Special year for 4-H clubs

2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of 4-H in BC. Boundary "C" club reporter Marijka van Kuik provides some history of local 4-H.

The New Year is here and with it, a new year of 4-H. This year is a special one; last year was the 100th anniversary of 4-H in Canada, this year is the 100th in B.C.

The Boundary has been participating in the program for 68 years.

In 1946, district agriculturalist Fraser Carmichael started organizing a beef club in the Boundary. Steers were bought from Val Haynes, one of the first cattle ranchers in the South Okanagan. There were approximately 12 members in the club at the time. Eventually the club became so big they split it into five sections (A-E), which is why we are still known as the Boundary “C” 4-H Club. At that time each section had 10-12 members raising and showing steers.

In 2010 we became a multiclub with beef, horse and clothing projects. This is our second year with photography as well.

On Saturday, Jan. 4, the Boundary “C” 4-H Club held its first meeting of the year. We have 25 members, five of whom are seniors and 20 are juniors.

Our beef leaders, Pete and Shauna Blaine, will be helping nine members with their projects. While all nine will have a steer, some of them will also be working with heifers and cow/calf pairs.

Doug and Erika Fossen are continuing to lead the nine members who have horse projects. These members are constantly working on their riding skills, as well as learning how to use horses to work with cattle.

The sewing group is also growing: Juanita van Kuik will now be working with nine sewing members! The sewing girls will be working on a quilt for the auction at the Cattle Baron’s Ball.

There is no photography leader this year but three members from last year will be continuing. The members will be self-directed which means they will have to search out their own resources to meet the unit requirements, and Jen MacDonald will be overseeing them.

Greg and Jen MacDonald are the A leaders in the club, meaning they keep us all in line. So if you have any questions about the club and what we’re doing, they’re the people to talk to. If you did the math you will find our club has 25 members and 30 projects, because some members are doing more than one project.

Mark your calendars! The 20th annual Cattle Baron’s Ball will be on April 5. Kevin Rothwell, provincial general manager, will be here once again to be the auctioneer. The Sonny Boys are booked to bring some toe-tapping tunes for the dance. We’re hoping to make it extra special as we celebrate 100 years of 4-H.