"Where Passion, hardwork, and dedication are just a way of life for one Agriculture enthusiast that wants to share the industry with you"

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

That Time of the Year Again.....

When ever I start to talk about 4-H the usual questions start to appear... Like, what is 4-H? What do you do? I start off by explaining how it is a club with members that usually come from an agricultural back ground. You can raise different projects like beef, sheep, horse, and even pig. I have only done beef and horse but there is so many others out there! The usual project I start off talking about is the steer project. From November to usually the end of May you feed a steer to reach it's highest potential gain. Than you show your steer for conformation (in my club we have two shows "Achievement Day" and 4-H on Parade") I always take my steer to a couple of spring shows as well. So overall you get pretty close to this animal and work very hard on them. Than the hard but rewarding part comes into place "sale day". After this point the next question would be, what happens to your steer after it's sold? My answer would be.... he gets slaughtered for beef. I have gotten some pretty harsh reactions depending on where people are from and what they know.

People always ask me... why would you do such a thing? And i tell them it's the cattle industry thats what they are raised for! I told my dad the first year I was in 4-H, that I would never cry at the end of the year I know what these animals are raised for and in order to be successful in this industry I must be strong at all times. I also did not think I would get attatched either, but boy was I wrong.

Me and my first year steer never really did have any sort of bond or anything. I worked on him lots and never really thought much of the sale at the end of the year, except for holding that nice cheque in my hands! I had fun showing him in the Spring, and he was not hard to handle but did have his moments. At the end of the year I had realized I had won rate of gain, and also had the excitement of winning reserve Champion Intermediate Steer my first year at 4-H on Parade. I sold him for $2.50 a pound, I was a pretty happy little 4-Her! It was than I saw him standing there in that line awaiting to be hauled onto the truck to the slaughter plant. I told my self I would give him one more pat and then off I would go..... that was easier said than done. The tears came and I could do nothing about it. I had truly grown close to this animal and could do nothing about it. I remembered the accompishments I had with him, and told my self he's a beef animal this is what they are raised for. And walked away with my head held high.

As for my second year of 4-H.... That was a whole different story. I had a steer named Spot he was purebred hereford and the cutest litte bundle of joy I had ever seen. He even had a little spot on his head, thats where his name came from. I remember laying down and having a snooze every once in awhile with him out in the straw. We were the bestest friends ever. It may have been because he was so incrediby quiet and you could do anything with him! We had some good times me and him. People asked me what I was going to do sale day when i had to sell him? I would just tell them I was not selling him. But that was a lie he did get sold, but i got to keep him for a coupe months after and show him at the Calgary Stampede. Where I won Reserve Champion Hereford Steer. After that dad said he had to go. I did cry but I knew I had to do it. The worst part dad ended up bringing him home for us to eat! Even though I was a little weary about eating one of my best friends, I must say her sure did taste mighty fine :)

The end of May is coming and it's going to be "That time of Year again". But 4-H has taught me alot about the cattle bisinuss and I assure you I remember the good times I have had with all of my steers and accompishments! But in reallity this is what the catte bisinuss is and, these animals are made for slaughter! I will always remember them though.

1 comment:

  1. I remember you texting me, telling me that you were laying with Spot at the moment! You still talk about him as your best friend! Good luck at 4H on parade this year!!