As a mom, grandma, reporter and citizen I am always impressed with the efforts shown by our local youth when the Williams Lake and District 4-H Show and Sale rolls into town.
This year there are well over 100 participants, along with their leaders and families from the Big Lake, Canim Valley, Chimney Valley, Horsefly, Lone Butte, Rose Lake/Miocene and Springhouse 4-H clubs camping at the Williams Lake Stockyards.
2019 marks the 61st annual show and sale, which in itself speaks volumes about the 4-H program’s legacy.
Par for the course, I arrived to take some photographs early Thursday morning only to realize I forgot the socks and shoes at home that I planned to wear when inside the stockyards.
As I tried to walk inconspicuously with my white sandals and bare feet amidst dozens of youth who were lining up with their market steers for weigh-in, I looked down and noticed they were all wearing cowboy boots and Blundstones.
I chuckled to myself quietly. It was humbling to be wearing such ridiculous footwear for the occasion.
Yet, it drove home the point that unlike myself, these children know their way around a farm or a ranch.
I was reminded of how awesome it is they are excited about raising livestock and willing to take on the responsibility of feeding, grooming and preparing an animal for a show and sale.
I met Andrew Yurkiw, president of the Springhouse 4-H Club with his steer, Grover, Lana Van Beers of the Rose Lake/Miocene 4-H Club with her Dwarf Lionhead rabbit, Rosey, Logan Lazar from the Horsefly 4-H Club with Buck, his Suffolk-Texel market lamb, and Rem Isnardy from the Chimney Valley 4-H Club with his market swine named Anything.
All four of them had more confidence with their animals than I would have had when I was the same age. And if we are talking steer and swine — I would not have the confidence now.
I did have to skirt around some cow pies, but in a world like ours where sometimes things can be complicated, alarming or sad, it was a refreshing way to start my day.
Good luck to all the 4-Hers. Enjoy your weekend and each other’s company.