Saturday marked the 80th annual Little International Stock Show, sponsored by the Young Cattlemen’s Association at the University of California, Davis.
A record number of 62 participants took part in the event, which was held at the Cole Facility on La Rue Road and Putah Creek Lodge Road.
The Little I show presented an opportunity for students with little or no experience with livestock to learn the tricks of the trade.
“This program allows students that didn’t have that opportunity growing up to pay a small fee of $20 to [participate in the program and] learn about showmanship of livestock. If they never had the agriculture programs growing up, this is an opportunity that helps you visualize breeding and marketing,” said senior Alicia Bosenko, one of the program’s coordinators.
Students participated in six different categories: hogs, goats, dairy, beef, sheep, and horses. They were evaluated on a 10-point scale by a panel of experienced judges based on presentation as well as knowledge of the species.
To prepare, students spent over a month with a species leader – an undergraduate student who has had extensive experience with the category of animal – learning about the care, marketing and presentation of livestock.
“I learned so much information, so much practical knowledge about how to handle animals, I learned a lot about where my food comes from,” said Emma Mele, a first-year animal biology major. “The first day you go to the barn and you choose an animal, which they number, and you go to practice with it every week.“
Students, many dressed in plaid shirts, denim pants, big buckles and cowboy boots, carefully guided their animals around the corral, paying close attention to detail. Presentation reflected weeks of meticulous practice.
“My horse [named Sister Major] was awesome,” said Vivian Twu, a third-year animal biology major. “But she still had some stuff I needed to work on; she would walk really fast, and her head would come in front of me when we were walking. The horse’s head has to be where the shoulder is, and I had to work with her to keep her head back and slow her pace.
At the end of the show, winners were announced in each category: Emma Mele (sheep), Zia Shepp (goats), Amy Fochetti (dairy), Ivana Li (hogs), Vivian Twu (horses), and Sabrina Larsen (beef).