The Erskine 4-H Beef Club had six new members this year, and club leader Lyle Bignell said they did well in the Stettler and District 4-H Show and Sale, though he added that the hardest part for them was getting used to leading the animal.
“(They have to get) used to the fact that they weigh 60 pounds and they’re leading a 1,400 pound animal. They’re all scared of it,” Bignell said.
However, one of those first-timers, Chance Morbeck, was the district grand champion this year.
While Bignell said that showing and competing is important for club members, but that one of the biggest learning experiences for them is competing in public speaking every year.
“A lot of these kids come in there and they will hardly talk to anybody at all,” Bignell said. “By the time they leave 4-H they’ll stand up in front of a room of 150 people and make a speech, no problem.”
4-H members also have the opportunity to go on trips to places like Ottawa or Denver, which allows them to meet people from all over the world.
From varied experiences like public speaking or showing their animals, Bignell said club members learn self-reliance and responsibility.
“With a lot of things they have to do…they kind of learn independence, and what adults have to do,” he said. “Sometimes you have to get up and talk in front of people and present your case, all that kind of stuff.”
Though the show and sale marks the end of the 4-H year, Bignell said it’s not the most important thing that club members do; instead, the important thing is that they learn life skills.
“The show part is good, but the sale is just kind of a reward for them,” he said. “In general, if they get through there and accomplish their tasks and no one gets hurt, it’s a learning experience for them. Whatever the sale averages is kind of secondary to what they learn from it.”