4-H members know all about growth, they see their projects grow over the course of the year.

However, by the time the end of the year comes, it pales in comparison to the growth they themselves achieve.

Newell District Beef Committee Chair Lee Fryberger says he sees it every year in his members.

“As a leader and a parent, when the kids start at 9-years-old they are often quite shy, especially in the public form and then we see them develop through their 4-H life and you see significant improvement,” said Fryberger.  “Even just over the course of the year, you will see kids come out of their shell a little bit more, than you see increased comfort levels in different parts of the program and they really start to shine and blossom.”

Fryberger says once their communication skills grow, so does their confidence.

“They are not so shy about asking questions as the year progresses and then they get quite eager about if they don’t know what they are doing or what to do, then they are just that much more eager to ask about how they can help the club, how can they help other members or how can they help their own skills.”

Fryberger says he’s seen members from his club go out into the world and use the communication skills and the work ethic picked up through 4-H to help them in the careers they choose.

It’s no easy chore what 4-H members put in during the course of the year.

Besides the time they put in at meetings and the time they must put into creating agendas and budgets and finance reports, 4-H also has its aspects of public speaking, communication and community service.  And that’s on top of the time they spend on their own projects, which includes feeding their calves twice a day, record keeping, halter breaking and working on showmanship.

Fryberger says as the kids get older you only see that increase.

“They want to excel, so they spend more time with the showmanship, working with the calves and the grooming aspects, a lot of time washing, clipping and other things.”

One of the big days on the 4-H calendar for the clubs in the Newell District is this Sunday and Monday when the heifer – female breeding projects and market steer programs will have their shows respectively at the Silver Sage Corral in Brooks, Alberta.

For the steer project, members are scheduled to arrive for weigh in between 7 and 8:30 on Monday morning, with opening ceremonies, starting at 9:30, followed by a judging contest for members.  The show then starts at 10:30 and is expected to end around 3 with awards presented at 4.  A beef on a bun supper for everyone involved and prospective buyers happens at 5, with the sale at 6.

Herb the Donor Steer Photo Courtesy: Facebook

Buyers are being encouraged to come out, support 4-H, the members, and their projects.

Herb the Donor Steer will take centre stage at this year’s event.  He was raised by the John Ware Club and donated by Albert Carolyn and Harvey Henrickson.   Herb’s feed was donated by New West Milling in Bassano.   Fryberger says community support has been huge with the donor steer project, with over $10,000 being raised every year through the program for various charities in the community.

“The idea of the donor steer is so the kids can give back to the community.”

The Donor Steer is always the last animal to sell at the sale with funds going towards the Brooks Health Foundation, Brooks Diabetes Association, Illisa Henrickson Scholarship this year.

Fryberger says the sponsors in the community are huge.

“We have a lot of sponsors the show is expensive, we have prizes whether we buy them buckets or halters, where we lean on the community for sponsors and help the kids that way.”

So come on out to the Silver Sage Corrals and see the growth and work-ethic these members achieve.


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