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Judge pleased with what he saw at spring 4-H show

Show returns after two-year hiatus
4-h judge
Judge Wes Olynyk looks over a steer class at the Yorkton 4-H Spring Steer and Heifer Show.

YORKTON - The Yorkton 4-H Spring Steer and Heifer Show was in full swing at the Agripavilion in the city Saturday. 

During the day 4-H members from 22 clubs paraded their animals into the rink where judge Wes Olynyk of Goodeve, Sask. picked the top animals. 

Asked if two years away from the show ring for most participants had dulled their abilities to show cattle, Olynyk, who owns Crescent Creek Angus was quick to say that was not the case. 

“It’s like learning to skate,” he said, noting show ring skills once learned are longed remembered. 

As for the cattle the 4-H members brought to the show, Olynyk summed up the quality in one word, saying it was “awesome.” 

As a long-time producer himself, Olynyk said he recognizes “cattle have come a long way,” since the Yorkton show began some 25 years ago, adding he saw that improvement in the cattle he saw Saturday. 

So being an Angus producer himself, does that have Olynyk naturally looking at black cattle first? 

Olynyk said he doesn’t feel like he is drawn to any breed in particular when judging cattle. 

“I’ve always thought I look past colour,” he said, adding “we’re all supposed to be raising good cattle.” 

As for what he looks for, it differs depending on whether judging steers or heifers, said Olynyk. 

“Heifers are maternal,” he said, adding they are supposed to grow into cows that produce calves. “. . .The legs and udder development are huge. 

“As breeders we need to keep that in mind all the time.” 

By contrast steers in a show like the one in Yorkton will soon mature to the point they are marketed for meat, which means they don’t need the same leg structure to last for years, and more about showing the traits which lead to a good carcass. 

So as judge, Olynyk was asked what one piece of advice he would want to send home with the 4-H participants? 

“I’d tell them what they learn in 4-H may seem little now, but in their lifetime it will be huge,” he said, adding they are learning skills that will serve them for years.