Linnea Axtmen may be from Fargo, but she was able to get a glimpse of what life is like on the farm when visiting her aunts, uncles and grandparents’ operations.
“As my sister likes to say, we’re ag adjacent,” Axtmen joked.
Axtmen is a sophomore studying business administration at North Dakota State University. She is a member of the Saddle and Sirloin club on campus, the club responsible for putting on Little International. The Little I, as it’s commonly referred to, is a time-honored tradition filled with rich history.
This year is the 98th Little I that will be held on the North Dakota State University campus on Feb. 9-10. It’s a chance for people like Axtmen to get the chance to show livestock that didn’t have the opportunity to when growing up. After showing a lamb last year, Axtmen is showing a different species this year.
I am showing a beef heifer this year, her name is Kiwi and she is doing pretty good,” Axtmen said. “I think this is a huge opportunity because when in my life am I just going to be able to go show a cow or a sheep and so it’s a great way for people who didn’t have those opportunities growing up to do it.”
Kasi Holm is a senior at NDSU studying human development and family science and is this year’s Little I queen. Holm grew up on a ranch in Ashley, North Dakota, where her family has a commercial cow herd and a silage business. She is the youngest of five children and after watching three of her siblings be an active member of Saddle and Sirloin and partake in Little International she knew she wanted to be a part of the tradition as well.
Holm has greatly enjoyed her reign as Little I queen and has loved seeing the Saddle and Sirloin members work hard to bring the event to life.
“I’m looking forward to seeing all the members and all their hard work pay off. Our members have put anywhere from a month to two weeks with their animals,” Holm said.
The Little International is a popular event, it brings back NDSU alumni, who fill the seats of Shepperd Arena to watch the show. It is also an opportunity for alumni to give back to the club that they were a part of.
“When you come in here on Saturday, Feb. 10th, you will see a bunch of alumni,” Holm said. “The alumni give back to our club, so they give us sponsorships to be able to give our members awards and scholarships.”
To find out more about the Little I event, visit
Emily grew up on a corn, soybean and wheat farm in southern Ohio where her family also raises goats. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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