The following column was written by West Carleton 4H Beef Club member Robyn Stanton.

WEST CARLETON – The year of 2020 has proven to be a challenging one for many, but along with these challenges, has brought forth many creative and resourceful solutions.

Thanks to our leaders Kathy Cavanagh, Josie Leman, Abby Argue-Findlay and Angie Miller, we have been fortunate enough to be one of the few 4H beef clubs to run this year.

Columnist Robyn Stanton says the challenges have brought forth creative and resourceful solutions. Courtesy Robyn Stanton
Columnist Robyn Stanton says the challenges have brought forth creative and resourceful solutions. Courtesy Robyn Stanton

The West Carleton Beef Club of 2020 is unlike any year in the past. Due to COVID-19, meetings have been held virtually through an online teleconferencing app called Zoom. This platform has been fairly simple to use and has allowed for all members to still have a face to face virtual experience in a safe manner.

In the past, beef meetings have been held at numerous farms to show how owners manage their farms. This was a great way to get out in the community and learn from others. One of the concerns for this year was members would be missing out on this learning experience, as we weren’t able to physically visit farms due to health and safety issues. Luckily, we were still able to have a similar experience virtually. Ryan and Allison Nesbitt were kind enough to join one of our Zoom meetings and we were able to learn so much about not only Cedardale Farms and how they run their operation, but as well insight on how they have adapted their practices with the event of COVID-19. This was a great meeting that brought forth many great questions from members. 

In past years, achievement day has been held at the Carp Fair grounds on the Friday of the fair however, this year will be a little different. For achievement this year, our members have two options to choose from. The first option is a virtual show that would consist of a three to five minute video taken by a family member or a friend. The members will have to treat this video just as if they were at a show. This means wearing proper show attire, giving a professional performance including; walking, stopping and profiling their animal correctly. Videos will be submitted between August and September. The videos will be posted on the Carp Fair website where you can find the placings. 

The second option for our beef members is a modified live beef show to be held at the Carp Fair ground the weekend of the fair. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, the fair has put in place some rules to ensure the safety of everyone. If members are to choose this option, they are only allowed to have one other family member to attend, as the fair must maintain a body count on the fairgrounds. No audience will be permitted in the show barn, only show people, judges and volunteers have the right to be in the show barn. Other safety precautions such as wearing a face mask and physical distancing are required.

This show will be shown live on the Carp Fair website for others to watch from home. Regardless of our members decision on how to complete their achievement day, this will definitely be a year to remember.