© Southwest Booster photo by Jason Kerr.
The Southwest Regional Judging Competition top 10, pose for a photo with United Farmers of Alberta delegate Larry Caswell. The top ten were Morgan Rampton (1st), Savannah Cheney (2nd), Shanna Klassen (3rd), Kaylee Duncan (4th), Derek Doerksen (5th), Dane Oram (6th), Kyle Wall (7th), Lindsey Monea (8th), Ty Schwan (9th) and Dylan Hanel (10th).
Southwest Saskatchewan will be well represented at 4-H judging provincials in Lloydminster later this summer.
A total of eight 4-H members from the area will be representing the Southwest at the August event, after placing at the top of the field at regionals during Frontier Days in Swift Current.
Morgan Rampton won this years competition, which measures each competitor’s ability to successfully evaluate eggs, steers, light horses and photography. Competitors are expected to not only be able to seperate the good from the bad, but also give good reasons why.
It’s a bit of a tough skill to master, but according to the contestants, it’s an enjoyable one.
“You meet a lot of new people and learn a lot of stuff,” third place finisher Shanna Klassen said. “You get to use (the skills) later in life. It’s just useful stuff and every year it’s quite a bit of fun.”
Klassen, like Rampton, will head to provincials after finishing in the top eight at the regional competition. They’ll be joined by Savannah Cheney, Kaylee Duncan, Derek Doerksen, Dane Oram, Kyle Wall and Lindsey Monea.
“At provincials it’s pretty tough,” admitted Klassen, who represented Glazers 4-H Club, out of Herbert. “It’s really tough to place and all the classes are tough to judge.”
This will be Klassen’s third trip to provincials in four years of 4-H. Despite having some familiarity with the process, she said she’s actually more excited to go this year.
“The first time I didn’t know what I was doing, and the second time it (provincials) was in (Swift Current),” she said with a chuckle. She’s looking forward to making the trip up north and representing the area.
There are over 3,600 4-H clubs around the province, so competition will be stiff at the event. However, that’s one of the best parts about the experience.
“There are a lot of great things they can do at the higher levels, especially the older kids,” Southwest 4-H Regional Specialist Michelle Lee says. “There are a lot of opportunities.”
That opportunity is nationals, and although that would be nice feather in their cap, Lee says they’re main concern is to just get kids involved in judging, something she said they’ve had success with.
“We would always love more involvement, but we have a strong 4-H community,” she said. “The kids are good to work with and we’re getting new clubs all the time.”
Lee said judging is an important skill to learn, and she’s pleased with how the young 4-H charges are developing. She said it’s they had a great turnout and hopes all the competitors can build on their success.
“The past 4-H year has been a great year,” she said. “We love seeing new involvement and we’re looking forward to another great year.”