Bignell sisters take top awards at district 4-H show and sale

The annual 4-H beef show has always been a highlight for the Stettler and area agricultural community.

Carly Bignell of the Erskine 4-H club shows off the Stettler district 4-H grand champion steer

The annual 4-H beef show has always been a highlight for the Stettler and area agricultural community. The 62nd annual Stettler District 4-H Show and Sale, held Monday and Tuesday of last week at the Stettler Agriplex, was no exception.

On Tuesday, the steer show was in the spotlight, featuring clubs from Big Knife, Big Valley, Byemoor and Erskine. Spectator interest for the steer show was high and entries were up — 67 steers in the sale, compared to 54 last year.

Judge Darren Paget bestowed the top honours of the day on two sisters from the Erskine club. Carly Bignell exhibited the grand champion steer, while the reserve grand champion steer was shown by her younger sister Drew.

Club champions from the other clubs were: Big Knife — Rylee Jacobson, reserve — Tallin Hennel; Big Valley — Zachary Duncan, reserve — Owen Wilkie; and Byemoor — Tyler Stewart, reserve — Bryce Stewart.

At the sale, the 1,309-pound grand champion steer was purchased by Rushton Agencies of Stettler, selling for $3.95 per pound. Stettler Dodge and RV paid $3.35 per pound to own the 1,275-pound reserve grand champion.

“This is the strongest set of steers I’ve seen here in many years,” said Greg Hayden of the Stettler Auction Mart.

He was impressed with the consistent finished quality of the offering.

The Stettler Auction Mart lends its sales expertise and is a longtime supporter of the 4-H show and sale.

Stands were full for the sale, and the combination of the quality steers, more positive economic times and the strong support of businesses and supporters from Stettler and beyond, resulted in the impressive sale average of $1.85 per pound, up a full 20 cents a pound from last year.

Volume buyer, Andy Rock Livestock, stepped in and bought five head.

The Stettler 4-H Scholarship Society sells a steer each year to raise money for its scholarship fund. The steer, feed and care are all donated. This year, due to the strong support of Agro Equipment- Stettler, the scholarship steer fetched a whopping $4,262 to boost the scholarship fund.

Throughout the day, the members demonstrated their 4-H motto, “Learn to Do by Doing” in the various classes of grooming and showmanship, judged by Melanie and Michelle Barkley.

Team grooming winners were: senior — Grace Sorensen and Kourtney Schilling, Byemoor; intermediate — Kathryn Dolliver and Rylee Jacobson, Big Knife; junior — Bailey Musgrove and Hannah Jackson, Byemoor.

Tops in showmanship were: Senior — Grace Sorensen, Byemoor; reserve — Jeanine Foot, Big Knife; Intermediate — Shayla Schilling, Byemoor; reserve — Kathryn Dolliver, Big Knife; Junior — Emily Brown, Big Valley; reserve — Austin Jacobson, Big Knife.

In the judging competition, the best judges of cattle were determined to be: senior — Connor McComish, Byemoor; reserve — Grace Sorensen, Byemoor. Intermediate — Carly Bignell, Erskine; reserve — Shayla Schilling, Byemoor. Junior — Gracie Morbeck, Erskine; reserve — Natalie Schilling, Byemoor.

Overall rate of gain, at 4.36 pounds per day, was won by Owen Wilkie of Big Valley.

Record keeping is another important part of 4-H and the awards for best-kept records went to: senior — Jeanine Foot, Big Knife; intermediate — Shayla Derr, Big Knife; junior — Keyonna Derr, Big Knife.

The prestigious pen of five award was won by the Erskine club. Connie Haustein presented the club with the longstanding trophy that was started by her late father, Richard Gabriel, 62 years ago.

Another highly-sought-after award is best stall display, which went to the Big Valley club, back in the district show this year after a five-year absence.

Top all-around members were acknowledged with the following awards: Senior Top Hand Award — Colin Foot, Big Knife; Intermediate Award of Excellence — Carly Bignell, Erskine; and the Junior Achiever Award — Rachel Morbeck, Erskine.

LES STULBERG, Independent reporter

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