The future of agriculture was on full display at the BC Stockyards in Williams Lake at the 2nd annual Cariboo Classic Jr. Steer and Heifer Show.
The three-day event, which took place June 2-4, attracted 159 youth participants from across the province, who brought with them over 200 head of cattle to show.
Dean Spady is the president of the organization and said the event gives youth an early-season opportunity to showcase their animals and prepare for other shows, such as those offered by 4-H clubs.
“The earlier they can get their animals out to train and learn to walk is the best, so it’s a good learning curve for the kids and the animals,” said Spady of the event, which has quickly grown to be the largest of its kind in B.C. in just two years.
“It’s really taken off.”
Spady thanked local and regional businesses and others whose sponsorship led to $41,000 in cash and in-kind donations to be awarded to the youth over the event.
“It makes good ambassadors for our children to look after cattle and animals in general … this shows you that the youth in this area are interested in cattle and interested in agriculture and that’s what we strive for.”
MLA Lorne Doerkson commended organizers for their efforts which have resulted in the youth show turning into one of the largest shows in Western Canada.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for youth,” Doerkson said, noting the participants are our next generation of ranchers.
Pamela Krause travelled from Ashcroft to take part in the show.
“It is an outstanding show; very organized and lots of enthusiasm in the youth,” she said
“It’s a chance for our youth to get their animals in the show ring before their 4-H shows start and it’s also a great opportunity for the youth to network with other kids with the same interest.”
Dace Holm, 11, of Big Lake was hugging his heifer Penelope as the two awaited their turn in the show ring Saturday morning.
“I like it,” he said of the show. “I’m learning from the seniors and I’m teaching the younger kids.”
Adam Webster of Chilliwack said the Valley 4-H Beef Club brought 15 head of cattle for the show.
“It is an outstanding show; very organized and lots of enthusiasm in the youth,” he said.
“Honestly I like the group of kids, I just love how they all interact. It’s a really good atmosphere. Everyone feels welcome.”
Saturday started with showmanship beginning at 9 a.m. while heifer and steer confirmation classic started Sunday at 9 a.m.