On the Farm by Glenn Ells
The last weekend of September has been important to our family for many years. This year, we travel to Bridgewater to enjoy the 36th annual Nova Scotia 4-H Show. The kids call it the “Pro-show” and the “Pro” refers to provincial, but I’ve always thought of it as having a double meaning. “Pro” could also mean “professional” and the kids and leaders that run this show look like “Pros” to me.
I remember the first Pro-show held in Windsor in 1977. There were three teenagers and a nine-year-old in our family that year. They were all very excited about the show and somehow, Leta and I got them and their livestock to Windsor Friday night, survived the busy day of friendly competitions on Saturday and enjoyed the inspiring Sunday morning activities. I think Kings County took home the 4-H flag, which was presented to the county with the most winning points that year.
The show has grown and moved around since then. This year, at Bridgewater, there will be 90 classes, 2,400 entries and 10,000 visitors. The show is open to the public and admission is free. This event is the largest of its kind in Canada and well worth a visit.
Each year, 4-H has a slogan or theme, and one that I got a kick out of was, “4-H ain’t all cows and cookin’.” This year is the 100th anniversary of 4-H in Canada and the banners and t-shirts say, “100 years of 4-H green in 2013.”
My most memorable year at Pro-show was 1979, when I won a trophy that is one of my prized possessions. The Department of Agriculture staff, who were very munch involved in the show, had arranged a fun contest for 4-H leaders and special guests at the show. It occurred to me late that the staff people were hoping the new Minister of Agriculture, Roger Bacon, would win the event. I don’t remember who all the guys that got roped into taking part were, but Roger and I were there when the freshly-killed and scalded birds were handed out. Who would be the fastest? The feathers were flying and the crowd was enjoying the contest and cheering on their hoped-for winner. I got lucky and had a chicken that the feathers practically fell off of, and so today, I own the trophy that reads, “Champion Chicken Plucker, N.S. 4-H Show ’79.”
It is the closest thing to a sport trophy that I ever won.