Young equine and canine enthusiasts in the Stettler district may soon have a new 4-H club to call their own.
A meeting was held on Thursday, Sept. 18 to gauge interest in starting a new club to serve the district, said Jimilee Ayotte, a mother of three and a 4-H leader for 15 years.
While the Stettler area is currently served by eight 4-H clubs — including groups based near Big Valley, Byemoor, Erskine and Halkirk — Ayotte said the proposed club would offer something unique.
“This is going to be something totally new, that hasn’t been done here before,” said Ayotte.
The new club would hold project workshops during the winter months and begin horseback riding activities in the spring, in contrast to other clubs that ride through the winter.
“I know for my family, it’s not feasible to ride in the winter,” said Ayotte, saying that the new club’s schedule would accommodate families in similar situations.
While other clubs in the area have focused on beef cattle and horsemanship, this would be the first to have part of its focus on canine handling.
“We’ve had quite a bit of interest in that,” Ayotte remarked.
Discussions for the proposed club have been going on since June of last year.
The club must have a minimum of eight members age nine or older as of Jan. 1, 2015 in order to get off the ground. Children as young as six are welcome, but those younger than nine won’t count towards the required membership number.
Ayotte said organizers need to determine the number of interested children before the club can register with 4-H, and they will move forward from there.
Families interested in the proposed club can contact Ayotte at 403-740-6349. For more information on 4-H clubs in Alberta, visit www.4h.ab.ca.