Lakeland hosts Ag-Citing and Little Royal starting March 13

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March 2, 2015
The Vermilion campus will be bustling with activity and visitors March 13-15 when Lakeland College hosts Ag-Citing and Little Royal
Prospective students will learn about Lakeland’s agricultural sciences programs on Friday, March 13 at the Ag-Citing info session. With mini-labs, tours and class-type activities, participants will find out how they can Live the Learning at Lakeland.

“Ag-Citing highlights the hands-on components that prospective students will get to do, the decisions that they will get to make and how all of that ties together from a program perspective. Throughout the day they can visit with our team and meet our current students who will help to demonstrate and show them some of things that they will get to do when they are a student here,” says Darrell Hickman, chair of agricultural sciences.

"There is so much that goes on during the day and over the weekend that they can really get a feel for our culture. That’s one of the things that I think as young agriculture people they will appreciate. It makes them feel at home and provides a sense of belonging.”

The Little Royal tradition continues from March 13-15 with a number of exciting and fun events. Little Royal opens with a pancake breakfast at 7:30 am followed by the 27th annual Western Canadian Judging Competition featuring 4-H and collegiate judges at 8:30 am on Friday, March 13. Demos from the Agility Club and Stock Dog Club will follow later in the day along with a Ranch Rodeo in the evening.

The three-day event continues on Saturday, March 14 with the Stockman’s Club Steer and Heifer Open and Junior Show from 8 am to 4 pm, followed by the Little Royal Rodeo at 7 pm. Saturday events conclude with the evening dance in the gymnasium at 10 pm. Little Royal will wrap up on Sunday with the final rodeo performance at 2 pm.

A look back at Little Royal

In 1927 the tradition of Little Royal was born. Animal husbandry instructor J.F. Andrew was the visionary who pinned a notice to the Vermilion School of Agriculture (VSA) bulletin board 88 years ago announcing the Little Livestock International on March 23, with the grand sum of $22 up for grabs in four classes. From these initial classes – livestock draft horses, one- and two-year-old Shorthorn heifers and Oxford ewe lambs – the show grew and was named Little Royal in homage to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.

From the late 1920s until the 1960s Little Royal was one of the highlights of the year at the college. Much more than a livestock show, Little Royal expanded to classroom demonstrations and general exhibits of class projects ranging through blacksmith tools and wood working to muffins and gowns. The tradition was revived in 1986 and again included Lakeland student displays and livestock shows. The Little Royal Rodeo, part of the intercollegiate circuit, was an added feature at the revival.

Photos: Right from Little Royal pancake breakfast through Western Canadian Judging, agribusiness lunch competitions, Stockman's Show and rodeo performances. Left one of the first Little Royal shows in the late 1920s and a line-up of beef animals in the early 1960s.