A walk through the barns at the Interior Provincial Exhibition is all it takes to find out how a program like 4-H has been successful in B.C. for 100 years.
Stall after stall is occupied by beautiful well-kept animals, the majority of them belonging to 4-H club members.
At any given moment the 4-H youth can be found sweeping floors, brushing out their sheep, chatting to fairgoers about their pig, taking a nap on their calf, or helping a friend move their large beef heifer.
Cheyanne Haak, nine, of Enderby is new to the program but enjoys showing her calf, Trophy, and the Milky Way Dairy 4-H Club’s meetings.
“I won a white ribbon, third place, and I showed again and got fifth place,” said Haak with a proud smile.
For the Haaks 4-H is a family affair with Cheyanne and her sister Emmerson, seven, both involved and their brother Mason, four, sweeping for his sisters in anticipation of one day getting to raise his own calf.
The 4-H club breeds responsibility and dedication because each member is in charge of the care and well-being of their own animal.
Ada Browne, of the Creston Valley 4-H Club, spends seven to eight hours preparing her sheep Lily, a Suffolk cross, for showing.
When asked why she puts in all the time and effort, Browne, an eight-year 4-H veteran, says, “I enjoy it, it is an art. It is like an artist enjoying painting, I enjoy shaping my animal.”
The IPE is showcasing the 4-H clubs with this year’s theme, Celebrate 100 Years of 4-H.
Members are showing in the usual beef, swine, lamb and various other categories, as well as helping out in the 4-H Agricultural Awareness Tent.
The 4-H auction is tonight and gives the club members the opportunity to sell the animals they have worked so hard to raise.