Nebraska hosts 93 annual Little AKSARBEN, rebuilds from COVID year

by Natalie Jones | IANR News

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s annual livestock showmanship contest, Little AKSARBEN, was held on Oct. 29 at the R.B. Warren Area by the Block and Bridle club. Photo by Malina Lindstrom.
November 23, 2021

Lincoln, Neb. —The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's annual livestock showmanship contest, Little AKSARBEN, was held Oct. 29 at the R.B. Warren Arena by the Block and Bridle Club. 

In its 93rd year, Nebraska’s livestock legacy continued with a total of 20 showmen competing in cattle, sheep, goat and swine divisions. Little ASKSARBEN serves as an excellent chance for both experienced and non-experienced showmen to improve their livestock showmanship, fitting and judging skills. There were novice and experienced divisions for each livestock species.  

Little ASKSARBEN committee co-chairs Ralston Ripp of Kearney and Emma Schmidt of Bridgman, Michigan added a new element to the show this year by introducing a celebrity showmanship division. In this division, seven faculty, one graduate student and Block and Bridle president Shaye Koester competed showing steers.  

“We saw with the celebrity showmanship that the faculty were really supportive and hope to carry on the tradition and hopefully get back up to 50 showmen,” said Ripp, a senior animal science and agribusiness double major with minors in the Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars program and Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship program.  

“There’s definitely a lot of excitement and potential for growth, and it’s getting information out early so people can prioritize coming to it,” Ripp said. “I’d like to see more novice showmen get involved and even get an audience from city campus and other students who may have never been around animals before.” 

Co-chair Schmidt, a sophomore animal science major in the livestock production option, with a minor in the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship program is already looking forward to to co-chairing the event again next year. This year her focus was on spending time in the barn, and helping exhibitors work with their animals and get organized for the show. 

Experienced Division Results:  

Champion Cattle Showman – Maddie Sonnenfeld 

Reserve Cattle Showman – Sophie Korytowski  


Champion Sheep Showman – Chase Devries 

Reserve Sheep Showman – Sarah Dilley  


Champion Goat Showman – Taylor Cross 

Reserve Goat Showman – Sarah Dilley  


Champion Swine Showman – Sydney May  

Reserve Swine Showman – Elizabeth Hodges  


Top Overall Experienced Little ASKSARBEN Showman – Sarah Dilley


Novice Division Results:  

Champion Cattle Showman – Nick Prosek  

Reserve Cattle Showman – Kylie Dierks  


Champion Sheep Showman – Nick Prosek  

Reserve Sheep Showman – Jessi Bresster  


Champion Goat Showman – Kenzie Deprez  

Reserve Goat Showman – Nick Prosek  


Champion Swine Showman – Nick Prosek  

Reserve Swine Showman – Kylie Dierks  


Top Overall Novice Little AKSARBEN Showman – Nick Prosek 


Nebraska judges were Jefferson Keller from St. Paul and Cathy Hervert of Ravenna. Both are alumni of the Nebraska Animal Science program. Judging has come full circle for Hervert, as a former overall Little AKSARBEN showman during her freshman year at Nebraska.  

2021 sponsors included Aurora Cooperative, Final Drive Show Supply, Gottsch Livestock Feeders, Maykin Bacon Show Pigs and Schmidt Girl's Farm. 

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Block & Bride club is one of four inaugural clubs to become a chapter in a news national organization in 1919. The club’s objective is to provide education, leadership and service to members and the agricultural community. 

News Release Contact

  • Brianna Buseman
  • Extension Assistant Professor
  • Animal Science Department
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