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4-H activities fun for kids of all ages to enjoy at Ex

By Angela Brown, Portage Daily Graphic

The 4-H club kids might be wrapping up the year on their 4-H projects, but they are likely getting warmed up for all the fun activities they will take part in at the Portage Industrial Exhibition.

"There is the rally on Saturday -- the fun stuff for the 4-H members," said Shawn Cabak, with Portage Industrial Exhibition Association. "We have a barbecue; then we have the gold watch presentations, which go to two outstanding 4-H members."

The awards and games begin at 1:30 p.m., just west of the Fair Board office. The games include the biffy races, tug of war, and the Barnyard Olympics.

"Not too many of us are going to the London Olympics, so we are bringing the Barnyard Olympics to Portage," said Cabak.

The Barnyard Olympics includes sheep shearing, calf roping, cow milking, as well as a box race.

"They are going to decorate up containers and race in them," said Cabak.

The 4-H participants from the local clubs, Portage, Oakville, MacGregor & Gainsborough, range in age from 8 to 21. A few other area 4-H clubs are also taking part.

About 100 kids are participating in the events.

This marks the Portage Ex's 140th anniversary, and next year marks the 4-H's 100th anniversary in Manitoba.

The rally in Portage itself has been running for more than 75 years.

"It's a good way to warp up the year," said Cabak. "It's something fun that everybody can participate in, have a few laughs, relax and enjoy the day."

Cattle Show

The 4-H cattle show this year starts Sunday at 10 a.m. It runs all day; then the champion steer is chosen at

4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Following that, on Monday at 9 a.m. the heifer and cow-calf competitions take place. Then the steer sale takes place at 3 p.m.

"There are 41 steers this year for sale," said Cabak.

"The steers are the project the kids have worked with for the year," he added. "So they have fed and groomed and trained these calves over the past year since last fall. Then they show them at the fair."

After the calves are sold at auction, most of them then go for slaughter.

"Anyone can go to the auction and buy a calf. We arrange for the slaughter of them. The buyers usually keep the meet themselves for barbecuing."

The 4-H youth learn about the process of the beef industry.

"It teaches them where their food comes from," said Cabak. "That is part of being in the beef business. You raise livestock for sale."

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