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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,


4-H BC SKYE FORCIER


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


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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!


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www.bc4h.bc.ca


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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


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