The Rimbey 4-H Beef Club, Bluffton 4-H Beef Club, and Winfield Beef Club 4-H Show and Sale is returning on May 9 after a two-year hiatus.
The members of the three 4-H clubs have been preparing their animals for the last few months in anticipation of the notoriously busy sale day.
“Because of Covid-19, there was no show in 2020 or 2021, so I am very excited to have an inter-club show again,” said Amanda Peter, member of Rimbey 4-H club.
Her first show was in 2019 and this year she has a heifer project named Rose and a steer named Blackjack in this year’s show.
“The show and sale can be described as a high functioning hive,” said another Rimbey 4-H member Jordyn Valstar. “It is a very busy place for both the two days of the show.”
On the first day of the show and sale it is each individual clubs showing their projects such as steers, heifers, and cow calf pairs. On the second day the animals are judged for confirmation, showmanship and grooming. In the evening it is time for the sale of the steers.
There are also competitions in showmanship, individual grooming, marketing, and team grooming throughout the two-day event.
4-H members are given the option of having a steer, a heifer, a 2-year-old cow calf pair or a 3-year-old cow calf pair.
But behind the scenes in the barns, the animals are being prepped.
“Its really cool to see the way each member is being a good team player and helping out where needed. Whether it being mucking stalls, or helping a younger member All the kids are very busy,” said Valstar.
Valstar has participated in 11 show and sales, this year is her final year and she will be bringing three animals her steer Benjamin, heifer Eleanor and cow calf pair Arizona and Kentucky.
She said that Benjamin has always loved his fresh bedding pack and being pampered, thus earning the nickname “Princess Benjamin”.
“I couldn’t have picked a better steer to end my 4-H journey with. Princess Benjamin and I are excited to see everyone at the show this year,” said Valstar.
Valstar is 21 and in her final year of being part of the Rimbey 4-H Club after 11 years of being a member.
“Since the beginning, he has always been a big pet and quite the eater,” said Valsatar.
Valstar’s steer Benjamin is a purebred black Simmental and currently weighs 1450 lbs.
“I think his weight is all in his big ears. Being my last year in the program I wanted to choose a steer that was special. He’s out of one of my personal cows, and homegrown,” said Valstar.
She said that raising a steer can be tricky sometimes.
“When you’re choosing your steer at the beginning of the year you can’t tell how good they are going to eat,” said Valstar. “Sometimes you can get a steer that is a good eater and gains well but other times you get a picky animal and have to be creative to get them to eat.
She said that halter breaking can be one of the bigger challenges
“It is important to get them used to the halter young so they aren’t so big.”
Fellow Rimbey club member Harley Grab agreed.
“Some of the biggest obstacles that come with readying a 4-H steer are in my opinion, creating a trusting bond with your steer, leading.”
Harley Grab is 17 and has been a 4-H member for three years but hopes to be involved until she is 21.
Her steer, Finn is a 1,100 lbs shorthorn Simmental.
“He is a very playful steer and he loves licking my pants,” said Grab adding that he also enjoys being pet under his chin.
Peter’s steer Blackjack is a 1,200 lbs. Black Angus, “with a small white patch on his belly.”
“He is fairly quiet, and he loves attention. He likes to bounce around, when has the energy, but will stand when I am brushing him off. He likes to lick me and slobber all over my clothes.”
“We put in a lot of hours to groom and train our steers before show and sale so that they will behave at the show,” said Peter adding that the month before the show they also need to market their steer and advertise the sale to prospective buyers.
“In the final weeks before the show, we need to clip and wash and groom all of our projects so they are show ready.”
The auction starts May 9th at 7 p.m. and will be streaming live on at vjvauction.com.