By Brenda Van Wyck
Cattle Country 2014
Hello fellow citizens of Williams Lake and area. Some of you might know of an organization called 4-H.
Others of you might wonder what it is and how it came to be.
Lucky for you, I, the club reporter of the Rose Lake/Miocene 4-H club, am going to explain 4-H to you the very best I can.
4-H started way back in 1914.
At that time it was called the Boys and Girls Club and the only projects were potato gardening and poultry.
4-H has come a long way since then. We changed our name to 4-H in 1952.
4-H stands for Head, Heart, Health, and Hands which we pledge for the better of our communities.
After that, new projects were created like swine, lamb, and beef.
As of 2014, 4-H has so many projects including lamb, beef, swine, gardening, poultry, photography, foods, small engines, tractor, wool craft, leather craft, rabbit, horse, dog, cavy (guinea pigs), and even adopt a grandparent.
So you must be wondering, “What is a ‘project’ and how do you take one on?”
Well, a project is a small group that has one leader and at least four members which allows you to raise or do something you love and sell and compete with it in 4-H.
For example, let’s say you wanted to take on a market lamb project; you join your project at the beginning of the 4-H year which enables you to raise a market lamb.
Then the search begins for the perfect lamb you want to raise, compete with and sell. You do not have to sell all of your projects.
For example, using a lamb project, one can raise a ewe lamb, show the ewe lamb to be judged for breeding stock then bring the same lamb back the following year and compete as ewe with lamb at foot.
Projects are a little more complex than just joining. Each project requires certain activities to be completed. Again using market lamb as an example, you need to attend every market lamb meeting, get your animal sheered, train your animal for show, fill out a record book, and successfully complete husbandry checks made by your sheep leader.
4-H isn’t only about working within your project, we also work together in order to do community functions together as a club.
The Rose Lake Miocene club does a lot of community services around Williams Lake such as the Stampede clean-up, we enter a float in the Stampede parade, help with business excellence awards clean-up, and put on petting zoos.
Although 4-H is one big community, we are split up into groups called clubs.
In our district alone there are eight clubs: Rose Lake/Miocene, Canim Valley, Horsefly, Big Lake, Lone Butte, Highland, Springhouse, and Chimney Valley.
We have 134 people registered in 4-H this year.
The annual district show and sale at the end of summer is the week all 4-H members have been working towards. It is the final step in the journey of a 4-H year.
Show and sale is a week of living at the stockyards and competing with your 4-H project against other clubs in the district.
You compete in the final judging rally and for showmanship and market with your project. After all the competitions are over, the last night of show and sale weekend comes to an end during sale night.
All market projects are auctioned off by 4-H members and sold to local business and individual supporters of 4-H.
If it was not for the support of the Williams Lake Stockyards for providing a place to hold the auction and auctioneer, local businesses and individuals who show up to auction night and bid on our projects, 4-H would not be the success it is.
So to all of our supporters and on behalf of all fellow 4-H members we are very grateful and say a huge “Thank you!”
4-H is available to everyone from ages six to 21. It is a fun, agricultural, educational organization.
We welcome everyone to come and see what 4-H is all about during our community functions and competitions.
We would love to answer any questions you might have for us so don’t hesitate to seek us out and ask us!
As 4-H members we pledge our “heads to clearer thinking, our hearts to greater loyalty, our heads to larger service, and our health to better living for our club, community, and our country.”