NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Club Creates Future Leaders

Organized on March 15, 1918, North Dakota State University’s Saddle and Sirloin Club was created by J.H. Shepperd and the livestock judging team that represented NDSU at that year’s International Judging Contest in Chicago. These creative students saw a need for an organization that would develop a greater interest in animal husbandry at NDSU.  

One hundred three years later, with more than 300 members, the NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Club is the largest student organization on campus.  

“While the club’s purpose is still rooted in promoting the agricultural industry and animal welfare, participating in the Saddle and Sirloin Club is actually a springboard for leadership development,” says Eric Berg, NDSU Department of Animal Sciences professor and Saddle and Sirloin Club adviser. “Beyond the club’s traditional officer positions, there are upwards of 20 different events and committees that offer leadership opportunities as well.” 

Many of the club’s past members have used the skills they cultivated during their time in the Saddle and Sirloin Club to be successful in their adult endeavors.  

Julie Ellingson of Saint Anthony, N.D., who recently was named the club’s 95th Agriculturist of the Year, says the connections and friendships she made during her time as an NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Club member helped set the stage for her future career.  

“I never had the opportunity to compete in the Little I showmanship contest because my family’s cattle production sale was the same weekend,” says Ellingson, executive director of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association. “I relished being involved in other ways: hanging streamers, serving on several committees, helping with Kiddie Days and livestock judging contests, and feeling the satisfaction of seeing all the club’s hard work come together. I will forever be grateful for those experiences.” 

In addition to leadership opportunities on the local level, the NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Club is an affiliate of the National Block and Bridle Club, which offers national officer positions and a convention for its members, as well as professional development and networking experiences. 

Students from all majors and all experience levels are welcome to join the NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Club.  



Eric Berg, 701-231-6271, eric.p.berg@ndsu.edu 

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