CREMONA — Whoever would've thought 'Anything But Ordinary' would become a cliché, but it's been more than eight months since our first meeting of this past 4-H year, and looking back we see 2020 as just that.
Throughout 2019-2020, Cremona 4-H-ers learned about livestock, metal work as well as welding, and overcame the unexpected quarantine. While this year was certainly a change from those in the past, leaders and members alike met it with optimism.
In early April, we received an email from 4-H Alberta that all club-ordained activities were suspended until May 31, due to the unexpected COVID-19 outbreak. This, in turn, brought us into a very different-looking end to our year.
Horse project members completed their year via video assignments such as showing how to completely get ready for a ride, and what goes into properly picking out a hoof.
While recognizing it was unfortunate not to meet in person, project member Willow Kabanuk appreciated having extra time to spend and bond with her horse.
Those in Chicken Agility also used virtual means. The hens showed off their hard work and training by running an obstacle course with such obstacles as teeter-totters, pole weaving, and hoops to jump though.
This was videotaped and sent to leaders. Perhaps it was a different first year than expected for this project, but contriver Liam Heppner encourages fellow members to “keep going, because it's a great program.”
First-year Metal Working project member Owen Schneider noted disappointment in not being able to complete his project, but also added “it was good to get metal working experience.”
Metal Working and Welding members submitted videos of their projects, explaining what went into their accomplishments.
Due to the COVID-19 regulations, it wasn't possible to hold our normal Carstairs and District Show 'n Sale. Therefore, it was decided to have two options to sell your steer this year: privately or by online auction.
There was a great turnout of buyers on May 21, the online auction date. Even watching on TV, the excitement levels were high. Chloe Holmwood noted the farm tours in late February as a highlight of her year. This was a full day of seeing each member's project and farm set up.
Sheep members also saw a different end to the year by sending in showmanship videos and selling their animals privately, as opposed to the traditional sale.
Anabelle Ward positively commented that she “learned to do 4-H a different way.” Vice president Meaghan Heppner similarly expressed that it was great to see 4-H-ers put our motto, 'Learn To Do By Doing,' into practice.
On June 26, we gathered at the Dog Pound Rodeo Grounds for a celebration of a year well done. Between bonfires, cake, awards, seeing 4-H friends, and even more cake, it was a fantastic afternoon.
On behalf of 4-H members and families, Katie and Andrea McLean would like to say thank you so much to all the leaders who made this year a success.
We would like to extend this gratitude to all volunteer leaders and coaches, communications judges, community halls, steer and lamb buyers, and the community as a whole for their support all year long.
We appreciate everything the people around us contribute to 4-H, making it into the wonderful program it is.
And thus ends the 2019-2020 year of Cremona 4-H, leaving us excited and looking forward to whatever the next year holds.
Iris Keitel is the Cremona 4-H club reporter.