By Rob Vogt
The Chinook Junior Stock Show is held at the Claresholm Agriplex each Spring, allowing 4-H members as well as other youth, an opportunity to exhibit their livestock, handling techniques, and showmanship skills at their individual skill levels.
On Saturday, Oct. 28, The Chinook Junior Stock Show was named by the Willow Creek 4-H District as this year’s business or organization “Friend of 4-H”, at an awards night at the Claresholm Curling Club.
4-H Member Alexis Way made the presentation to Rick Fleming of the Chinook Junior Stock Show.
Way said the Chinook Junior Stock Show began in 1996 when Duncan and Cecilie Fleming, John Cope and Wayne Johnson from UFA, and local ranchers Dale Ohler and Pat Shologan realized there were few opportunities for youth development or for members to exhibit their projects and skills, outside of 4-H and off the farm.
Ohler, Shologan, Duncan Fleming and Carol High, were all 4-H members in their respective clubs during the 1960s and 1970s. Cecilie Fleming began in 4-H when her two children started in the 4-0H beef club in the early 1990s, and carried through to about 2005. Another generation of Flemings, their grandchildren have started as cleavers in 4-H.
“Cecilie and other committee members are strong and avid supporters of 4-H, and a firm believer in helping young people, to learn new skills, talents, and gain responsibility by ‘Learning to do by doing’,” Way said.
When the first Chinook Junior Stock Show was held in 1996, they had 32 members showing 36 head. The year 2023 marked their 26th year, with 206 members showing their heifers and steers.
Way said the current committee of Duncan and Cecilie Fleming, Carol High, Cooper Fleming, Ricki Fleming, and Justin Pittman, put in hundreds of hours organizing this day for young people, to have an opportunity to hone their talents and show off the skills they have learned.
“It’s a great way to cultivate friendship, knowledge, and a love for cattle,” Way said.
This unique, one-day function, is open to all breeds and has events for all young people in 4-H or not, ranging in age from three to 21. The show is broken into showmanship, which is split by age, followed by the quality show of heifers, purebred and commercial, and steers, shown by weight.
“The Chinook Junior Stock Show has grown to be, probably the largest one-day junior show in Canada,” Way said.
Ricki Fleming was on hand to accept the award.
She started by expressing her appreciation to all those who have donated time to help out with the show, as well as all the sponsors.
“Many hands make light work,” she said.
Fleming also noted a few of the current parents were kids in past shows.
“It’s been great, we appreciate all your support,” Fleming said.
By Rob Vogt