Our family just completed our first year of 4-H with the East Ponoka Beef Club since being involved 20 some years ago. I must say what a great experience, my daughter and nieces had such a good year. Joyce Winter you’re a positive, organized and knowledgeable influence on all the kids and we look forward to working again with you next year. I enjoyed reconnecting with old friends from my years in 4-H and making some new friends as well. I’m proud to be a 4-H family as the way the world is going with so many displaced and troubled young people with no respect, work ethic or positive influences, it’s so nice to expose our kids to hard working, cooperative, inspirational people like the people involved in 4-H (Lori Jess you are a true inspiration to all, Nola was such a wonderful help and true role model to all the younger kids.)
Having said this I now have to ask where was the support for these kids and all their hard work on May 5? I suspected sale prices would be lower than usual as we all know the market is painfully low but I was saddened by just how bad it was. It was hard enough comforting my 11 year old daughter as she says goodbye to her calf she has loved and cared for the last 10 months but even harder as she knows full well that at $1.17 a pound she has barely broke even. Many kids left that day with heavy hearts and tears in their eyes without their pets and not even a profit to make it feel a little better. You may say it’s the market, these kids need to know reality. I told myself that when I left the sale that night, but then as I heard prices from all the other 4-H sales in the area I became even more disheartened. Why is that Wetaskiwin, Rimbey, Lacombe and even Thorsby were able to support their 4-H kids with Grand Champion calves going for over $3 a pound and averages a good 50 cents higher than Ponoka? Come on Ponoka, these are great kids from families that have built and supported this community for decades, families like Klimec, Vold, Stretch, Sperber and Matejka, just to name a few. These kids are dealing with the reality of farming through parents forced to work off the farm because the hard work and endless hours of farming just don’t pay the bills anymore. These kids are our future farmers and we need to keep them wanting to be involved in positive things like 4-H, we all need to feel rewarded for hard work. I owned a beauty salon in Wetaskiwin for 20 years and I went out to the 4-H sale and bought a steer, it was a right off, good advertising, I filled my deepfreeze with the best beef money could buy and I felt good about supporting a good kid doing a positive thing. So please Ponoka remember these kids next year!
Sharon Kjenner Bolton