Pic­ture Butte youth places sec­ond in ABP Young Guns contest

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - OPINION - By Stan Ash­bee

When “Young Guns” is men­tioned, typ­i­cally the 1980s movie “Young Guns” comes to mind starring Emilio Estevez, Keifer Suther­land, Lou Di­a­mond Phillips — but, it is the Young Gun Contest that mat­ters here.

The contest was held again this year for youth ages eight to 21 in­volved in Al­berta’s beef in­dus­try. Par­tic­i­pants were asked to ex­plain how cat­tle and beef pro­duc­tion im­pacted their lives and fu­ture through some form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool. A panel of Al­berta Beef Pro­duc­ers (ABP) del­e­gates judged an as­ton­ish­ing 26 submission­s with three se­lected and awarded the top prizes, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent me­dia re­lease.

Sec­ond place went to Shanea Sinke from Pic­ture Butte. Sinke, it was stated in the me­dia re­lease, put to­gether a video high­light­ing her fam­ily ranch and learn­ing the im­por­tance of hard work. She shared an en­dear­ing story of bid­ding on and pur­chas­ing her first cow.

“I never re­ally thought much of it, but when I saw this contest I thought it was a cool op­por­tu­nity to ac­tu­ally get out and look at our farm­ing op­er­a­tion from the other side of the lens. I think we of­ten take it for granted, be­ing a part of the hands-on day-to-day work, but it was neat be­ing able to com­pile a se­ries of short videos show­ing life around the farm from a dif­fer­ent an­gle,” she said.

Sinke said she en­joyed be­ing able to make the video, but she was re­ally impressed when she found out she won sec­ond place with it in the com­pe­ti­tion. “The prize money has al­ready been pumped back into my cows. I hope to con­tinue to be in­volved in the ag in­dus­try, es­pe­cially on the cat­tle side, and I hope to con­tinue grow­ing my own beef herd. While I’m not sure if I’ll have time to con­tinue be­ing in 4-H, I would still like to con­tinue show­ing cat­tle, as well,” ex­plained Sinke.

Ac­cord­ing to the south­ern Al­berta “Young Gun,” it’s more im­por­tant now than ever for south­ern Al­ber­tans to re­main op­ti­mistic about the beef in­dus­try, es­pe­cially with ever-grow­ing pres­sure.

“I think we should es­pe­cially be op­ti­mistic with lo­cal mar­kets, as beef is who Al­berta was and I’m op­ti­mistic that’s what it will al­ways re­main. Farm­ing and ranch­ing is ev­ery­where around us and con­sumers love beef, so when we can keep pro­duc­ing it at its best, our lo­cal and na­tional mar­ket will re­main in de­mand and we will con­tinue to pro­mote this to other coun­tries,” she said.

That be­ing said, Sinke noted — with the re­cent fall­out with China, she be­lieves there will al­ways be a mar­ket for Canadian beef and there is enough de­mand to shift it and ex­pand other ex­port mar­kets. “There’s al­ways highs and lows in mar­ket prices, but over­all I’m op­ti­mistic and hop­ing to re­main that way be­cause we love what we do and a pes­simistic out­look can ruin the at­ti­tude to­wards our life­style.”

When it comes to ag, Sinke added she’s proud to be Al­ber­tan, “Where I know I have been born and raised in a place where there is end­less op­por­tu­nity to pro­duce a good juicy steak, while be­ing able to fol­low it from pas­ture to plate. Be­ing the pow­er­house of beef pro­duc­tion, Al­berta beef prod­ucts boast rich taste, even fat dis­tri­bu­tion and con­sis­tent qual­ity. There is a strong as­sur­ance of the qual­ity of cuts we are pro­duc­ing and we are very proud to be rec­og­nized for of­fer­ing some of the finest beef in the world,” she said.

Photo con­trib­uted

Pic­ture Butte’s Shanea Sinke placed sec­ond in the re­cent “Young Guns” contest, an Al­berta Beef Pro­duc­ers ini­tia­tive geared at pro­mot­ing the beef in­dus­try to young peo­ple in the prov­ince.

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