Ponoka district 4-Hers were out in full force May 7 and 8 cleaning, prepping, and showing their beef projects at the final achievement day and sale.
It was exciting and new being in the barn of the Ponoka Ag and Event Centre. It had the big show atmosphere and yet was comfortable and accessible to audience, buyers, sponsors and families. It has been a while in coming but we are now fortunate to have such a facility to showcase the talents of our farming youths and a thank you goes out to the Ponoka Stampede Association, Ponoka Ag Society, Ponoka County and the Town of Ponoka.
The invited judges were impressed with the centre, the members and the effort they have put forth into their projects. The three Ponoka clubs: East, Central and West, have a total of 38 members who showed 15 heifers, 11 cow/calf pairs, six live carcass steers and 34 steers over the two days.
Wayne Burgess from Airdrie came to judge the female show. Grand champion heifer was shown by Virginia Harvey and reserve champion went to Carling Matejka. Tyson Matejka showed the grand champion cow/calf pair and reserve was shown by Jessica Sperber. Live carcass steers, which is just half of the carcass category, placed Chase Fleck and Lisa Winters in first and second.
Senior judging champions were Amanda Klimec and Samantha Stretch. Intermediate awards went to Tyson Matejka and Tawni Kjenner. Juniors round out the category with honors going to Kelli Rai Seiben and Emily Hagemann.
Stall decorating was awarded to the Central Club.
Two past 4-Hers, Amy Mayner from Bluffton and Garrett Biggelaar from Blackfalds, judged grooming and showmanship. Junior grooming winners are Chase Fleck and Emily Hagemann and showmanship went to Madison Fleck and Chase Fleck. Intermediate grooming winners are Tyson Matejka and Fallon Jenkins, with showmanship going to Fallon Jenkins and Lindsey Gartner. Senior grooming goes to Jessica Sperber and Samantha Stretch and showmanship to Jessica Sperber and Amanda Klimec.
Madison Fleck’s steer won top rate of gain with an ADG of 5.049 lbs/day, which is probably the highest seen in Ponoka 4-H history. This assisted the Central Club in winning club rate of gain with an ADG of 3.762 lbs/day.
West Ponoka won the pen of five steers with members Lindsey Gartner, Patrice Stalder, Brandon Shaw, Tyson Matejka and Matt Klimec showing their projects with herdsmen Amanda Klimec and Jessica Sperber assisting.
Grant Hirsche from High River was present to judge the steers.
The Grand Champion Steer was bought by Agro Equipment and owned by Jessica Sperber. Reserve Grand Champion Steer was purchased by Family Meats and owned by Tyson Matejka.
Ken and Ilene Hehr handled ring duties, and Cec and Chelsea Dykstra were announcers, and Teresa Abt was the show clerk. These volunteers are the reason the show runs smoothly and is a success. Auctioneers Dan Skeels and Al Olsen sold 34 calves at an average price of $1.95/lb. It was an awesome sale and the members, parents and leaders have the buyers and community of Ponoka to thank. One new member was quite worried that his calf wouldn’t sell but he was reassured this community has never let that happen and was all smiles when the auctioneer said “sold for $2.30!”
The day ended with drawing the winning raffle ticket for Jellybean, the Charity Steer. It was a great success as all tickets were sold and Ponoka Victims Services will receive the funds. Darcy Schmidt of Darcy’s Drilling had the winning ticket and generously donated the steer back to be auctioned. Family Meats stepped up and purchased the calf after already purchasing two others.