Minitonas 4-H Beef Show & Sale – June 15, 2019

Submitted by:
Ione Anderson|

64th Annual
Minitonas 4-H Beef Show & Sale

June 15, 2019
10:00 am

Swan Valley Agriculture Grounds

The Swan Valley Ag Society grounds will be busy this weekend with the 64th Annual Minitonas 4-H Beef Club Show and Sale. Members from across the Valley will join together to set up and produce the equivalent of a small fair. The barn will be full of steer, heifer, continuation and mature female projects. The animals arrive on Friday afternoon but before that happens the grounds must be transformed into beef stalls and show ring. This year the club is excited to announce that they have purchased permanent stalling with the assistance of the Swan Valley Community Foundation and a grant from the Province of Manitoba Community Support Small Grant Program. This stalling was purchased with the cooperation of the Swan Valley Ag Society and will remain at the fair grounds for use at the Down on the Farm exhibit during the North West Roundup and Exhibition.

The show will begin at 10:00 am on Saturday starting with the Judging competition where all members will place a class of four animals and their reasons will be compared against the official judges placings. The first class in the ring for members is a showmanship class open to first year members only. Next up is a calf class – where members exhibit a calf born between January 1 and show day. The open female class follows which is open to females born between January 1- July 1 2018 and July . The Junior Champion female is selected from this class. Continuation Class is open to members heifer projects from the 2018 4-H year with a 2019 calf at side. This is one of the most challenging projects in the beef program as it requires a lot of management to bring a young female back with her first calf at side. The Senior Champion female will be selected from this class. The last female class and one that was added a couple of years ago is the Mature Female Class. This is open to a previous year heifer project with at 2019 calf at side. Often by the time a member has completed their years in 4-H they can have a small herd of cows from their 4-H Heifer projects alone and this investment has gone on to assist members to complete secondary education or help establish their own farming operations. The Mature Champion female will be selected from this class. The finale for the female part of the show is the Grand Champion Female class, where the Junior, Senior and Mature Champion and Reserve return to the ring to see who earns the honor of the champion over all. This concludes the morning activities and the members will break for lunch – which we are very thankful can be purchased at the Kinsmen booth at the fairgrounds.

Starting at 1 pm the Showmanship classes begin. This is a class that is judged on the merit of the members skills exhibiting their project compared to the conformation classes where the animal is judged. The competition is fierce in this class as the members work hard every year to improve on the skills they learn. The best groomed animal will be chosen at this time as well, and that is determined by the way the animal is presented – its cleanliness, clipping job and preparation for show. This is called “fitting” your animal for show and is a long and involved process that can start many weeks before by washing, clipping, blowing, combing and basically training the hair to enhance the animals best features. The members can spend hours and years developing these skills and is very interesting to watch. They are basically bovine beauticians! Unfortunately there is only one winner in each age category, but in the parents and leaders eyes all the members are champions.

The steer show follows and the animals are split into lightweight and heavyweight classes based on the weights recorded on Friday evening ant weigh in. The judge will place the animals based on conformation and what they are looking for in a market steer. The champion and reserve lightweight and heavyweight animals will return to the ring for the Grand Champion Steer – an award coveted by all members since 1954. The original trophy bares all the names of members receiving this honor since day one and many families in the Valley have multiple generations displayed. The group classes conclude the show. The Group of Three animals will be awarded to the three animals that are most closely matched from all of the members projects. The Best Pair is open to immediate family members. The group classes can be calves, females and steers. The many breed associations in Canada also sponsor prizes for the members and these are determined at the time of registration in the fall when the projects are weighed and the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency radio frequency tags are recorded.

Just prior to the sale the Herdsman Award is presented to a members exhibiting exceptional abilities in the care and promotion of livestock. The Top Rate of Gain is awarded based on the gain calculated for the feeding period. Both these awards are given in memory of founding organizers of the show and sale, Doug Anderson and Cliff Henderson who had a vision in 1954 and started a legacy.

The steers will be auctioned immediately following the show and this year there will be 23 animals for sale. Catalogs are available at locations around town or from any member or leader. It is the communities opportunity to purchase some home raised locally grown beef and support our youth and the local agriculture industry. If you want more information about the options, please contact any member, parent or leader with the Minitonas 4-H Beef Club.

Following the sale a complimentary barbeque is held to show our appreciation for the buyers and the many volunteers and sponsors of the event. Without the support of the community the show and sale would not be possible and it is a great testament to the tremendous support from the Swan Valley and the individuals involved. The Minitonas 4-H Beef Club is one of the largest and longest running beef clubs in Manitoba and we are very proud of our humble roots and community involvement. Please come out and join us in celebrating 64 years of 4-H in the Valley.