The Saskatchewan 4-H Judging Provincials took place in the Border City Aug. 23 at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds. In all, 35 competitors were vying for the eight spots and four alternates available to go and compete at the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Nov. 24-29.
“(At this event), we pick a team to represent Saskatchewan at the Canadian National 4-H judging event,” said Lloydminster Exhibition Association agriculture manager Sam Hardstaff. That event is held at the annual Agribition in November.
There are six regions in Saskatchewan–Weyburn, Whitewood, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Swift Current and Lloydminster. There is a rotation for hosting duties.
“Every six years we host the event, we work in partnership with all of them. There were kids here from all over Saskatchewan,” said Hardstaff.
Coming out of each region to go to provincials are eight candidates, who had to go through the process with their own clubs to get on the path to the national event. The top eight are picked by a team of 4-H judges, who are very recognizable in 4-H. The judging panel consisted of bull judge Jon Lock of Macklin, Sask, heifer judge Brian Jurke of Lloydminster, Sask., light horse judge Ron Noble of Lloydminster, Aala., draft horse judge Terence Bexson of Marshall, Sask., and canine judge Shawn Boyce, Lloydminster, Alta..
Participants were between the ages of 17 and 21. So by this time in their 4-H careers, they are by no means rookies, which just makes competition that much more difficult. Only the top eight move on, with four alternates chosen in case any of the top eight cannot attend.
“It’s a good learning curve for kids in 4-H,” said Hardstaff. “The day went very well. We ended the day with a tour to Diamond 7 Meats for the members, then wrapped up with an awards banquet.”
The judging itself was done orally. Since public speaking is part of the 4-H experience, when it comes time for events like this, the members need to stand tall, face the scrutiny of the judges and speak up.
Hardstaff said she wishes the team well at the Agribition and looks forward to hosting the provincials again in six years.