Months of working with steers and heifers culminated in the big 4-H Achievement Days for the Ponoka 4-H Beef Club last week.
The first of the two-day event started with the heifer show Monday, May 2 and ended May 3 for the steer show and sale. “It is a time to celebrate months of hard work, 204 days to be exact, caring for a steer project,” said club president James Hagemann.
He enjoys seeing members proud and working hard to ensure their steers look the best in the auction ring. “It’s just nice to see the effort their putting into it,” he said.
This year, there were 26 steer projects with the addition of charity steer Chubs, with the three clubs pitching in to pay for the costs to raise him. The steer was raffled off with $7,595 raised through the sale of 1519 tickets going to the Ronald McDonald House charity.
Monica Harvey, secretary for the beef committee, said the east, central and west beef clubs shared in the costs of raising Chubs. “We’ve had really generous response in buying tickets.”
Marvin Beier was the lucky winner of the steer. He had it sold at auction and donated half the proceeds back to the 4-H club.
Judges look to teach and pick the best
Rancher Nathan and wife Lynn Stone were asked to judge the 4-H steers.
Nathan, who also went through the 4-H program, said the main goal is to see the kids, who spend months raising their steer, have a good time. Second to that, he looks at how to show them ways to get their steers ready for the big achievement day.
“It’s our opportunity to come and talk about their projects,” said Nathan.
His goal is to show 4-H kids what is needed to have a strong presentation. While it is important to be positive, it’s equally important to provide positive criticism to help a 4-H member.
Not only does he judge the merits of the steer and its usability to produce meat and steak, but he also takes the chance to have a discussion with the members about their year and their project. Small pieces of guidance can go a long way to helping the kids with their projects next season.
The projects also give members skills that may help them down the road if they enter the beef industry. Lynn added that the industry is getting more efficient in taking raising and feeding steers. When the sale comes around 4-H members have a greater understanding of what it takes to feed and care for a steer and what it brings in return.
“They will then take that picture and then use it in the cattle industry,” said Lynn.
Judged by Nathan Stone:
Grand Champion Steer, Lisa Winter
Reserve Grand Champion Steer, Hunter Nichols
Champion Pen of Three West Ponoka Beef: Patrice Stalder, Colter Bresee and Carter McDowell;
Judged by Greg Bowie:
Grand Champion Heifer, Julianna Harvey
Reserve Grand Champion, Heifer Emily Cline
Grand Champion Cow/Calf, Julianna Harvey
Reserve Grand Champion Cow/Calf, Megan Bolton
Grand Champion Senior Judging, Julianna Harvey
Judged by Riley Sharp:
Grand Champion Intermediate Judging, Colby Padgham
Grand Champion Junior Judging, Quaid McKinney
Champion Senior Grooming, Lisa Winter
Champion Senior Showmanship, Lisa Winter
Champion Intermediate Showmanship, Brenden Gustafson
Champion Intermediate Grooming, Jace Jacklin
Champion Junior Showmanship, Quaid McKinney
Champion Junior Grooming, Quaid McKinney
Club Champions Judged by
East Champion, Dakotah Nichols
East Reserve Champion, Megan Bolton
Central Champion, Lisa Winter
Central Reserve Champion, Quaid McKinney
West Champion, Patrice Stalder
West Reserve Champion, Carter McDowell
Stall Decorating: East Ponoka Beef Club