Skills gained at cattle show useful as producer: youth

Junior All Breeds show | Teamwork, grooming, marketing skills gained

BASHAW, Alta. — Jed Curtis doesn’t know if he will have a career in the cattle show ring, but he has enjoyed learning about showing cattle at the Canadian National Junior All Breeds show.

“Once I heard of it, I thought it would be pretty fun, and it is fun,” said Curtis, 10, just before entering the ring as his job as the ring man.

“I make sure they stay in line and all keep up with each other. When they stop, I help the person out,” said 
Curtis, a member of the Hastings Coulee 4-H Beef Club.

He said the skills he is learning in and out of the show ring will help him in his future career as a cattle producer.

“I want to raise a whole bunch of cattle and have kids in 4-H come and look at my cattle,” said Curtis, who showed his 4-H heifer in the show.

“I picked out my steer, but the person I bought him from picked out my heifer and he did a pretty good job.”

Heide Tymko of St. Paul, Alta., was Curtis’s partner judging and moving the cattle around the show ring. Tymko said the participants learn teamwork, confidence, grooming, clipping and marketing skills, as well as judging.

A professional judged each judge and ring man team as part of the Western Canadian Team Judging Show Ring Finals.

Dawn Wilson, one of the volunteers who helped organize the show, said the goal is to host a fun event that will encourage the next generation of cattle producers to stay in the industry.

“We want to create enthusiasm in our industry,” said Wilson, an alumni of the Canadian National Junior All Breeds show.

“If you create enthusiasm, they will return.”

The Junior All Breeds show began in 1984 and attracts participants from across the Prairies.

“Our show is the reflection of the success and genuine desire to be involved in our industry,” said show organizer Jackie Northey.

More than 45 children nine and younger took part in this year’s peewee event. They will eventually move up to junior and senior levels, gaining confidence and skills in cattle showing and judging.

“Over time these kids will be our leaders,” Northey said.