Local clubs present various projects, skills at annual 4-H on Parade
Monday, Jun 10, 2013 12:38 pm
More than 580 4-H members from across Rocky View, Mountain View, Foothills, Wheatland and Kneehill counties participated in the 4-H on Parade, May 31 to June 2, at the Stampede Fair Grounds in Calgary.
Laurie Jacob-Toews, chair of the 4-H Stampede Committee, said the event was the “perfect way” to see the 4-H motto in action: Learn to do by doing.
“It’s a great way to see the positive things youth are doing in the community and that they’re involved with. There’s so much negative focus in the media about youth not having enough to do and not being responsible. But when you come to these events there’s kids raising animals, marketing projects, public speaking and becoming leaders within the program,” she said.
Not only is 4-H on Parade the biggest 4-H gathering in Canada, but it’s also an opportunity for members of the 47 participating clubs, ages nine to 20, to showcase their projects from the year.
Events over the three days included sheep, steer and equine competitions, life skills demonstrations, and a live sheep and steer auctions. The clubs also celebrated the centennial of 4-H in Canada, June 1.
Jacob-Toews said that although the 4-H on Parade is a competition, the members show strong mentoring, socialization and team-building skills, which is an important component of 4-H.
“We encourage the kids to support one another. It’s very team-focused and the mentorship component it huge, especially in this day and age where everything is very individualized and competitive.”
Stacy Price, chair of the 4-H on Parade Committee, said hosting the event in Calgary was a beneficial way for youth to educate the public about where their food comes from.
“There’s a lot of misconceptions about farming and agriculture. 4-H on Parade makes these kids understand that its our jobs to get the words out about how the animals are actually treated and how much work goes into farming.”
In addition to the livestock, 4-H members could enter one project each in the Life Skills Demonstration and silent auction.
Categories included scrap booking, clothing and textiles, photography, arts and crafts, welding and visual arts.
“This is great for those kids who might not have that interest in the animal side, but still teaches them those same practical skills that they can apply to other areas of their lives,” said Jacob-Toews.
Alyson MacDougall, 13, a third-year member of the Golden Rod Multi Club outside Airdrie, entered a visual arts project in both divisions. Her projects used different kinds of paper and materials to create a unique piece of art that can hang on the wall. She set her minimum bidding price at $15.
“In our club, we learned a lot about making assortments on paper and giving our work an antique look. I like being here (at 4-H on Parade) because you can see all the different ideas that people came up with,” said MacDougall.
The participants in the Life Skills Demonstrations were required to come up with and create a project of their choice, determine a sale price for the silent auction and present their completed project in a marketable fashion.
Other examples of projects included a welded chair, framed photography, hand-sewn shirt and a uniquely-decorated cowboy hat. The items were on display for the three days and sold to the highest bid June 2. Money raised through the silent auction went back to each member.
The Irricana Beef and Multi Club donated a framed photograph taken by one of its members. The proceeds from the sale at the silent auction was donated to the Calgary Poppy Fund and Veterans Food Bank.
Concluding the event was a silent auction, June 2. More than 200 sheep and steer projects were sold at an average sale price of $5 and $2.80. Some of the top results included:
•Grand Champion Market Lamb by Camila Schreiber of the Bow Valley Club for $1240.25
•Reserve Champion Market Lamb by Cassidy Wise of the Airdrie Beef Club for $806
•Grand Champion Steer by Coleman Nixdorff of the Irricana 4-H Beef and Multi Club for $11,880
•Reserve Champion Steer by Jacey Massey of the Bow Valley Beef Club for $6,495
The Stampede provided the facilities and Cervus Equipment, Bayer Crop Science, Calgary Reion 4-H and Tervita sponsored the event.