Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 12th Summer Synergy: An Investment in Outstanding Youth

The last two weeks have meant much collaboration for Matt, Karla and I as we have been back together at the office for Calgary Stampede and Summer Synergy in Olds, AB. As the school and 4-H year has wrapped up, I have been spending much more time in the office and learning the inner workings of the CAA office. I must be doing okay as I was Joanelle’s replacement again last week while she was on vacation.

Karla, Cassie and I also got the chance to go out to Hamilton Farms and begin filming for our "How to Get a DNA Sample" video which will be popping up on YouTube soon! We got to see the legendary HF Tiger 5T, which honestly made me a little nervous and could be put on the same scale as meeting Elvis Presley. Rob and Gail were excellent hosts, and I am so thankful to have had an opportunity to visit Hamilton Farms.

This update finds me fully completed my fourth year as a Summer Synergy participant. I know I’ve said it before but I will say it again--we have some truly amazing junior members. From the very beginning of move-in on Monday, I have been overwhelmed with the amount of mentorship and overall camaraderie. From the PeeWee members at cow camp to the retiring senior members, everyone had a genuinely good time and has excelled in all competitions. It is also great to see Canadian Angus Juniors from not only Alberta but also Saskatchewan. The quality of cattle at Summer Synergy Angus Division was phenomenal.

All the Summer Synergy scholarship recipients. Summer Synergy along with their partners awarded 55 scholarships this year valuing $65,000 at the Calgary Stampede on Saturday, July 13.

Some highlights from the Provincial Beef 4-H Heifer Show that was held in conjunction with Summer Synergy include Travis Hunter continuing his showmanship domination by winning senior showmanship with Ty Dietrich in reserve for both PBHS & Summer Synergy. Travis is undefeated this year! Ty won senior aggregate. Show Team judging was an Angus sweep with Ty & Gus Dietrich winning seniors, Laurie Morash and Halley Adams winning intermediate, and Kelli-Rai Sieben and Keely Adams winning juniors. The Grand Champion Black Angus Female went to Dakota Townsend. The Grand Champion Red Angus Female was won by Tyson Matejka. The commercial division was won by Laurie Morash.

Five AgForLife Ambassadors were chosen and both Travis Hunter and I will represent Summer Synergy coming from Angus backgrounds at the Harvest Gala at Northlands on November 2, 2013. Tyson Matejka won senior marketing, dominating the competition with his bull sale package. Halley Adams won intermediate multi-species judging and Cache McLerie won juniors.  Kelli-Rai Sieben was fourth and Ashlynn Duffy was fifth in junior aggregate. Laurie Morash won the intermediate aggregate with Jill McLerie following in second. Grand Champion Purebred Angus Female was won by Laurie Morash. The Grand Champion Commercial Angus Female was won by Kyla Kelly’s heifer calf.

The 2013 Scholarship Recipients also received these buckles to proudly wear in honour of all their accomplishments through the week.

The Angus breed was well represented in the scholarship selection as well. $2,000 senior scholarship winners included Angus members Dakota Townsend of Sylvan Lake; Cayley Peltzer of Rosemary; Tyler Dietrich of Forestburg and Katelyn Dietrich (me) of Forestburg. Senior recipients of $1,000 scholarships included Tyson Matejka of Ponoka; Chad Lorenz of Markerville; Travis Hunter of Didsbury; Bailey Dietrich of Forestburg; and Katie Crawford of Didsbury. In the intermediate category, $1,000 International Youth Livestock (IYL) scholarships were awarded to recipients Laurie Morasch of Bassano and Jill McLerie of Innisfail. The $500 IYL scholarship winners included Wacey Townsend of Sylvan Lake; Maguire Blair of Drake, SK and Halley Adams of Forestburg. Junior-aged participants Kelli-Rai Sieben of Ponoka; Cache McLerie of Innisfail; and Ashlynn Duffy of Lacombe were also on the list with $500 IYL scholarships. This means over 30% of scholarships (or 17 of 55 scholarships) were awarded to youth exhibiting Angus or Angus Influence entries at Summer Synergy 2013. 

I would like to once again thank all the sponsors for the opportunities they provide for me, my family, all my friends and many more other youth. This support, whether it be the local 4-H show, CJAA or Summer Synergy, is so much more than anyone can understand. There are some words I want to share with my fellow CJAA members, alumni and all our volunteers who have gone through programs like Summer Synergy (see below the photo). This competition has once again reminded me why this is where I chose to spend my summers and majority of my childhood. 

Scholarship Recipients following their appearance on the Grandstand stage on Saturday wearing their cowboy hats and scholarship buckles. Included are (back row left to right) Ty and Gus Dietrich, Tyson Matejka and Travis Hunter and (front row left to right) Katelyn Dietrich, Mytayla Miller, Andie and Josie Hadway.

The Best I Can Be
     by Katelyn Dietrich

I remember being young wishing for a “real” vacation or trip,
Now I know there’s a reason not a summer I did skip.
These youth programs that run every year,
They are the best thing for a kid around here.

It’s the sunrise and the smell of clean shavings in the morning,
It’s the numerous yawns for something not at all boring.
Because of the late nights, early mornings and lack of sleep,
It’s the memories and the friends you’ll keep.

Beginning that countdown in January to the day
To when those textbooks would be far away.
And I would finally be back in the Olds Megadome,
The place I can almost call home.

The times that I spent with the best Ag youth around
Has been a safe place to learn and grow I’ve found.
Everyone is laughing and smiling,
Occasionally sharing a tear or whining.
But we’re all together,
And that’s what I remember.

Thanks to my second and third adopted mother,
Who are making sandwiches, ironing shirts, always one thing or another.
Thanks to those kids I didn’t distinguish a couple years ago,
Who have become the finest friends I know.
Thanks to the sponsors and those who volunteer,
They make it possible for us to be here.

These are the things that must be said,
To someone who is looking ahead.
Farther past what that Champion Heifer will be bred.
You might not see it now, might not just see how.

But these shows and competitions are everything,
No matter the success, failure and all they may bring. 
The ribbons fade, the buckles tarnish,
But a soul and work ethic will varnish.

You will have these life skills and lessons forever
Whatever you may choose to endeavor.
It’s tomorrow not today you will see.
These programs will make you the best you can be.

CJAA Showdown is a mere 10 days away and I couldn’t be more excited! This will be my second Showdown experience as my family attended 2011 in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. However, the beauty of Showdown seems to be the different locations, and all this brings to the event. I am already gearing up for the Angus Cook- Off so everyone better bring their A-Game!

Posted by Katelyn Dietrich