APRIL 2018• COUNTRY LIFE IN BC The grand prize

It isn’t about winning or losing; it’s about the journey

Some go slowly into the

world when they come of age. Maybe they work for a year,


then head to university. Others spend time traveling while others never pursue school and choose instead to jump right into the workforce. I chose to go to school

right away, the catch being my institution of choice is in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, quite literally on the other side of the country.

This meant leaving my two

loving parents, the family ranch I grew up on, the animals that held so much of my heart and the community that had supported me in so many ways. I live two lives now. One

version of myself lives in a basement suite five minutes away from the university and three minutes away from the grocery store. I have no pets and no vehicle and spend much of my time studying. It is odd how clean your Blundstones stay when you don’t feed livestock every day. The other version of me is

the girl I left on the family ranch. She is comfortable leading a 1,300-pound animal around by a rope, lives to see her five dogs and is always covered in dirt. When I left for university, I

knew I was saying goodbye to a huge part of myself – at least for a while. When I return for holidays and summer, I find her again but I can’t help but miss my days as a ranch kid. I’m fortunate to have an advantage over many other young people. I spent my youth as a 4-H member. I truly do believe I owe this wonderful organization more than I can ever express. My time spent with the

Rose Lake/Miocene 4-H Club made me more accountable, gave me leadership skills, taught me the value of animal life and created some of my closest friendships.

I am completing my last term as a 4-H BC Ambassador this year and thus will end my career as a 4- H member.

Since I was nine-years-old, I was an active 4-H member with a variety of projects including beef, horse, dog, poultry, photography and tractor. I assumed the role as club scrapbooker twice and spent the last two years on the executive as club vice- president. I remember every single 4-Her who won grand champion market steer from the time I was a Cloverbud. These people were my role models and all I wanted was to join them in the championship ring.

Wins and losses

My 4-H career was full of both successes and losses. There were times I worked really hard and won. There were times I worked really hard and lost. I owe so much more to the losses than I do to the wins. For every time I finished last of the class, I was inspired to work harder, change my methods and challenge myself to be better. But more important, I learned a valuable life lesson: hard work does not always mean a trophy will appear in your hand. That is not how life works.

When all your sweat and tears don’t amount to the results you wanted, you must be persistent and never be discouraged. Only through continued hard work will you see the results you are after. Should you still fail, you must hold your head high. The true 4-H character is

shown in both how humble you can be with your successes but also how you


Darren Jansen Owner 604.794.3701 Certified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.

What is 4-H? 4-H Brish Columbia is a program for kids aged 6-21, who work in clubs and learn responsibility, leadership, public speaking and community-involvement through year-long project-work which can be an animal, camera, garden, almost anything!

HEAD HEART HANDS HEALTH Join Today: 1-866-776-0373


4-H members have a special bond with their livestock projects – as well as the program. Skye Forcier reflects on her 4-H experience, which includes her grand champion Black Angus steer, Bilbo. KENT BERNADET PHOTO

react to the failures. I raised nine steers before I finally got my grand champion market steer and grand champion senior showman. With many of my animals, I finished dead last in my class, which was entirely heartbreaking.

When handed those last place ribbons, I could have felt cheated and blamed the circumstances. The list of excuses I could have made is

long: the judge was not good; I was the smallest steer in the weight class; it was because of breed preference. The reality is, however, that it just wasn’t my year. After the show, I would

always take a couple minutes to myself to consider what I would do differently the next year, lead my steer to a quiet pen with some food to let him relax after a long day of being dragged around, brushed, washed, blow dried, and

fitted, then I would go cheer on fellow members who made it to the championship round.

The goal of 4-H isn’t to win, although it may seem that way at times. I would feel no differently about 4-H had I never been presented with the grand champion banner. I am grateful and proud that I was able to achieve so much success with my last steer, and

See SHOOT on next page o

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48