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Fun and Learning for 4-H'ers at 4-H Beef Symposium

4-H Saskatchewan held its annual Beef Symposium in Estevan SK on February 17, thanks to the sponsorship and support of the Saskatchewan Cattleman’s Association. Approximately 50 4-H members between the ages of six and 19 attended this fun and educational event, as well as nearly 20 4-H leaders and parents. The event was held in the 60 and Over Club, and the Estevan Exhibition Association’s indoor horse arena.

Registrants took part in a session on “Meat Quality & Meat Judging”, led by Mike Guest (Western Prime Meats, Weyburn), and Chad Ross (L-7 & Cattle, Estevan), where members learned to: identify the different grades of meat; differentiate between and judge meat; and experience the Canadian Beef app called “The Roundup”. Guest brought four full loins to the event, each demonstrating a different grade of meat, so members could understand first-hand the difference between grades.

4-H members also took part in the “Basics of Nutrition” session, led by Julie-Anne Howe of Bar Over 3H Livestock Ltd. Julie-Anne provides nutrition consulting and contract project work for various organizations, including the Nature Conservatory of Canada and Verified Beef Saskatchewan. She shared her knowledge on nutrition with the 4-H members, and provided samples of the different kinds of feed.

After a tasty lunch, Glenn Gress, the President of the Saskatchewan 4-H Council, brought greetings from 4-H Saskatchewan. Members then received greetings from a familiar face: Chad Ross, who is a Board Member with the Saskatchewan Cattleman’s Association.

Registrants also enjoyed a session on “Beef Issues Talk”, with Leah Clark. Leah is a Livestock Agrologist with the Ministry of Agriculture. She spoke about the current trends in the Beef awareness, ranging from health issues to animal rights groups. Leah encouraged all members in attendance to become AGvocates and learn more about, and promote, the beef industry.

Members also took part in quick sessions put on by 4-H Saskatchewan staff. “4-H Judging 101”, where members learned the basic concepts of 4-H judging, was led by the South West Regional 4-H Specialist, Kaitlyn Keller. “Fun with Beef”, where members took part in fun beef games and explored 4-H’s new hands-on Beef Kit, was led by the South East Regional 4-H Specialist, Melodi Hawkesford-Lee. Keller and Hawkesford-Lee organized and facilitated the event.

The pinnacle of the day was when members judged three classes of beef animals: Fat Steers, Progress Steers and Heifers. Members inspected the animals from a hands-on perspective, completed judging cards, received marks and feedback for their written reasons, and listened to the judge’s oral reasons. Judges for the day included Jeff Lees, Brittany Stepp and Cooper Brokenshire.

The day would not have been possible without the generous support of the Saskatchewan Cattleman’s Association, and also the following important individuals:

· Janine Petterson - District #1 contact for Beef Symposium! 

· District #1 4-H Council

· Estevan Exhibition Association (EEA) - donated panels in horse arena

· Darwin from the EEA - Set up panels

· Guest Instructors: Chad Ross, Mike Guess, Julie-Anne Howe & Leah Clark

· Cattle Judges: Jeff Lees, Brittany Stepp & Cooper Brokenshire

· Group Leaders: Tammy Rumpel, Brittany Stepp, Chantal Rasmuson & Carolyn Walls, who filled in last minute! J

· Set-Up: Tiffany Stepp, Stacey Holtz & Janine Petterson

· Cattle Suppliers: Brad Christensen, Calvin Christensen, Chad Ross & Wade Brokenshire

· Other Thank-you’s: Glenn Gress, Shawn Petterson, Jeryn Tanner and all the cattle handlers!

Other provincial program sponsors include: The Western Producer, Peavey Mart, Mosaic, Innovation Credit Union, SeCan, FCC and Viterra. Thanks to all who supported the 2018 4-H Beef Symposium!

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