CLEMSON – Clemson University students will show off livestock exhibition and evaluation skills learned in class when they compete in the Little North American Showmanship Contest on March 31 and April 1.

Clemson University students will show off their livestock exhibition and evaluation skills when they compete in the Little North American Showmanship Contest on March 31 and April 1.

Clemson University students will show off their livestock exhibition and evaluation skills when they compete in the Little North American Showmanship Contest March 31 and April 1 at the T. Ed. Garrison Livestock Arena.
Image Credit: Clemson University

This annual event is free to the public and will be held at the T. Ed. Garrison Livestock Arena and Cattle Complex, 1101 W. Queen St., Pendleton. The show begins at 2 p.m. March 31 and at 8 a.m. on April 1.

Little North American involves students enrolled in animal and veterinary sciences classes where they learn techniques associated with exhibition and evaluation of beef, dairy, equine, poultry and swine. Students start working with their animals about three months prior to the show. During the contest, their animals are judged by professionals.

“This event is entirely run by students and has been held for more than 25 years,” said Richelle Miller Kleman, a lecturer in the Clemson University Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences. “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. Participants also create lifelong memories and friendships.”

Hope Morris is one of the students who benefits from the Little North American show. Morris is a junior agricultural education major from Bonneau. She serves on the Little North American executive committee and has helped organize many events, including Ag Olympics, Miss Little North American, Farmer for a Day with Little North American, ClemsonLIFE involvement and Round Robin week. She also has helped judge events, plan the Little North American show and organize the banquet that follows. Morris has been involved with Little North American since her freshman year at Clemson and said this activity has taught her valuable skills.

“I wanted to achieve a perspective of all the angles of the Little North American, so I decided to take on the task of being an executive member,” Morris said. “This experience certainly has prepared me well for overcoming many common obstacles that I may experience in the workforce. I believe I am now even more proficient in teamwork, communication, professionalism and event planning thanks to this great opportunity. With confidence I can say that I have greatly benefitted from serving as an executive member of this course and being a catalyst of the animal sciences department here at Clemson.”

Lee Van Vlake participated in Little North American before he graduated from Clemson in animal sciences in 2004. Van Vlake, who is an area livestock and forages agent with the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service, said he has greatly benefitted from knowledge and experienced gained from this event.

“Little North American helped me learn about different livestock species including dairy cattle, beef cattle, pigs and horses,” said Van Vlake, of Florence. “I also learned a great deal about teamwork. I helped other students halter break their beef heifers and I assisted other students with their animals as well.”

Van Vlake won Grand Champion Showman for Little North American in 2002.

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