4-H club has a high profile at Abbotsford Agrifair

Alpina Dusk Dawn is a resistant calf who doesn’t want to leave her pen.

It takes the work of two to get her out – Reid Schurmann, 16, and Kim Groothof, 20.

Reid ropes the calf, and Kim calmly leads her to a grassy patch, setting her up for presentation.

It’s a practice run for Kim and the 10-month-old calf, who are competing together at this weekend’s 4H portion of Abbotsford Agrifair.

  • Jul. 28, 2011 9:00 a.m.
Kim Groothof

Kim Groothof

Alpina Dusk Dawn is a resistant calf who doesn’t want to leave her pen.

It takes the work of two to get her out – Reid Schurmann, 16, and Kim Groothof, 20.

Reid ropes the calf, and Kim calmly leads her to a grassy patch, setting her up for presentation.

It’s a practice run for Kim and the 10-month-old calf, who are competing together at this weekend’s 4H portion of Abbotsford Agrifair.

In B.C., 4H is open to kids from nine to 19 years old. Through group and individual projects, the program prepares its members for their future as adult citizens of any community, not just rural or farm areas.

They work with animals, ranging from llamas to chickens, and have the opportunity to learn skills in subjects such as photography, sewing and horticulture.

Throughout the year they work on speeches, demonstrations and confidence building. In the spring and summer they show their projects.

Both Kim and Reid belong to 4H Dairy Sumas, which has 17 members from Aldergrove, Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

In preparation for this weekend’s event, Kim has been working with her calf every day in half-hour increments at her family’s farm in Sumas.

It will be Kim’s final Agrifair competition as it’s her 11th year in the 4H program.

“I’ll miss the friends and people I’ve met,” said Kim.

“I love the people, it’s what makes it fun,” echoed Reid, who has been in 4H for eight years. “We all have something in common.”

It’s not only friendships they’ve made at 4H.

They’ve also developed their public speaking and leadership skills, learned how to work as a team and earned school credits, said Kim’s mom, Angela.

As a child, Angela also took part in 4H. Growing up on a dairy farm, Angela’s parents got her involved.

She soon made the transition to leader – a position she held for nine years.

“It’s a family,” said Angela. “Everything is a team effort, even though they’re competing against each other.”

At this weekend’s fair, which will have one of the biggest 4H events in the Lower Mainland, the groups will be showing their ability to interact with their animals and demonstrate knowledge of the breed, said Sarah Nicholls, Agrifair’s agriculture co-ordinator.

“The great thing about 4H is that it allows kids all over the province to mingle and meet other kids,” said Nicholls. “It allows them to make connections with youth interested in the same area as them.”

There will be 4H events from Monday to Friday at the fair. New this year, a scholarship will be offered to a senior member. To be eligible, the member has to be competing at the fair. The winner will be named at Agrifair.

A hay hauling competition will also be featured this weekend.

For more information about 4H, visitors can inquire at the numerous 4H booths set up at the event.

For more information on this weekend’s Agrifair taking place at Abbotsford’s Exhibition Park, 32470 Haida Dr., visit www.agrifair.ca.