In the context of Farm Fair International, November 5th was the much-anticipated Farm Family Awards at the Expo Centre, a special day to honour farm families of Northern Alberta.
Several guests stood at the podium offering their congratulations to the families receiving this coveted award and sharing a few worthy thoughts on the families that contribute greatly to our healthy agricultural business and overall economy. Before his speech, Alberta Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson met with several guests, sporting a colorful green tie bearing the 4-H logo. He shared that this day was ‘Show Your 4-H Colors Day’, to launch the 4-H Month in Alberta. This enticed us to pay homage to the vibrant 4-H organization.
At the Farm Fair 2014’s Country Marketplace, crowds of agriculture fans were delighted and fascinated to view and sometimes pet, the various livestock breeds. Displayed in their pens before and after the show competitions were Angus with their black velvet coats, Polled Herefords and their curly bangs, Speckle Park with their rich colors and several other breeds. Farming businesses from Northern Alberta participate in Farm Fair International, promoting their breeds, their livestock and reproductive methods. While elaborate displays proudly showcased photographs and awards, one thing was common throughout the exhibit: the pride and obvious passion these farming farmers have for their livestock.
On this visit, we came across a lovely teenager tending to her few heads of Angus and Speckle Park. From the Glendon area in the MD of Bonnyville, Faith Jantz is a young livestock owner, encouraged by her parents Larry and Sharon Jantz to pursue her lifelong fascination for all aspects of farm life, especially her family’s Angus and Speckle Park herd. Faith was a 4-H member for several years but this year had to make the decision to take a leave to focus on showing her heads of livestock at various competitive exhibitions. Last year she was thrilled to be awarded the proud title of Reserve Champion at a 4-H show in the district of St-Paul.
A young Government of Alberta 4-H Resources Coordinator shared that through his youth, he most enjoyed his attendance at 4-H summer camps, where he developed social skills and friendships with farm kids from all over Alberta. Although his career was initially going in a different direction, he feels that fate has offered him a rich opportunity to ‘give back’ to the 4-H organization. This young man enjoys visiting his parents’ farm in the northwest corner of our province.
The 4-H allegiance is an inspiring message that can be shared with today’s youth. “My head to clearer thinking, My heart to greater loyalty, My hands to larger service, And my health to better living; For my club, my community, and my country.”
There are many 4-H clubs within Alberta’s seven 4-H regions. The website www.4h.ab.ca describes its background, Hall of Fame, membership information, Ambassador Program, awards, project manuals, provincial programs, links and leader training. We wish continued success to all our local 4-H members and leaders of Leduc and Wetaskiwin.
Pictured: Former 4-H member Faith Janz of Glendon in the MD of Bonnyville shows off her Angus steer at Farm Fair International 2014. Photo by Dominique Vrolyk