ROCKY PUBLIC SPEAKING at BONANZA 2004
Proud He's Ours
As much as I love the farm and livestock, it is nothing without family and friends. My greatest joy comes from spending time with them. And my ultimate achievement is to see my son, Rocky, succeed in whatever he chooses in the future. At present he has brought the whole spectrum of emotions to our household but mostly he has brought us an extra big helping of pride. He is active in 4-H and junior livestock programs. Through his wish to pursue some of these things, it has enabled (or at least given us an excuse) to see much of our great country, Canada. His love of animals, love of friends and love of life has led to us travelling to shows across Alberta and Canada. His accomplishments are many and I expect many more to come.
In 4-H he has belonged to different beef clubs winning prizes with not only his livestock, but more importantly his skills and acquired knowledge. Through his various 4-H clubs he has won awards for Champion and Reserve Champion Yearling Heifer, Champion 2yr Old Cow/Calf, Project Book, Showmanship and judging.He has also placed well in District and Regional judging competitions.
Showing sheep and competing in the Junior show at Farmfair International, he has won many classes. Some of these include winning classes showing ewe lambs, yearling and mature ewe. He has also won a novelty lead class where you dress yourself and the sheep up in a costume. More importantly, he has done well in the skill competitions winning lamb judging, multi judging and lamb trimming competitions on more than one occasion. The highlights of his Farmfair International shows in Edmonton, Alberta has to be winning two prestigous awards. These are the T.M. Reed Memorial award for the best ewe lamb, which he won in 2006 with a homeraised Horned Dorset, and the R. W. Shopland Memorial Award, given to the junior exhibitor with the combined best score in lamb trimming and judging, which he won in 2004.
Perhaps his greatest joy is working with his beloved Herefords and to this end he participates in the Alberta and Canadian Junior Hereford Associations. He has done well provincially winning many awards for art, literature,and photography. He has also won classes with his cattle. Best of all though, is that he has won awards in team competitions for marketing, grooming and show team judging. What makes me so proud about this, is the fact that often the teams he is on are made up of fellow competitors who have never teamed up before and sometimes never even really met before. On the National front, his winnings have continued. Cattle wise he has not been very competitive although he did win a Reserve Champion semen donation animal award in 2002, at Salmon Arm, British Columbia, his second Bonanza show. An excellent showing following on his first Bonanza ( the name of the Canadian Junior Hereford Association's National show) in Camrose, Alberta. The first Bonanza got him interested and each Bonanza since has been a great experience. He reunites with friends from previous Bonanzas and meets new friends while getting to see and experience different parts of Canada. Sometimes the trip home from Bonanza can get a little monotonous, not with "are we there yet" but rather with "can we go to next years Bonanza". My usual response is, if you want to go, show me by working hard and putting out your best effort. Boy oh boy, what an efort he came up with for 2003. The Bonanza show was held in Victoriaville, Quebec. We drove down hauling a trailer with a cow and calf, as well as a myriad of other livestock (not for the show but being deliverred to Eastern Canada). We also had a load of artwork, poetry and other literature, and photography. At the show, Rocky asked a fellow Alberta team member what they were enterring and she made the mistake of saying, anything you want to go in. That meant they enterred everything. It kept him extremely busy but he enjoyed it immensely. He won numerous prizes in art, literature and photgraphy as well as winning public speaking ( a class he decided to enter reluctantly). When all classes were finished he had amazed quite a few people, especially me and won the Aggregate for the junior age group. That wasn't all, he astounded me by tying for the Grand Aggregate of the whole show. His co-winner, from Quebec, commented that Rocky had came along way to just about beat him. I agree, but the distance travelled wasn't as great as the effort that Rocky had put forth, making us so very proud. In 2004, Bonanza celebrated it's 25th anniversary in Regina, Saskatchewan. Once again we attended. The competition was extremely tough in this Silver Anniversary year, but once again Rocky did us proud. He once again did well in art, literature and photography.He also was on the winning team in marketing. Maybe not the stellar year that 2003 was but still a great accomplishment. Once again he had a wonderful time with old and new friends from all over Canada. 2005 was once again a long trip. This time to Lindsay, Ontario for Bonanza hosted by the Ontario juniors. Time to get reacquainted with old friends and make more new ones. As always, Rocky had a strong showing in art, literature and photography as well as having fun and doing well in team competitions. His team won team marketing for his third consecutive year. His showing in the cattle classes was just so so, as we don't raise show ring type cattle, tending to prefer a little more moderate and hopefully more efficient style. Having sold the farm at Vilna, we were pressed for time, so I went to pick up some other livestock that we were hauling back and ended up missing the awards banquet. When I returned to our motel, I was met by a large assortment of prizes taking up quite a bit of space. I was also greeted by one very happy and excited boy. Rocky had again won the aggregate for his age group. I was impressed as I had no idea he had done so well but I was astounded when told he had won the Grand Aggegate for Bonanza 2005. Man was I annoyed that I had missed being at the awards ceremony and seeing him receive recognition for all his effort. Once again he proved how amazing young people can be when you let them have the opportunity. In 2006, he attended Bonanza in Manitoba. He still did well in art, literature and photgraphy but learned that being in the intermediate group is going to take a lot of work to come out on top. Rocky still had fun, and after all that is what I believe Bonanza is really all about in the end. Bonanza is a place where young Hereford enthusiasts can show off their cattle and their skills but first and foremost it is an amazing place to learn about Canada and meet many friends, some from years ago and some just met.
2006 AJHA SHOW
CHAMPION EWE LAMB FARMFAIR 2006
BONANAZA 2006 GRAND AGGREGATE PRESENTATION
ALBERTA JUNIOR SHOW
TEAM MARKETING 2004 BONANZA
ROCKY SHOWING TEQUILA
BAILEY RESERVE CHAMPIO 4-H HEIFER
BONANZA 2003 QUEBEC
GROOMING 1ST YEAR 4-H
MOOSUM IN TRAIL. CLASS
ROCKY LAMB TRIMMING
ROCKY & BAILEY