By Stan Ashbee
Westwind Weekly News
4-H clubs in southern Alberta and across the province are integral parts of the agricultural scene. The area is home to a high percentage of family farms, as future farmers learn a plethora of ag-related life skills through 4-H.
According to Jody Scheirlinck, the Del Bonita 4-H Club originally operated as a beef club and changed to a multi-club three years ago.
“This marks our club’s 60th year in operation. It was inactive for a few years due to lack of numbers. To celebrate this milestone, the members will be hosting a dance and social evening in June — where we will celebrate each member’s achievements, as well as the many people who have contributed to the success of the club over the years,” she noted, adding the 4-H club has 31 members from the areas of Del Bonita, Magrath, and Welling.
This year’s projects, Scheirlinck said, are beef, sheep, horse, and foods. “In the past years we have also included projects such as woodworking, archery, pheasant, and small engines.”
Each year, she said, the club participates in activities including project tours, judging, highway clean-up, public speaking, monthly meetings, community service, and fun days.
“We also have several members each year that participate in district and regional events such as judging, achievement days, and camps,” she said.
This year, the club had four members move on from the local club to district public speaking.
“They all moved on from district to regional level public speaking — which will take place on Mar. 16 in Lethbridge at Lethbridge College. This is a very important part of 4-H and we are very proud of all of our members for participating in learning this skill,” she said.
Every summer, Scheirlinck said, several members from the club choose to go to Regional 4-H Summer Camp in Elkwater. “For many, this is a highlight of the 4-H year.”
Del Bonita’s community service project this year will be cleaning up around the Magrath Fish Pond and walking trail area in the spring. Other projects over the years have included singing Christmas carols at seniors homes, spending time at seniors homes visiting and sharing treats, cleaning a community hall and helping with serving and cleaning up after large dinner functions.
An important upcoming event is the Lethbridge and District Show and Sale — which will take place on June 8 at Exhibition Park, she noted. “The show starts at 9 a.m. and the sale starts at 3 p.m. Our club has seven steers and 21 lambs to sell and we invite everyone out to see the hard work that has went into these projects and support the kids at the sale.”
If anyone is interested in purchasing an animal to support members contact Vince Geerligs (sheep) at 587-220-0078 or BJ Scheirlinck (beef) at 403-929-2494.