There was plenty of energy, excitement, and camaraderie at this year’s 4-H on Parade event at the Calgary Stampede grounds this year.
The event, which brings together youth from eight different 4-H clubs, is a favourite among the participants.
Levi Posein from the Foothills Sheep and Multi-Club is big on what he gets from 4-H.
“I have learned lots, I have learned how to take responsibility,” said Posein adding, “4-H has taught me how to take care of sheep and animals.”
Aiden Schopf from the Beiseker Canine Club sits with his dog Jorja as he tells me what 4-H is all about.
“It’s not all about winning ribbons, it’s about having fun,” said Schopf.
Having fun and being creative is definitely evident with the Longview Beef Club. Its 26 members decided to mix it up with their uniforms this year and dressed up in 80’s clothing…
“We wanted to pick a theme that was fun for all of us so we thought the 80’s would be a good way to dress our cows up and all of us.”
The group was also excited to tell me about what they have gotten from 4-H….
“You get your public speaking, you get to be around animals, you get to be around people who like the same things as you, get to know a whole bunch of things you didn’t know before.”
When asked what they would tell someone who was thinking about joining 4-H…..
“You get to know a whole bunch of new people who you are probably going to know for the rest of your life, plus it is something you that you have to take seriously, you have to put time and effort into it and dedication.”
Melissa Gablehaus of the Airdrie Midnight Express Club says 4-H has helped her grow.
“Showing off my project, meeting new people and getting feedback from the judges,” said Gablehaus.
Her pride in her horse is evident as she explains how they did.
“I was really impressed with my horse today, he went into the ring and did the obstacles like he’s never done before, really connected with me and really building that trust.”
Grace Harvey from the Cochrane Big Hill West 4-H Club is pretty big on what she has gotten from the whole program.
“Overall there are very important things like public speaking competing in speeches, learning to take care of something that is not yourself and to make new friends really fast.”
One Proud Sponsor
One of the driving engines behind the 4 – H on Parade event is its sponsor Cervus Equipment.
President and CEO Graham Drake tells Rural Roots Canada they are very proud to support 4-H and the communities they come from.
“The 4-H event is a great community program for youth for all the communities in Alberta and across Canada and for us as John Deere farm equipment dealers it is a great time,” said Drake.
Drake says 4-H is a great way to develop youth in rural Canada.
“It’s just a great way for the youth to develop different skills such as showmanship, hard-work, long projects, presentation skills and life skills what we have seen over the years, is 4-H kids come up, they’ve just got great presentation skills, they’re hard working and they’ve learned a lot through the program.”