Skip to content

New opportunities to ‘Learn to do by doing’ in 2020


A Livestock Show and Sale webinar produced by 4-H Alberta on Thursday filled up so quickly that an overflow of leaders, members and parents was diverted to Facebook to learn how clubs across the province should cope with year end events in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It’s something new for everybody in 4-H’s 103-year history,” Susann Stone of the 4-H Council of Alberta said, “and I’m sure all the leaders will reach out and focus on what is best for their club.” 

All scheduled events have been suspended until at least May 31, which is after many clubs had originally scheduled their local show, and Stone says that if and when they do take place, “They will look different,” with current restrictions in place at facilities where shows are usually held. “It’s an opportunity to develop alternate plans and to have exciting ideas. It provides a challenge to everyone.” She added that gatherings and celebrations of achievement could be planned for a later date. 

With member safety the number one priority, there can be no one-to-one contact, no farm visits for judging or videotaping, and only auction mart personnel can judge live livestock, Stone told watchers. “We must respect the limitations and the Alberta Health Services requirements.” 

Stone outlined the policies, which include only one market animal per project and adhering to the appropriate days on feed, and said that members are required to have participated in a community service activity, a communication activity, completed their record books, attended 70 per cent of meetings and take part in some achievement activity. Clubs can select what categories their members participate in. A new policy is in place, stating that members are not required to show their project animal to be able to sell it.  

For those who wondered, “What does achievement mean?” Stone said it includes halter breaking, sharing knowledge through pictures, drawings or videos, club tours and mini achievement days, both of which she noted are usually held earlier in the year, videos of grooming or leading the animals, before-and-after photos of clipping and grooming, and getting the animal to market, as well as sharing what the member has done by way of a scrapbook, videos or photos. 

Show options should be discussed as a club, Stone said, and can include photos or videos, competitive or non-competitive marketing via a video production and judging the animals off halter. “You need to pre-plan and don’t leave it too late. Traditional shows may not happen and that’s OK, but you have to have a no-go date to make that decision.”  

There is still an opportunity to show breeding projects at a later date, and provided that record books are maintained, this year’s heifer projects will be eligible to be shown as cow-calf pairs next year, she noted.  

Stone also reminded clubs to “make sure the Cleaver Kids get to show off what they’ve learned.” 

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks