ATHABASCA – Athabasca’s four district 4-H clubs made a triumphant in-person return to the auction ring June 6 for their annual Beef Achievement Day, with 16 steers going up on the block — selling for an average of $4.09 per pound.
The Colinton 4-H Multi Club hosted the event at the Iceberg Arena, just south of Colinton on Highway 827, filling the bleachers with interested spectators and potential buyers to see what some of Athabasca’s regional 4-H members have been busy with this season.
It’s a lot.
“This year we were able to host an in-person event after two years of not being able to have one. It felt great to be able to see the 4-H members show their projects in the ring instead of on a computer screen,” said Robyn Jackson, president of the Athabasca 4-H district and a leader for the Boyle club. “All of the 4-H members work so hard all year to raise these projects, train them and groom them. It's a lot of hard work and it was nice to be able to see the members back at a live Achievement Day.”
Confirmation judge MacArthur Kowalchuk, showmanship judge Jason Marcoux, and grooming judge Sarah Eigner made their determinations among the entries and auctioneer Wayne Kowalchuk sold them off one by one to the highest bidder as only a man who talks 12 times faster than everyone else can.
Intermediate Colinton member Delaney Kamelchuk earned the Grand Champion Reserve Steer title and had the highest selling steer, bringing in $7,072.50 at $5.75 per pound. Tipton’s Independent made that purchase, while Boyle Auction Mart paid $6,732 for junior Boyle member Hayden Kowalchuk’s entry that earned $6 per pound.
Kamelchuk’s steer had a starting weight of 616 pounds and finished at 1,255. Kowalchuk’s steer, which won him the Grand Reserve Champion Steer title started at 610 pounds and finished at 1,122 pounds.
Kamelchuk’s heifer also won first prize in that category, with Athabasca member Ben Wilkinson’s entry earning the second spot.
Those weren’t the highest rates of growth though as Boyle’s Dean Splane took that honour, raising his steer from 620 pounds to 1,365 on the day of sale. Delaney Kamelchuk took second, with Athabasca’s Carl Olson placing third and Boyle’s Mark Splane finishing in fourth.
The Overall Female prize was awarded to Boyle’s Ryleigh Turner with Delaney Kamelchuk placing as runner up with her entry. Best Cow/Calf entries went to Turner and to Dean Splane.
The grooming, showmanship and stall sign categories were divided into three divisions each.
Colinton’s Avery Kamelchuk and Ben Wilkenson finishing first and second for grooming at the senior level. Carl Olson and Delaney Kamelchuk won among the intermediates with Colinton’s Natalie Hahn and Alexis Paradis’ entries placing highest among juniors.
Senior showmanship prizes went to Wilkenson and Yowney; intermediate prizes went to Carl Olson and Delaney Kamelchuk; while Ty Bowzaylo and Boyle’s Jaci Atfield had the best junior entries.
Hahn placed first at the junior level, and Athabasca’s Hunter Deleeuw, Boyle’s Mark Splane and Athabasca’s Oakley Stewart placed second, third and fourth for best stall signs.
Intermediate prizes went to Delaney Kamelchuk, Boyle’s Remington Turner, Carl Olson and Dean Splane.
Avery Kamelchuk won at the senior level and Marissa Yowney of the Thunderin’ Hooves club placed second, Wilkenson in third and Dean Splane in fourth.
And while the focus of the day was on the cattle, particularly the steers — how much they’ve grown, and how much they sold per pound — sheep, poultry and rabbit projects were also on display, and a couple garden boxes were sold off just before the live auction as well.
“Everything ran well, and everyone did a fantastic job. I am very proud of all of the members in our Athabasca 4-H District,” said Jackson.