Sixteen 4-H kids have a head start on their 2014 project, thanks to bursaries from Save-On-Foods in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.
Store managers Craig Lee and Mark Law handed out three $675 steer bursaries and 13 swine and sheep bursaries for $75, ensuring that the lucky winners can buy their animal for next year.
Williams Lake store manager Mark Law said that in the past they’ve always come to the sale and bought cows, pigs and sheep.
“We’d take them to Rodier Meats and bring them back and showcase them for sale in the store with pictures of the kids who raised them,” he said.
“Things changed with food safety regulations and we couldn’t do that anymore. We had to come up with another idea. The first year after Mad Cow we took our $2,500 and redid the showers for the kids at the stockyards.”
After that year they came up with another idea to support the kids.
He explained that instead of one kid getting $2,500 or $3,000 for an animal, they decided to have random draws and give 16 kids money to buy their animal for next year.
Craig Lee said it was great to see so many smiling faces from the kids who won the bursaries.
“It was cool to walk around and talk to all these kids and see how engaged they are with their animal and how important it is to them. They’re all so polite and well-spoken,” he noted.
“You can tell 4-H teaches them mature attributes.”
“We’ve had a connection with our ranchers from the day we opened our doors. We even decorated our building with local ranch brands and both stores hold a salt sale for ranchers every year. This is a way to support the children of ranchers who may be ranchers themselves someday,” Law added. “It’s all a big circle.”