FARGO, N.D. — Mitch Molitor is no stranger to the Little International show ring, competing in the showmanship competition all four years of his collegiate career. But this year, something was different. This year, Molitor was named the overall showman of the North Dakota State University 95th Little International.

“Winning the Little International was unreal. It was almost better than any other show I have ever won. Just, there’s so many people that you really appreciate and admire, and to be crowned the winner of all that is a fantastic feeling,” Molitor said.

NDSU’s Saddle and Sirloin Cub’s Little International is an annual event that has taken place since 1922. The event focuses on animal husbandry, and participants can choose to show from an array of animals. Other facets include a speech competition, a ham curing competition, hippology and a silent auction.

In order to participate in the Little International, one must become or already be a member of NDSU’s Saddle and Sirloin club.

Molitor grew up in Watkins, Minn., on his family’s dairy farm. There he was active on the farm, helping wherever he was needed.

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“We milked 130 cattle. It was lots of work, but lots of fun,” Molitor said.

Before attending NDSU, Molitor was an active 4-H member. While he showed in the dairy arena for one year, his main focus was in the sheep arena. He was also involved in agriculture education and a member of the FFA.

“I loved participating in both FFA and 4-H growing up. I loved doing all that sort of stuff,” Molitor said.

Molitor took his passion for agriculture-related clubs and activities along with him to college, where he is in many clubs and organizations affiliated with agriculture. He is a member of the Saddle and Sirloin Club, the Bison Dairy Club, the Agronomy Club, a member of the Farm Bureau Club and he is also in the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.

When it came to participating in the Little International, Molitor knew he had to put in the work prior to the show if he wanted to be named the winner.

“You don’t just win the Little I, if you are going to win it, that is. It’s very competitive; there are too many good showmen and a lot of people that know what they are doing. Even the people who don’t know what they are doing or don’t have showing experience, they work their hind ends off to be competitive. If you don’t put the effort in, you just are not going to win the Little International,” Molitor said.

Molitor will graduate from NDSU this spring with a degree in agricultural economics. With this degree, he hopes to be able to give back to the industry that has given him so much.

“I would love to get into and am trying to get into ag lending, just trying to give back to the farmers. My family is one of those dairy farms that didn’t quite make it out. So, I would just love to give back to the ag community any way I could,” Molitor said.