UNITY — The Unity and District Multiple 4-H Club participated in Unity Western Days in multiple ways.
First, they kicked off the June 4 activities by hosting their achievement day on the Agroplex grounds. They set up to showcase10 projects to fellow 4-Hers, family members and the general public and then made a quick dash over to the Unity Community Centre, just in time to join the parade. Several members of the light horse project also later returned to the Agroplex to take part in the junior barrel racing event at the rodeo.
The 4-H motto is “Learn to do by doing” and that was amply demonstrated by project members. Beef participants not only professionally showed their cattle in front of guest judge Kody Meier of Kerrobert, they took part in a judging exercise. Parents handled the heifers for that class. In grading their judging results, Meier explained they didn’t have to choose the same heifer he did, but they had to be able to explain the reasoning behind their choices.
Winning both first place judging and showmanship ribbons in the junior category (ages nine to 12) was Cutter Lewin, with Cort Ducherer second. In the intermediate class (ages 13 to 15), Taylor Ducherer was first, Casey Lewin second and Cooper Lewin third in judging, while in showmanship the placings were Casey Lewin first, Cooper Lewin second and Taylor Ducherer third.
When it was Meier’s turn to judge the cattle, which members had carefully selected from calves last fall and then raised themselves, Meier simply judged each cow on its own merits. There were no age classifications in play. Meier took the time to explain to the members, and the audience, why he placed each heifer and steer as he did, with potential meat qualify being an important factor with the steers and easy calving potential a consideration with the heifers.
The top three steers belonged to Casey Lewin, Cort Ducherer and Reid Ducherer. In the heifer class, Cooper Lewin, Casey Lewin and Cutter Lewin won the three ribbons.
Casey and Taylor also showed their horses, along with fellow intermediate Brooke Focht, senior Alyssa Berki and juniors Brandy Focht, Annie Pitura and Shayla Zunti. After the showmanship class – a practice only, no ribbons were awarded – the light horse project participants rode their horses in a group pattern in the rodeo arena.
Casey, Taylor and Brooke were the three members of the young horse project. Each of them had chosen a foal in the fall and worked with them all year. The now yearlings were trailered to the rodeo grounds and brought into the show ring, where project leader Greg Krupka and the members explained to onlookers some of the hows and whys of the techniques used in training.
Unity 4-H was not done with animals yet. Five kids – intermediate Levon McGonigle, juniors Holly Lauinger, Annie Pitura, Blake Ralston and Emma Senger along with Cloverbud (ages six to eight) Gil Pitura – guided the dogs they’d been training on a dog agility course.
Archery was clearly the most popular 4-H project in Unity for the 2021-22 year, with 16 participants. The beef show ring was transformed for an archery demonstration, with members lined up shooting their compound bows at targets across from them. After everyone had demonstrated their skills, a shootout was held with Danae Vold being the best of the senior/intermediate group and Cort Ducherer topping the juniors.
Other projects worked on by members in the Unityand District Multiple 4-H Club were gardening, crafts, mechanics, foods and interior design. Items created or worked on by the members were on display, with time taken to explain each project to everyone in attendance.
Like other 4-H clubs in the province, the Unity club meets as a whole occasionally through the year, with each project also meeting separately for members. The club is member-led, with the kids being the ones on the executive and making and voting on motions. Leaders provide guidance and share their expertise.
Members may participate in whichever project(s) they choose, with some only involved in one project and others in as many as four. This past year, there were three Cloverbud, 16 junior, 11 intermediate and two senior members.
You do not have to own an animal to participate in 4-H; most Unity members were involved in projects other than beef, horse or canine. If you would like more information on 4-H in Unity, watch for an introductory meeting in the fall, or contact general leaders Kim Ducherer or Jarrett Lewin.