learning opportunity, and offered a blueprint for a lot of things you do in business and in life; helping you learn to plan, make decisions, organize, and follow through,” Rishel said.

Other judges will be: Dick Kuzemchak, ’68, sheep; Roger Allgeier, ’65, horse; and Joe Strittmatter, ’73, swine.

A silent auction will be held throughout the show, featuring many unique items, including a custom saddle made by alumnus Roger Allgeier of Brighton Feeds & Saddlery, Brighton, Colorado. The highest bidder will have his name engraved on a plate to be attached to the saddle, which will remain in the Traditions Room in Henning Building.

The proceeds from the auction will go toward Block & Bridle’s Endowment Fund.

The Little I banquet will be held following the show at the Mountain View Country Club, Boalsburg, beginning at 5:30 p.m.


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