PENDLETON — Farm animals at the T. Ed. Garrison Livestock Arena and Cattle Complex received top-notch treatment as Clemson University students showed off their exhibition and evaluation skills during the 2017 Little North American Showmanship Contest.

Clemson students enrolled in AVS 2090 learn techniques associated with exhibition and evaluation of beef, dairy, equine, poultry and swine. They, then, compete with their animals in the annual Little North American contes

Clemson students enrolled in AVS 2090 learn techniques associated with exhibition and evaluation of beef, dairy, equine, poultry and swine. They compete with their animals in the annual Little North American contest.
Image Credit: Denise Attaway / Clemson University

The students are enrolled in the Livestock Exhibition Course (AVS 2090) where they learn techniques associated with exhibition and evaluation of beef, dairy, equine, poultry and swine.

Maitland Weaver, a freshman from Darlington, said preparing for the show helped her learn how to prepare animals for exhibition. Weaver showed a cow in Little North American 2017.

“I’ve learned how to groom a cow’s hair so that it lays in a manner that defines the muscles,” Weaver said, as she blow-dried her cow’s hair. “Proper grooming is important when showing livestock.”

After she completes her education, Weaver said she plans to open her own veterinary clinic.

Jada Jiles, a freshman Georgetown who is studying to go to veterinary school, said taking this class and preparing for the show has taught her a lot about animals she may be working with once she begins her career.

“After I complete school, I hope to be a veterinarian to exotic animals,” Jiles said. “This class has been instrumental in preparing me to experience being around all different types of animals. I’ve learned how to interact with them and I’ve learned about different diseases they may have, and things like that. Taking this class has helped me learn many different aspects of different species. This is beneficial because it helps prepare (students) for things they may encounter when dealing with these animals.”

Al Harman of Leesville has a daughter, Allison, who also participated in the show. Harman said he believes that livestock shows are an important part of the learning process.

“We have a small farm and our children grew up showing animals,” Harman said. “They learned about responsibility from a very early age. They have always been responsible for their animals. They have to feed their animals and do everything else needed to care for the animals. Showing their animals has been great for them as well. They have met people and made friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Students learning about responsibility is a main objective of the class, Richelle Miller Kleman, a lecturer in the Clemson University animal and veterinary sciences department. (See related images)

“This event has been held for more than 25 years,” Kleman said. “Participating in Little North American helps students develop professional-level skills in show development, as well as become better stockmen because they have to care for these animals on a daily basis.”

Winners in Clemson University’s Little North American 2017 event are: Marti Leake, freshman, Honea Path, beef champion; Hannah Richey, senior, Honea Path, beef reserve champion; Allison Harman, freshman, Leesville, sheep champion; Hannah Oswalt, freshman, Center Motiches, New York, sheep reserve champion; Sydney Simmons, freshman, Clinton, dairy champion; Mayson Cox, freshman, Loris, dairy reserve champion; Adrianna Fetterman, freshman, Boxborough, Massachusetts, equine champion; Peyton Svagerko, sophomore, Moncks Corner, equine reserve champion; Leeanna Pate, freshman, Pageland, poultry champion; Kameron Lavisky, freshman, Chapin, poultry reserve champion; Pierce Bishop, freshman, Fort Mill, swine champion; and Hannah Calvert, freshman from Hopkins, swine reserve champion.

Teaching assistant winners were: Taylor Whetsell and Jordan Metzger, both juniors from Clemson, beef; Katie Amsler, junior, Lexington, Kalie Hopkins, junior, Simpsonville, Katy Lankford, junior, Lugoff, and Grace Collins, sophomore, Bluffton, dairy; Ashley McCarter, junior from York, and Erika Jones, sophomore from Columbia, equine; Addie Carter and Kate Fosberry, both juniors from Clemson, poultry;  Lauren Scott, junior animal and veterinary sciences major, Aiken, and Kara Stem, senior,  Summerville, sheep; and Ben Ruddy, sophomore, Clemson, and Katie Datillio, sophomore, Lexington, swine.

Sportsmanship winners were: Marti Leake, freshman, Honea Path, beef; Mayson Cox, freshman, Loris, dairy; Jennie McDonald, freshman, Alpharetta, Georgia, equine; Brooke Blankenship, freshman, Chapin, poultry; Allison Harman, freshman, Leesville, sheep; and Jada Jiles, freshman, Georgetown, swine.

Allison Harman, freshman, Leesville, won the Herdsman Award, Superior Stockman Award and Round Robin Champion title. Hannah Richey, senior, Honea Path, was named Round Robin Reserve Champion.

Sheep was the Superior Species for the 2017 Little North American contest.

Executive committee members for Little North American are: Hope Morris, junior, Bonneau; James Scott, senior, West Columbia; Dori Webster, sophomore, Latta; and Harris Jordan, junior, Sumter.

Little North American is an annual event held to mimic the North American International Livestock Exhibition, a very competitive and prestigious livestock show held each year in Louisville, Kentucky.