By Ryan Dahlman
Like many of her peers, Leigha Pancoast, who is the Medicine Hat 4-H Beef Club reporter, prepared for the show and sale. As the 4-H motto states, “Learn to do by doing.”
The Medicine Hat 4-H Beef Show and Sale and all the festivities took place June 10-11. Prior to the event, Pancoast was highly anticipating the event. Even so, she was taking a very level-headed and pragmatic approach.
“Yes I am very excited about the show and sale this year. I have only been to one show as a district, because of Covid. I am also excited to show off my calf that I picked,” explained Pancoast. “This year we are going to be able to do it as a district again, and I think some people are happy to see friends that they have made over previous years, especially at 4-H camp.
“I have learned form previous shows that I can not control the “rate of gain” or how beefy my calf is that year. But, I can control my attitude, and how I show my calf (showmanship). Showmanship is the best thing to focus on because it is the one thing that you can control, sometimes not even your calf. You also can not get caught up on the fact that you did not do as well as you wanted to because it dose not always go as planned.”
The show competition starts with the arrival, getting the animal ready for show with last-minute prepping and grooming. Of course it is the high pressure of the show, ensuring the project stays in line and is easily led around the ring. Judges then see how not only well groomed the steer or heifer is, but also how well the animal looks for his muscle, carcass and finish.
The youngster are worried about the frame, the trim, the structure and lean yield. It is a major work in progress as any 4-Her will tell you, getting a champion-worthy project doesn’t happen own a day. They have to work, properly feed the animal in hopes the genetics will pull through. For Pancoast, it all starts first with the selection process.
“I go through my family’s herd with my brother, and we each pick out four calves,” explains Pancoast. “Then, we slowly narrow it down based on high tail bones, swayed backs, and other things that make a great steer. If we are not happy with the calves we have, then sometimes we go through my grandparents’ heard, and so the same process.”
While she has been in 4-H for four years, the young Medicine Hat Beef Club member has only been able to do one actual show and sale previously, because of the pandemic. Her club ran a pre-run or a “mock show” to help get comfortable.
“I was very happy with my calf this year because he was big, had lots of hair, and seemed to be somewhat calm,” explained Pancoast.
With all of this work, it is also helpful to learn by helping others. Knowledge sharing is the base of 4-H’s learning mantra. She
“As a club, we like to share tips and do workshops to help get better at things we sent as good at,” explained Pancoast. “As a family we also share tips, when it was my first year my brother helped me so much. We all just share tips so we all know what we are doing and to make it easier for people if they are new or just forgot…We share tips, and help with previous experiences that we have had. If there is a new member then I like to try to help with show nerves by telling what my first show was like. Remind them that they are most likely in a ring with at least one other person who is having there first show as well.”
Due to press schedules the results were not available at press time but please watch for results on http://www.bowislandcommentator.com
4-H Fun Facts:
• The four H’s represent our core values:
Head: managing, thinking
Heart: relating, caring
Hands: giving, working
Health: being, living
One of the world’s largest youth organizations, 4-H can be found in more than 70 countries across the globe. 4-H in Canada has more than 23,500 members and 7,800 volunteers.
My head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
My health to better living,
For my club, my community,
my country, and my world.