Original Published May 31, 2022
South Peace News
Never too young to learn and have fun!
It’s the best way to describe a High Prairie area girl’s first year in the Coyote Acres 4-H Club.
Macy Meneice, 9, lives on the family farm south of High Prairie in the Banana Belt region. Being around the family farm of just under 300 head of cattle [cow-calf and beef operation] piques her interest and love of animals, so it was a natural for her to join 4-H in the Market Steer Project program.
“I joined mostly for the experience in learning a lot more about cattle,” she says.
“And I heard it’s a lot of fun.”
It was the word passed onto her from current members Carley Cox and Gillian Blackhurst.
“And we have the cows and stuff,” she adds.
The “stuff” is not only the animals on the farm but the experience the farm brings. Her father, Kevin, is a former 4-H member. Together, with her grandfather, Doug, the family is well-respected in the region having been named a previous winner of the Farm Family of the Year Award.
Macy has enjoyed her first year, especially attending shows like the Peace Prospect Beef Show in Valleyview and the companionship with other members; however, it still all comes down to her love of animals. This year, she is raising Coal, a Black Angus Simmental cross.
“I like my steer’s ears,” says Macy. “His ears are really hairy!”
She named him Coal because of his black colour and chose him from several animals on the farm.
“Coal was the fattest and he was really calm,” says Macy, which has made showmanship and grooming training a lot easier.
She has enjoyed caring for Coal.
“I learned how much he has to eat, I make the rations and how to decrease or increase [feeding],” she says.
She isn’t bothered too much by the 7:30 a.m. feedings because she realizes already it’s part of caring for an animal.
She has also enjoyed learning the “vet” practices.
“We have to learn to listen to the heart rate,” she says, and talks about preparing the needles.
“I know how to fill the needles,” she says proudly.
But the time is coming soon for Macy to part with Coal. It is difficult for some members to part with their animals because many view them as pets; however, Macy understood at an early age where beef comes from and the process of raising an animal to market.
“I don’t really want to sell him, I want to keep him as a pet,” she says.
“He’s like a big teddy bear.”
Coal was born in April 2021 and weighed 780 pounds in November. May 12, he weighed 1,350 pounds.
Macy is quick to recognize and appreciate the time and effort their project leaders and the entire 4-H executive give to the members. Ted Blackhurst leads the beef project. She realizes without their dedication and leadership the fun she has in 4-H would not exist.
Macy, who wishes all 4-H members in the club the best of luck, regardless of which project they are in, is the daughter of Kevin and Ashley Meneice.
The Coyote Acres 4-H Achievement Day Show and Sale was Saturday, May 28 at the High Prairie Agriplex. The show started at 1 p.m. followed by supper and the sale. The day also includes Market Lamb Projects as well as Market Steer Projects.
This item reprinted with permission from South Peace News, High Prairie, Alberta