4-H is all about bringing great ideas together, and this year at the Provincial Beef Heifer Show (PBHS) in Olds, a really great idea came together– 4-H, along with the Olds Agricultural Society, Calgary Stampede and Olds College, created a new event that combines many areas of youth livestock showcasing. This brings together youth from all over Western Canada in various breeds of cattle.
The program, Summer Synergy officially kicked off on July 12, 2010. There were more than 40 clubs from across the province, and one club from British Columbia.
Summer Synergy tries to bring together a variety of livestock events including Beef Heifer Show, 4-H Provincial Dairy Show, the Youth Draft Horse Show as well as various Junior Beef Breeds Associations, where 4-H members can compete, learn and create new understanding of the livestock industry.
The first day of PBHS had the members working on their judging and marketing skills. There were classes of yearling heifers and cow-calf pairs that the members had to assess and then give oral reasons for their assessment in a presentation to a panel of judges. Each age category was given a different scenario on how to promote beef and cattle to large markets.
Junior and Intermediate members were also put to the test in team-grooming competitions, and they were judged on how well they worked together. As well, in the showmanship competition, members were put into teams to judge classes.
The senior members’ “You’re Hired” competition had members submit a resumé and cover letter to apply for one of three jobs. The applicants were selected to go through an interview process to see who would “get” the made-up positions.
The Beef Heifer Show concluded with the conformation classes. The Purebred classes were judged by Caleb Crosswhite of McKinney, Texas. “I am very impressed at how professional the members are, and how well they know what they are doing,” Crosswhite said.
During the closing ceremonies, one of the most unique awards, the Gerald Kujala 4-H Spirit Award, was awarded to Justin Matile of the Crowfoot Livestock Club. “It was really surprising (to get the award),” said Matile. “I just try to get my stuff done then help others out. I remember when I was younger getting help and now it’s nice to help others achieve.”
Provincial Beef Heifer Show is sponsored by Alberta Beef Producers, AMA Insurance, ATB Financial, Government of Alberta, Growing Forward, Gas Alberta, Kubota Canada, Lammle’s Western Wear &Tack, Penn West Energy and Westgen Endowment Fund.