The two Erika’s and our families. My family, Erika Fossen, is the 5 people on the right side of the picture. We ranch in Rock Creek. The other Erika is the 3 people on the left, they ranch in Merritt.
My daughter was recently approached by friends at school wondering why I had judged 4H speeches! This would be odd because I am one of the leaders of our local club and our speech day has not occurred yet!
For those of you who are new to following our blog, there are two of us who write about Life on BC Cattle Ranches. Two Erika’s 🙂 Although, because our lives are SO similar, it is understandable that each blog could definitely be written by either of us! It even perplexed my own sister on one of our writings!
Last Saturday we had all the 4H Clubs from the area to our home town for ‘Rally Day’. It is a day where the members learn to judge a variety of classes. They each judge 5 classes. This picture is of my daughter judging a class of geldings. (She is the smallest person in the middle of the picture.) She also had to judge a class of mares, cinches, steers and apples.
Judging helps us to: Learn, Evaluate, Make Decisions, Communicate and Develop Confidence!
In judging, the class is set out and numbered left to right, 1, 2, 3 and 4. If it is a class of animals, they are facing away from you. After looking the class over (and with horses you watch them walk out) it is time to start comparing and making decisions. It is important to get a look at the items/animals from all angles, front and back. The member then starts writing on the card. An example would be “I place this class of geldings 4,2,1,3. I place 4 over 2 because 4 has a better shoulder angle than 2. 4 has better muscling into his hock and straighter legs. I place 2 over 1 because 2 has a stronger topline…….” continuing on until getting to the end where she would write, “I place 3 last because he has pigeon toes.” The member should give 3 reasons for each placing and for the last placing give one reason. At the bottom of the card the member writes “These are my reasons for placing this class of geldings 4,2,1,3.”
Since being a parent and leader in 4H I have learnt all about writing judging cards. It is really great when a 9 year old learns to do this! It is all about getting an ‘eye’ for the ‘ideal’. Then training your eye to find that again and communicating reasons for this.
My Head to clearer thinking,
My Heart to greater loyalty,
My Hands to larger service,
My Health to better living,
For my club, my community and my country.
For three years now, our family has been involved in a spectacular club called 4H. After going to college with people who had been in 4H for years, I began to see that it was an awesome program and that I had missed out on, but someday wanted to be involved in! My husband had gone through the program during his youth, so after having children, we decided 4H was something we’d like to offer to them. When our oldest was 9, we, along with our neighbor-friends, took over the Beef club in our area, making it a multi-club: adding Ranch Horse and Clothing.
This is a picture here of our Ranch Horse club on our summer camp-out. We were on our range moving cows from one pasture to another. As you can see we had climbed up a ways and had a beautiful view.
4H gives youth skills in responsibility (they have to care for an animal), life skills (learn to do by doing), confidence (they have to do a speech/demo), friendships (not only in their club but other clubs as well). There is no end to the learning that takes place in 4H. AND it is so much FUN!
I love the program and can’t say enough good about it! If you are interested in what it has to offer, look into it @ http://www.4-h-canada.ca/core/