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10 - PRAIRIE POST - SPECIAL AREAS - June 2013 Delia student proud to represent 4-H in Alberta


BY ROSE SANCHEZ — rsanchez@prairiepost.com A Grade 11 student from Delia was honoured to be


chosen to receive the 2013 4-H Alberta Premier’s Award — the most prestigious honour awarded to a 4-H member in Alberta. Michelle Hoover, 17, received the award at the 56th annual 4-H Selections event at Olds College in early May. “I was surprised,” she says about receiving the honour. She knew she was eligible because the Top 7 finalists for the award are interviewed by a panel, but she didn’t expect to win. “I was amazed just to be included with this group,” she says. “I knew what I was going to say to each of the (members) if they won, but I hadn’t prepared my own (acceptance) speech.” As the Premier award winner, Hoover is an ambassador for 4-H in the province. Her eligibility for the award was based on a point system, earning points for keeping 4-H diaries, writing a quiz and scores from small group work. Hoover has been a member of the Delia 4-H Beef Club for eight years and in her time has held many


executive positions in the club and even the district. “My mother was in 4-H when she was a kid and I


have cousins who are in it,” explains Hoover. “It’s a good experience. It gives you a lot of skills


that are useful in the future.” Some of those skills include public speaking, communications, the basics of farming, breeding and feeding animals, as well as record keeping. It’s not just 4-H that Hoover is involved in though. She participates in school activities including basketball, track and field and is the treasurer for the students’ union. She also sits on the Students Against Drunk Driving and yearbook committees. With only about 130 students in Delia school and


only six in her Grade 11 class, it’s important for students to be active and involved. Hoover enjoys the small school she attends. “I like it for the class sizes,” says Hoover, adding


teachers are able to focus one-on-one with students. A downside can be having to take some classes by distance learning, so students have to be disciplined and push themselves. Hoover hasn’t given a lot of thought to what her


future may hold in terms of a career. She would like to live in a small town though and still be involved


Photo submitted


Michelle Hoover receives her Premier’s Award trophy from Marguerite Stark, Branch Head, 4-H Branch, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.


with the farm part-time. “I am extremely excited to be given this opportunity


to promote 4-H as the Premier’s Award recipient,” says Hoover about the year ahead. “I look forward to talking to youth and adults about the benefits of 4-H and what the program means to me.”


No break for road maintenance crews in Special Areas


BY ROSE SANCHEZ — rsanchez@prairiepost.com With more than 5,900 kilometres of roads in Special


Areas, officials have their work cut out for them as they keep those roads maintained and make improvements. Those roads are a combination of gravel, oiled and


paved as well as undeveloped road allowances. A fleet of 45 graders helps keep the roads in good shape based out of three main areas including Consort,Oyen and Hanna, says Perry Yake, construction supervisor with Special Areas. Four heavy-duty mechanics and two light-duty


mechanics oversee the maintenance of the equipment, working out of Youngstown which is central in Special Areas. “There is an advisory council for each area and each


advisory council has its own road committee,” explains Yake. The members of the road committees,which include councillors and Special Areas staff, discuss road conditions and where work needs to be done. Every year, about 25 miles of roads are upgraded within Special Areas.This year the focus is near Kirriemuir, Buffalo, north of Cereal and southwest of Youngstown. “We utilize our crews for about 25 miles a year,” says


Yake. There are two road construction crews, one for cement and one for oil. “We’re getting into cement stabilization with chip-seal on top,” he adds about the kind of roadwork done. The roads in Special Areas do get a lot of traffic,


especially from big trucks hauling material for oil and gas companies.They are good partners though in terms of helping pay for road maintenance. “They are excellent,” says Yake, about big companies. A community enforcement officer also does work to ensure roads which have bans on them aren’t being used by heavy traffic and the rules of the road are being followed. Weather can also be hard on roads. “This spring was a killer on us,” says Yake. Water in the ditches beside the roads was problematic


for crews, affecting the softness of road bases. Some people may think the road crews slow down in the winter months, but that isn’t always the case. “Last year especially,we weren’t that slow.We were plowing from Oct. 26 until the end of March.”


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41111572•06/28/13


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