As Purebred breeders we are often asked to sponsor or support our local 4H and junior beef programs. This is something that we love to support as much as our budget will allow.
Rob was very involved in the Alberta Junior Hereford Association and attended many National Bonanza Shows across Canada. I was a founding member on the National Junior Simmental Board - YCS. Both of the girls have followed with their junior careers starting at ages 5 & 7 with their first YCS Show in Bashaw. They showed the first Black Simmental Heifers ever at an Alberta YCS Show. Black Beauty was Reserve Champion Female and the sponsor of the award refused to stand in the photo because she was not a traditional Simmental. Wow have we ever come a long way. Through the Young Canadian Simmental Program - YCS our family has traveled across Canada and the US for National Shows.
Through these shows the girls were given the opportunity to see much of North America and form many friendships. They also took on a leadership role, being on the provincial board of Directors and Stacy being the National President.
Now many might just see these programs as something for the "kids" of the breed to do. But the value that we see in the Junior Livestock Programs, is that of developing young leaders in agriculture. The current board of directors of the Alberta Simmental Association are all alumni of AYCS. They all are active purebred breeders. There have been many years when the sales of Simmental heifer calves have been increased because the kids are all looking for a heifer to show. Here are some of the youth events that we have been proud to support in the past year.
Drayton Valley and District 4-H Show
Focus on 4-H - Regional 4-H Show
Canada's Richest Youth Show - Simmental Division
Alberta Young Canadian Simmental Show - Res. Junior High Point
Canadian Simmental Foundation Auction
National YCS Calender Program
The next time that you are approached to support a Junior Agriculture Program, please give it some consideration. You never know when your support will make the difference in that young persons life. In the next few weeks there are some great shows happening. Might be a good time to stop by and see what amazing things these kids are doing.