The Ambassador Beat: Kate Higgins

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Kate Higgins, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Huron 4-H Association

The World of Dairy Through Ambassador Eyes

Take it from me that it isn’t just in 4-H clubs that you are “learning to do by doing” but also in the extra 4-H experiences you endeavour such as my Ambassador events. I continue my Ambassador journey this month by learning about a different world of showing cattle. During the month of August and end of July I was granted the privilege of going to two dairy related events.

On July 31st I attended the Inter-County Dairy Judging Competition in Ancaster and on August 22nd I was the lucky Ambassador that got to go to the West-Central Junior Show.

At the judging competition I got to mark quizzes, input scores, and retrieve scores during the day where I quickly learned some important parts of a dairy cow. Some important words I continuously heard were size of withers and width of hips among other lingo! I also saw how seriously this judging competition is taken when participants had to change outfits two to three times to be dressed for the certain activity. This formal atmosphere is enforced by the experienced Bert Stewart who has taken the winning top four participants to the prestigious World Dairy Expo in Madison Wisconsin to compete as team Ontario as an exhibitor. The good efforts are all paid off when winners are given beautiful crystal bowls as prizes from sponsors and Ontario Holsteins.

At the Junior Show I got to hand out ribbons and prize envelopes to the show participants. As I watched the multiple heats and classes I picked up some tricks of the dairy showing trade and general rules. The showman always wears white (although by the end of the day not everyone is still entirely white!) to symbolize the old milk man and the size of the heifer should match the size of the showman. There is no show stick like in beef showing but the showman pushes on the front shoulder of the calf to adjust it accordingly to have the feet square under the calf while the hair on the spine of the calf is spiked and after the heifer does a number one or two the showman pushes on the spine to straighten it out and pulls down the tail. From listening to Stephanie Murphy, a former Ambassador and World Dairy Expo Exhibitor, give reasons for her placing I learned it is important to hold the head of the heifer high but to give some space between you and the calf.

These two events were a wonderful experience! I would like to thank Jason French for inviting me and being my contact for both of the events along with the other welcoming Ontario Holstein staff. Also thank you to John Drummond for being a friendly face at both events and introducing me to many of the volunteers at these events. I look forward to continuing my learning on my Ambassador journey this fall!

 

The Ambassador Beat: Paul Knoops

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Paul Knoops, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Oxford 4-H Association 

My 4-H Ambassador Experience

I have been lucky enough to be selected as one of the 2014 4-H Ontario Ambassadors and I am having a great time as one. I have had the opportunity to meet some great people through 4-H, whether it is 4-H Ontario staff, volunteer leaders, members, or sponsors of different 4-H programs. All these people were met through different events I have been lucky enough to attend and help out at. I am so happy I took the risk in applying for this position and have loved every second as an Ambassador since.

I have been a member of 4-H for over 10 years completing approximately 45 life skills projects in that time. I have held many positions at the club level, gone through Go For The Gold many times, and took part in many provincial camps and opportunities. After all of that, I felt being an Ambassador would only further my experience with 4-H. I also see this program as a way for me to give back to the organization that has helped me so much through the years and has been a lot of fun as a member.

As an ambassador I have had the chance to travel Ontario and take part in many events and opportunities throughout 4-H. I even had the chance to return to some of the opportunities I went to as a younger member and could reflect on my experiences there. I went to my first 4-H opportunity about 10 years ago, going to Discovery Days for Region 6 and I had the chance to return to the same arena and be a volunteer for the event. It was a lot of fun seeing the other side of the event and watching the kids through the day open up and make new friends along the way. I can attribute getting this far in 4-H and becoming an Ambassador to opportunities like Discovery Days keeping me involved and excited to go to other 4-H events.

Another event from my youth I went to was Youth Adventure Camp (YAC), and this summer I got to return as a facilitator. It was a great week where I got to not only meet some great members from across Ontario, but also the chance to bond with members of 4-H Ontario staff and excited and enthusiastic volunteers. I had an amazing week and am truly impressed by the younger generation of members coming through 4-H and was happy to see how respectful and enthusiastic the group was. The experience was so great I hope to be able to help at more camps like that in the future.

One of my favourite parts about 4H is the Go For The Gold competition. This opportunity is a lot of fun and I have been participating in it for years. I recall my first few years, hardly knowing what 4-H was but playing anyway, and losing mostly every game. However I went back every year because I had so much fun playing, and eventually got to represent my region at the provincial level twice. This year I got to help at my local Go For The Gold as a scorekeeper and judge. I enjoyed being on the other side of the table as much as I liked playing. Being one of my favourite parts of 4-H, it was nice to be able to continue to be a part of the great opportunity. I hope to be at the Royal for the provincial championships this year and continue being a part of Go For The Gold.

It has been a lot of fun these past months and I look forward to my upcoming events the rest of the year. If the next half of being an Ambassador is as great as the first, it should be an interesting and entertaining year.

The Ambassador Beat: Tamara Hamilton

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Tamara Hamilton, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Russell 4-H Association 

My Ambassador Journey

My name is Tamara Hamilton and I have been given the opportunity this year to represent 4-H Ontario as an Ambassador. From the start of my 4-H career I knew that this was an organization that I wanted to be a part of for many years to come! From showing cows to scrapbooking or even baking, 4-H offers so much to anyone including building our teamwork ability, social skills, and leadership. Over the eight years now that I have been a part of 4-H, it has given me so much. But these things haven’t just been handed out to me. That is the power of 4-H.

You see 4-H has built on to my personality and has actually opened me up more to becoming who I feel I was intended to be. I have developed leadership, enthusiasm, communication, and teamwork skills from not just every meeting I participate in, but also every camp I have attended where I have met friends all over Ontario that I am happy to say that I will have for life! Throughout these years I have wanted to give back to all that 4-H has given me and I wanted to show more people what this organization is all about and what better way to do that then to apply to be an Ambassador.

As an Ambassador, you get to travel across the area to promote 4-H to youth, volunteers, and even adults! At first I didn’t think I would get the position as I was up against many older members, but arriving at Guelph for the interview I just took a deep breath and presented to the best of my ability and the judges loved it! Now six months later I find myself attending many events all over the place! I have been able to attend county meetings, volunteer symposiums, and recently got to go to a event at Anderson Links where many different sponsors came out for a good day at the golf course. I was able to meet up with many people from all around our district and see how they contribute to making 4-H great!

Being an Ambassador has given me the ability to realize that 4-H is run off the community as it is a non-profit organization. It’s the people that wish to do the same as I do – give back, that keep each and every event running. I still remember the first meeting I ever went to and how much excitement it brought and I can only wish for any individual of any age to see how they do can get involved as at any age the value of Head, Heart , Hands, and Health for the better for our club, community and even country are always important.

The Ambassador Beat: Sarina Goodfellow

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Sarina Goodfellow, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Lennox & Addington Association

Representing 4-H has to be one of the greatest things to do. Being a 4-H Ambassador and going to different events and spreading the word of 4-H is a great opportunity where you get to meet new people and creat lifelong friends.

I started 4-H when I was 11 years old. I had told my parents that I really wanted a rabbit and that I was going to join 4-H and show it. So after a lot of convincing they gave in and got me a rabbit. So i kept my end of the deal and joined 4-H and it was the best decision I have ever made! I started out by just joining the vet and rabbit clubs. After that I started joining more clubs each year and attending local and regional events such as Discovery Days and Napanee Fair. I then continued to become a youth leader in my county and still attended events such as Go For The Gold, Judge It Day and Ignite Leadership! I also joined my county’s board, which I have now been on for two years and has also been a great experience. All of these things have contributed to me being able to become an Ambassador.

As an Ambassador I have been fortunate enough to attend events provincially, regionally and locally. Some events I have attended have been Colborne Family Day, both of the Ontario 4-H Foundation Golf-East and Golf-West Tournaments, the UPI Invitational Golf Tournament, McPherson Pioneer Day, Discovery Days and Region 3 Judge It Day. I have enjoyed every event I have attended and they were all a great chance to meet new people and make new connections.

I believe being an aAbassador has allowed me to inspire others to take every opportunity possible because you just never know where it might lead you! I encourage everyone, whether you’re a volunteer or member, to try to make a difference in someone’s life or to take a chance and go out of your comfort zone to make a difference because in the end it will be worth it.

The Ambassador Beat: Brooke Thompson

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Brooke Thompson, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, York 4-H Association

I have had so much fun engaging in different events so far this summer and I am really enjoying my time as an Ontario 4-H Ambassador. I have had the privilege to go to many more events since the last time I blogged. I have since been to Sunderland’s Maple Syrup Festival, a York 4-H fundraiser and barbecue, Markham Youth Forum, Region 3 Discovery Day, the UPI Energy Annual Invitational Golf Tournament, the Ambassador Sponsor Tour and the Junior Dairy Show in Orono. I have had a blast being able go to all of these events meeting new people and sharing lasting experiences within my role as a 4-H Ambassador.

The 4-H Ambassador program has given me the advantage to further my knowledge within 4-H allowing me to experience and see things that I would have never seen without this amazing opportunity. Learning about maple syrup, helping with a beef show, playing games with junior 4-H members, running a mini putt activity at a golf tournament, touring co-ops and learning about our sponsors GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP, and helping young 4-H members show their calves have been many of the highlights to my summer so far. It is always fun seeing familiar faces at 4-H related events as well as promoting 4-H to new people within the communities that I have visited around me.

I am looking forward to what the rest of my 4-H Ambassador experience has in store for me. I have more events coming up this summer that I am eager to get to! I want to personally thank all of those who have requested a 4-H Ambassador to participate at their events that they have planned. It has been both an honour and a privilege to be a part of the various events representing 4-H and making memories that will be cherished forever.

The Ambassador Beat: Kate Higgins

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Kate Higgins, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Huron 4-H Association

Discovery Days As An Ambassador

It feels like yesterday, but in reality it was eight and nine ears ago when I attended 4-H Ontario Discovery Days as a young 4-H member. I had the privilege of going to Discovery Days in Teeswater in 2005 and Blyth in 2006 for Region 5. These are some of my fondest memories of 4-H that I still hold today! I still wear both my t-shirts even though one of them is a little worse for wear and has seen better days.

Being an Ambassador gave me the privilege of reliving the Discovery Days experience again from a different light. I went to Mildmay on May 31 for Region 5 and Erin on June 7 for Region 4. Both days were remarkable! I assisted participants with making their delicious pancake muffin snack and cool door hanger craft in Region 5 while getting to develop judging skills in participants in Region 4. I had so much fun spending the day with the kids and getting shot by a marshmallow gun by John Drummond. The groups of kids were unique in their own way, which made for a new opportunity for adventure at each activity! Whether it was coaching my team in Region 5 through Andy’s Mega Obstacle Course or making a parachute tee-pee with the kids in Region 4, they are days I will never forget.

Some things have changed since my original experience at Discovery Days, compared to my time now as an Ambassador, but many are just as awesome as I remember! There has always been the station rotation with parts like judging and Go For The Gold. Also, the t-shirts have been consistent souvenirs for the day, supported now by Beef Farmers’ of Ontario. One difference I can remember is having rabbits in Teeswater to judge. However Discovery Days will always be a day spent with good 4-H friends!

I would encourage every 4-H member to grab any friend, 4-H or not, and go to Discovery Days. It is an inexpensive, entertaining day that you won’t regret or forget. You can meet new people and also enjoy it with friends you already have. Events like these are only as good as the volunteers that are there, who never disappoint — so thank you for always making 4-H events incredible. I am so glad I had the opportunity to go again and any 9-12 year old should watch for a Discovery Day in there region and never hesitate to sign up for the next one.

4-H Ontario welcomes 4-H Jamaica to CAM

By Ryan Métivier

Among the numerous volunteers, members and staff who attended CAM 2014 in Waterloo, Ontario last month, were also a couple of our 4-H friends from the sunny south of Jamaica.

Dwain Moodie, Parish Development Officer at Jamaica 4-H Clubs and Devon Blake, Chairman and Public Relations Officer of the National Advisory Committee from St. Thomas, made the trip up north to experience 4-H life in Ontario and Canada. At the local level Blake is also a member of the Council at the St. Thomas Parish.

In 2013, 4-H Ontario sent three staff members to Jamaica for a weeklong trip that included extensive networking, government meetings, information gathering, and resource sharing, particularly in regards to youth programming and projects.

From left to right: Dwain Moodie, Marianne Fallis, Shonna Ward, Devon Blake.

4-H Ontario is benefitting from a unique international partnership with 4-H St. Thomas Parish, of Jamaica, which sees the two organizations share programming and operational knowledge, as well as valuable historical and organizational notes.

In 2014, it was Ontario’s turn to host the Jamaican delegates.

Moodie and Blake arrived in Ontario earlier in the week leading up to CAM, with a goal to experience the different workings of 4-H in another country, experience some new culture and maybe take some of the things they learned back to their home country and parish (what we call provinces).

The two had a busy itinerary planned for them that included a visit to their first Tim Horton’s, a stop through the 4-H Ontario office, the University of Guelph, several 4-H farms, St. Jacob’s Market and sitting in on a 4-H Chocolate Club where they had cookie tastings, made cookies and enjoyed the evening with 4-H members.

Seeing some of the farming equipment we use here was a great learning experience for them as well.

“We went out to John den Haan’s farm and we saw dairy. The experience was unique in that the technology used here, we don’t really have much of that yet in Jamaica,” said Blake.

Moodie has been involved in 4-H most of his life—from this time as a clubite (what we call a member), to a year of volunteering, and now working with Jamaican 4-H Clubs for the past eight years. He says his love of 4-H comes from knowing he’s able to impact the lives of youth and see the changes that take place in their lives. His visit to Canada was his first flight out of Jamaica and to Canada.

“I enjoyed meeting 4-H people, building relationships and being around and seeing the different farms and going to club meetings,” he said.

He was also probably the first visitor to Canada who chose “the snow” as one of his favourite parts of the trip as well.

In contrast, Blake says he gave his best effort to adapt to the cold temperatures and sleet and rain, but said you’ll never hear him tell anybody that he loves it.

“If there was something that was disappointing it was that we weren’t able to go to Niagara Falls because you guys decided to freeze the falls,” he said with a laugh.

So the snow may or may not be something our Jamaican friends are looking to bring back with them, however there were several other things which they will.

“The Open Mic session was good,” said Moodie. “We also got an opportunity to see how you guys recognize your volunteers and that you recognize your sponsors as well. That is something great.”

He also enjoyed seeing how involved and dedicated the Planning Committee was to organizing an event like CAM.

“At one of the farms I was able to hold a sheep in my hand for the first time in my life,” said Blake. “I was also able to hold a rabbit and able to jump a rabbit over obstacles for the first time in my life too. That rabbit jumping is definitely going to be a new Jamaican experience.”

He also spoke of his desire to incorporate a trivia wheel into their events and that he liked our auction system.

Would they come back to Canada?

“I would do again,” said Moodie. “I’d like to come back to Canada and basically engage other 4-H members and to learn more about the general culture.”

“I would definitely come back to Canada,” adds Blake. “It was my first time. I loved the experience. The people are very warm and friendly. They are a bit more disciplined than I am in terms of being on time. But that is something I can work on.”

For more information on the partnership between 4-H Ontario and the Jamaican 4-H Clubs click here.

 

 

The Ambassador Beat: Tamara Hamilton

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Tamara Hamilton, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Russell 4-H Association 

Hi everyone!

My name is Tamara Hamilton and I am from Russell County. I have been an enthusiastic 4-H member for seven amazing years now. 4-H has given me so many life changing experiences from developing my leadership skills to teaching me the importance about taking risks. What better way to take both of those and to harness them then becoming a 4-H Ambassador. Doing so also gives back to all that 4-H has given me.

I have only been a 4-H Ambassador for a few months now and I can say that I am having the time of my life! So far I have only been able to participate in few events including the Ambassador Training Weekend (February 17), personally attending Future Leaders In Action (March 9-12, 2014) and have also participated in the Region 2 open house for Stormont County 4-H (March 29, 2014), but over the coming months am hoping to participate in many more.

I may have only taken part in a few events, nevertheless I am still besieged by the amount of passion and enthusiasm that is shown in every activity. Taking a look at the recent event I attended which was the open house for Stormont County 4-H, I couldn’t believe the amount of keenness in today’s youth. Many of them arrived at opening hours and participated in every game and activity that was there for them to do. The new members returning would educate them and include them in everything they did, ultimately making them feel united into the 4-H family. It was an incredibly rewarding experience. To see photos from this event visit the Stormont 4-H Facebook page here.

To date, being an ambassador has enabled me to share and express my passion for 4-H with the public and I know from what I’ve seen it has been contagious. It is the very leadership and collaboration skills that are a huge asset to my life ingrained into my personality. I can’t wait to continue to participate in the rest of my year as an ambassador and continue to meet many people and make many memories!

The Ambassador Beat: Brooke Thompson

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2014, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Brooke Thompson, 4-H Ontario Ambassador, York 4-H Association 

My name is Brooke Thompson, and I am from York County. I have been a 4-H member for eight life-changing years.

I have only been a 4-H Ambassador for a couple months now and I am having a blast! I have already had the opportunity to attend the following events:

Ambassador Training Weekend February 17, 2014
York Sign-up Night February 22, 2014
Durham West Rally Night March 5, 2014
College Royal March 15-16, 2014

At all my events I am overwhelmed by how enthusiastic and encouraging everyone is. Every event has taught me new skills and techniques that I am sure to use throughout my entire life. Being an ambassador has allowed me to share my passion for 4-H with many people and I can only hope that it has been contagious. Leadership and facilitation skills are a huge asset to my life that 4-H has been able to engrain into my personality. I am looking forward to the rest of my year as an ambassador and I hope to be able to meet many more amazing people!

Outstanding 4-H alumna begins her career

By Ryan Métivier

4-H is many things for many people and for Stephanie Huitema from Haldimand County, it proved to be a huge stepping stone in landing her current job as Marketing Coordinator at Erie Mutual Insurance.

A 4-H member from the time she was 16, up until she graduated from the program, Stephanie was a part of many clubs including sewing and quilting, cooking, baking, lifestyle, sheep, goat and many more. Stephanie was also a participant in yearly judging competitions, as well as the Go For The Gold (GFTG) competition. As a GFTG competitor, she went to Regionals three times, where she won twice, and also twice went to Provincials, placing fourth in 2010 and fifth in 2012.

In her graduating year of 2012, Stephanie was named Outstanding 4-H Member for the year, something she was honoured to be acknowledged with.

“What a great way to finish my career. I was speechless and remember not making any sense when I was thanking and accepting my award,” she says.

This past year, she was also given the responsibility of hosting the 2013 banquet.

How she went from accepting this award, to working for Erie Mutual, came from a newspaper article her now boss, read about her winning the Outstanding Member Award.

“My boss went on to ask the staff if anyone knew me. A friend from public school who also works there said she knew me and went on to email me and tell me to bring in my resume,” she says. “I went from two part-time jobs, to the stability of a full-time position and I am so grateful to work at a company that supports agriculture and 4-H. It is a very community-minded company.”

Stephanie says 4-H helped her career by giving her confidence, life skills, leadership qualities, and life-long friendships. It also helped in getting her name out there in the community.

“What I have enjoyed the most is the process of 4-H,” says Stephanie. “I started out so young and received help from older members, and over the years I saw myself transition into one of the older members that helped the younger ones.”

Even after graduating from 4-H, Stephanie remains connected and active in the 4-H community with three siblings and two cousins as members, and her mom as a volunteer and leader. Today, Stephanie is in her second year of volunteering and is looking forward to leading her first club this spring with one of her co-workers – also a 4-H volunteer. The club is called “Girl’s Night Out” and teaches young girls about self-esteem, confidence, the importance of healthy eating, as well as body and hair care.