Recent History – 2005
By Gary Rusak
The future of the region’s cattle industry was on display at the South Peace 4-H Beef Achievement Day and Sale at the Dawson Creek Fairgrounds on Monday. The day drew three separate 4-H organizations – Pioneer, Boundary and Tate Creek – to showcase their beef projects, compete for ribbons and trophies and sell their steers at the annual beef sale.The 39 participants were also schooled in how to judge the cattle in terms of showmanship, grooming, and total value.
“Their achievement is showing their project that they worked hard on all year,” said Kristy Lineham, 4-H ambassador. “The beef project is most definitely the largest one in the Peace area.”
Don Murphy, the judge for the competition, said he was impressed by the projects from the clubs.
“It looks excellent this year,” he said. “From what I have seen, this is probably the best we have seen here for five years.”
Murphy said it was difficult to judge which steers would be awarded the coveted ribbons and trophies.
“I just finished doing a judging class and first and second is incredibly close for the seniors,” he said. “Very few of (the 4-H
members) will get the order of placing like I do, but I’m not saying they are wrong. It’s a flip of a coin in a lot of cases.”
Murphy added that he is proud that the ranching industry is still so strong in the region as was shown by the quality of this year’s product.
“I credit the 4-H members and their parents,” he said. “You just can’t give the parents of these kids enough credit; they did a whale of a job.”
Since the individual members collect the money from their sale, the 4-H members will also be getting a lesson in the post-BSE economics of the cattle industry. However, Lineham said that their 4-H affiliation would help to boost the prices.
“The prices are down a little bit, but the community is a good supporter of 4-H,” she said adding that the grain-fed quality of the product would help to push up the prices.
Murphy agreed with Lineham’s assessment and added that the fact that there is such a strong 4-H movement in the community is a rare pieceof positive news for the industry.
“It is wonderful,” he said. “It is easy to give up in times like this and here is a group of people, parents and children, who have not given up. We are in desperate times, but it’s wonderful to see this.”