Eight out of 12 Kinuso Lakeside 4H members have been involved for four to nine years, which is much longer than the average.
The average 4H member participates for two-and-a-half years, according to president Janaya Klassen (17) and general leader Edie Klassen.
Brailey Klassen (18), in her ninth year, attributes this to the club having “lots of serious members who met through other clubs, have similar interests, and like the competition. We learn off each other.”
“We share a passion for animals and raising meat animals, and teaching the younger generations” Madison Conrad (17) says as her reason for the high percentage of long-term members. In her sixth year of 4H, she is district representative for Kinuso.
4H accepts members from age nine to 21. Kinuso’s members vary in age from 10 to 18. Many attend as families.
“The club gets along very well. They laugh a lot,” Kristen Mason, assistant general manager, says.
Several members describe 4H in their own words.
4H is a “thing where you’re in with a steer you raise nicely,” Malachi Loewen (11), historian, says.
4H is “something where you learn stuff. Learn public speaking and get to know new people,” Josh Loewen (14), treasurer, says.
4H is a “community event that tries to involve many people,” Tyler Mason (16) says. “It involves a lot of great things that can benefit you in the future. Public speaking, judging, and the experience of the cattle.”
The 4H Alberta mission statement says, “4-H Alberta inspires, educates, and develops members who are outstanding rural and urban youth, leaders, and engaged citizens. Members learn to do by doing dynamic projects, programs and community service. In honouring our rural roots, we continue to recognize the importance of food and agriculture in Alberta.”
Aged out, in his first year as beef leader, Liam Mason was a member of 4H for 10 years.
“I joined 4H when I was nine,” Liam says. “My cousins were in it. My parents saw the value. I wanted to earn some money to save for college. Learn useful things for life, deal with business, and general skills. Learn how structured organizations should function.”
“(I joined) to learn new things,” Madison Conrad says. “Public speaking and to get out of my 10-year-old shell.”
Like most organizations, 4H has various positions.
“The vice-president doesn’t do too much, but if the president doesn’t come, I have to lead the meeting,” Markus Loewen (13), vice-president, says. “It’s sort of like a back-up president.”
New members Malachi Loewen (11) and Shadrach Loewen (10) are historians.
Historians “collect pictures and make a photo album of events and fun stuff,” Malachi says.
Club reporters “keep people up to date on Facebook and everything,” Trae Klassen (13), club reporter, says.
Club events include fund raisers, public speaking, cattle shows, and fun events.
The district fun day was on April 6. It was Nerf wars hosted by the Slave Lake Northern Lights 4H. The district has four clubs – High Prairie, Smith, Slave Lake, and Kinuso.
Public speaking is a key component of 4H along with animal husbandry. Kinuso members all raise beef cattle.
First year member, Dayton Martens (11) says the hardest part is “public speaking, but I liked it.”
“The hardest part is having to feed your animal constantly,” Summer Mason (14) says.
The best part, according to Trae Klassen, is having “a cow-calf project and the cow has a calf.”
“I would (recommend 4H),” Kaden Klassen (14), secretary, says. “It’s very helpful to have to get out of bed even when you don’t want to. It teaches responsibility to have to feed cows at quarter to seven in the morning and six o’clock-ish in the evening.”