A 4-H Icon – Bert Stewart

By Ryan Métivier

When you’re talking about someone who epitomizes everything that 4-H stands for, the name Bertram (Bert) Stewart quickly comes to mind. Bert and his family have been a part of every level of 4-H and the agricultural community throughout their lives.

Stewart is a world-renowned judge and pioneer in preparing and exhibiting dairy cattle, a mentor and coach to countless youth and tireless supporter of all things 4-H.

Stewart is the seventh of eight children born to Ernie and Jennie Stewart who owned a family farm in Peel County. Over the years each of the children, as well as their kids and grandkids have been avid 4-H members and supporters. Bert now has a five-year-old great grandson who may soon start another generation of 4-H’ers in the family. All told the family has been involved as members or leaders in Peel, Halton, Waterloo, Wellington, Bruce, Middlesex and Kent 4-H Associations, as well as in Portage la Prairie and Steinbach in Manitoba.

After graduating as a 4-H member, Bert quickly transitioned into a volunteer in Peel County before later moving to Halton County. Bert became heavily involved in dairy and judging clubs and was instrumental in starting what is now the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the Ontario 4-H Inter-Club Dairy Judging Competition.

Bert has taken a team to Madison, Wisconsin for the US National 4-H Judging Competition at the World Dairy Expo every year and says at least half a dozen of the team members have gone on to become official judges, something Bert always takes great joy in watching.

His judging experiences haven’t been limited to 4-H and North America though, as he’s had the opportunity to judge in 17 other countries around the world, with Brazil being his most frequent destination, somewhere he’s visited what he estimates was around 85 times.

“It was like a second home,” he says, of the house he once stayed in four to five times a year, where you could lie awake at night and hear the waterfalls come down the creek from 15 feet away.

He spent a lot of time down there judging and purchasing cattle and always made sure to bring a youth who had a keen interest in the industry with him to shows in Brazil.

To list all of Bert’s accomplishments throughout his career could likely fill many pages in this magazine, but he has amassed numerous awards and recognitions in the agriculture industry including receiving the Centennial Award in 1988 for outstanding service to the industry from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). In 2002, he received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his continued years of community service and in 2010 he was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. In 2012, Bert was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by 4-H Canada. This award commemorates Canadians who have positively impacted their community and distinguished themselves as leaders.

Today, Bert has dedicated 46 years to being a 4-H volunteer and in 2006 he was awarded with 4-H Ontario’s most prestigious award, the Syngenta 4-H Ontario Arbor Award for his efforts. The nomination came from a 4-H member from one of the judging teams.

His induction into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame is one memory he cherishes dearly. “It means everything,” says Bert when asked about how it feels to receive that sort of acknowledgement. “The best thing about being in the Hall of Fame was that my wife (Hazel) was still with me. 4-H had a lot to do with me being put in the Hall of Fame.”

The memory was further enhanced when his nephew Lyndon Stewart brought a bunch of 4-H kids Bert knew to the ceremony as a surprise.

In her speech at the presentation, his daughter Kelly spoke about what 4-H meant to her father and said 4-H has had a tremendous impact on their entire family and that his 4-H training prepared him for a truly great and exciting life.

Always looking to be more involved in the program, he represented 4-H as the Canadian 4-H Council President from 2005-2006, as a member of the Council thereafter and also as a Trustee on the Ontario 4-H Foundation.

“I was asked to do it, so I got involved that’s all,” he says. “And if I was involved, I was involved. I could’ve done other things, but 4-H was good to me, and I owed it to them. I’m happy I did what I did and I’ll probably still go to quite a few 4-H events in the future.”

When he says 4-H was good to him, sure he could be speaking of the countless doors and opportunities it’s opened to he and his family, or how he met his wife Hazel at a dance at the Junior Farmer’s building, but he’s also speaking of the great coaches and mentors he had as a youth when he learned from the Agricultural Representatives in his region.

Sit down and chat with Bert and you can see those are some of the things he still holds dear and wants to share with today’s youth. One of the many ways he does this is with the award he established with his late wife Hazel in 2010 for 4-H Dairy Club members in grade 9, 10 or 11. The Bertram and Hazel Stewart 4-H Dairy Youth Education Award & Bursary honours their deep commitment and passion toward agriculture, education and 4-H. The $1,000 award and bursary is presented by the Stewart family at the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic during the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair as a Living Legacy gift, which Bert is able to see the impact of each year. Part of their hope for this bursary was to encourage youth in the 11-14 age bracket to continue to stay connected to the program, an age group where he says 4-H’ers often get involved with other interests.

Whether he’s talking about his days as a member himself, a dinner he recently took a past judging team member to, letters he receives from youth, events and people he’s looking forward to attending and seeing, sleeping by waterfalls in Brazil or how he once purchased a calf for $4,500 and sold her last son, a six-year-old bull for $600,000, Bert is a fountain of stories, ideas, experiences and full of passion for all things 4-H.

Making Ontario Proud

Sudbury’s Wayne Macdonald is 4-H Canada’s National Volunteer of the Year

By Ryan Métivier

Wayne Macdonald has spent years engaged in his  community. A soccer coach for over 15 years, 25-year member of the Knights of Columbus, associate member of the Legion of Canada and executive board member of the Westmount Playground Association – Wayne has enriched the lives of many youth and adults while volunteering.

However, he had never been a part of 4-H. A Cubs and Scouts member as a youth, it wasn’t until he married his wife Paulette in 1986 who was a 4-H alumna in Renfrew County, that he was first exposed to the program. In 1988 he helped her start a 4-H club in Arnprior and has never looked back.

Nearly 30 years later Wayne and Paulette have led clubs in almost every category of project available. That commitment to developing youth in 4-H was recently acknowledged at the 4-H Canada Annual General Meeting in June where Wayne was named National Volunteer Leader of the Year.

“Our philosophy is to offer projects each year that touch on certain key areas of 4-H in order to provide a well-rounded experience for the members,” he says.

Wayne is also the Vice-President of the Sudbury District 4-H Association, while also volunteering as the Awards Coordinator, Webmaster, Screening Committee member, for several years as the Region 1 President and throughout all levels of Go For The Gold.

Wayne feels the biggest takeaway youth get from 4-H is confidence and personal development.

“Since the hands-on lessons and experiential learning is so positive, the members can go out in life and use these skills immediately, no matter their age,” he says. “This strengthening of character is vital; after all, we are growing society’s future leaders.”

Wayne truly believes in the 4-H motto, ‘Learn To Do By Doing’ and enjoys sharing his life experiences with the youth in 4-H. By embodying the 4-H motto and living the 4-H values, he believes both he and Paulette help members to become more confident and better equipped to excel in their lives, while also being better and more compassionate citizens.

“The beauty of our ‘4-H relationship’ is that there is Wayne, there is me and there is ‘us’,” says Paulette. “This is why I have enjoyed volunteering over the years and still feel so passionate about my involvement. We give each other space to be ourselves yet we have a consistency and a style that is ‘us’! We learn, we grow, we enjoy and we receive so much from the members.”

Paulette believes Wayne’s authenticity and joyful demeanor allows members to feel safe, accepted and free to be themselves and grow.

These sentiments were on full display in Wayne’s nomination for the National Volunteer Leader of the Year Award. In her letter of nomination, 17-year-old Youth Leader Meaghan Ethier said Wayne makes the community a better place simply by being a part of it.

“He has an infectious positive attitude that encourages us as youth to be better people,” she says.

She continues to say Wayne is an amazing role model in Sudbury and has had a huge impact on all members of their club.

“Wayne is a lot more than my 4-H leader. He is an example of the kind of person that I want to become.”

To receive the award was quite the honour for Wayne and something he was shocked to find out, as he was unaware of the nomination.

“Being honoured for what you do in life is amazing,” he says. “Being honoured for volunteering your time and skills is amazing. Being honoured by the youth you share the 4-H program with is a gift of a lifetime.”

The Ambassador Beat: Julie French

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 2016, 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 Julie French, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Peel 4-H Association

4-H In A Country Song

Beat this summer

As fall fast approaches, I take some time to reflect on the days of summer. The country music, the warm weather, the time spent with family and friends, and the memories made. But the summer would not have been complete without the numerous 4-H clubs I partook in and the 4-H opportunities I had the chance to attend. Through the variety of engaging activities 4-H offers, I had one of the best summers to date gaining valuable life skills in unique ways. Ain’t no way I’m gonna beat this summer!

Humble and Kind

From driving to flying, I got the chance to have a small glimpse at our province’s diversified landscape. With 4-H being offered even in the most northern regions, it was incredible to see the commitment and enthusiasm to the 4-H program that members and volunteers displayed. While attending the Region 1 Discovery Day in Emo in May, I was astounded at the turnout of young members, all eager to become more engaged in the 4-H program! This was such a humbling experience for me as I observed young Cloverbuds break free from their initial nervousness and become leaders to look out for in their future years of the program. You’ve got new mountains to climb but always stay humble and kind.

People know you by your first name

Raised on 4-H, country music star Dean Brody has made his name as an artist in both Canada and the U.S. He has proven the value of hard work and the value of the 4-H program. He has also proven that no dream is too big. His journey inspires members of the 4-H program to “Learn To Do By Doing” and to not be afraid to step out of their comfort zone. I will admit that I have been challenged to step outside my comfort zone as a 4-H Ontario Ambassador for the year. I’ve gained so many valuable life skills and been so fortunate to be able to network with sponsors of the 4-H program, 4-H staff,   4-H volunteers, 4-H members and 4-H alumni.

The River

This summer has been so fast-paced, from Discovery Days in Regions 1, 2, and 4 to the Golf West Tournament, to the Sponsor Tour and UPI Charity Golf Tournament! These experiences have provided so much personal development. Trying to learn from what’s behind you and never knowing what’s in store. I am thrilled to have learned as much as I have thus far and excited to see what the next few months have to offer!

Play it again

It seems like such a short time ago, the six 4-H Ontario Ambassadors were announced for the year and now here we are, seven months into the program! More than halfway through the year, I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have been given! It’s gone by in the blink of an eye, I almost wish I could play it again!

The Ambassador Beat: Sadie-Jane Hickson

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 2016, 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 Sadie-Jane Hickson, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Kawartha Lakes-Halliburton 4-H Association

For me, one of the most rewarding things about the 4-H program has been the opportunities to attend camps and conferences. I have learned so much during the education sessions, and can say I have met some of the most amazing and inspirational 4-H’ers ever. The 4-H program gives youth the opportunity to attend regional, provincial, national, and even international camps, conferences, exchanges and trips. These activities give youth the chance to meet and to connect with motivated and enthusiastic 4-H’ers.

Having returned from Youth Adventure Camp (YAC), midway through August, I have learned a bit more about how to prepare for a 4-H camp and feel these are some things to remember to bring:

Rain gear- Mother Nature always has a way of surprising you. It’s important to be prepared for anything, specifically rain in the summer months. While an umbrella or rain coat are handy to have, I recommend rubber boots or “crocs” for your feet and a rain poncho; embrace the bright yellow poncho and have fun with it!

A water bottle- Staying hydrated is always important, so you can participate in every activity!

Camp songs- When you’re at a campfire or in the dining hall, camp songs are always great to have. I know it’s always appreciated when a camper wants to lead a song WITH ACTIONS in front of the group and you always need songs for someone to sing when they have their elbows on the table.

Your NAME TAG- Nobody ever wants to embarrass anyone at camp, BUT it is always important to wear your name tag, so that everything runs smoothly. Name tags are important for sorting campers into groups and staying organized.

Plaid- This is a mistake I have made a couple times at camp. It is always a good idea to bring a plaid shirt to 4-H camp, no matter what type of camp it is. At some point during the camp you will want to be wearing plaid. Two-stepping anybody?

Anything funky! - I know this is also something I have just learned! Bringing something unique to wear is always fun. During one of the sessions, or at a meal, it’s nice to make the people around you smile with your amazingly bright knee-high socks.

A watch- It is so important to always be on time when you are at camp! Always try your best to not be the last person to the meeting place, or you may end up singing “Brown Squirrel”!

A spoon- There will be a time during camp that a game of spoons will break out. It cannot be stopped. Do your best to be armed with a spoon at all times, but if you aren’t, I know there is a big box full of them travelling in the 4-H Ontario games box.

Your favourite pillow- It’s the pillow you can’t sleep without, and always get the best night’s sleep with… Bring this so that you can fall asleep quickly when the facilitators say “Lights Out!” so you don’t get caught chatting. Plus, you will definitely need your sleep for the next day.

Smiles! – This may be the most important thing to remember to always have with you at camp, (besides your name tag). A smile makes you easier to talk to from a facilitator point of view, and makes you more approachable to campers! Always try your best to meet new people at camp; you won’t regret it, and you’ll make friends for life!


4-H At Work in the Community

Submitted by: Christine O’Reilly

While I have always credited 4-H for my personal development (specifically in public speaking and leadership skills), I never realized the impact 4-H has at a community level until my final year of university.

During the last meeting of the school year, the OAC Beef Science Club invited a lecturer from the veterinary college to talk about his involvement in the recently updated Beef Code of Practice. As he packed up his laptop and projector, we moved on to the business of electing a new executive to carry on the club’s activities the following school year. Part way through elections, just as he was about to leave, our guest speaker politely interrupted the proceedings.

“I just want to say that I’ve been the faculty advisor for a number of student clubs in the vet college, and I’ve never seen a group of students that knew how to run a meeting so well.”

As a group, we were momentarily stunned. But I looked around and realized that the majority of students sitting in the room had been (or still were) 4-H members or Junior Farmers. The beef club never thought they were doing something unusual because all of the Aggie clubs were run that way. Thanks to 4-H, an entire college community of students knows how to run meetings. It’s a small thing that helps makes that community strong.

The Ambassador Beat: Vicki Brisson

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 2016, 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 your event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Vicki Brisson, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Russell 4-H Association


During my first few months as an Ontario 4-H Ambassador, I have had the opportunity to attend different events, including volunteer symposiums, Discovery Days and golf tournaments, and meet many passionate and proud 4-H’ers and 4-H supporters. Through all these events, I have noticed how everyone who has been involved with 4-H at some point in their life is familiar with the 4-H pledge. At the beginning of any meeting or event, the pledge is recited, but how is it applicable to what we do in 4-H? 

I pledge,

1.     My HEAD to clearer thinking

4-H challenges members to broaden their horizons and develop their critical thinking. Most projects have a portion dedicated to judging. For the avid young judges, judging clubs and competitions are an amazing way to further judging skills. No matter what, we are always encouraged to learn new things, try new projects, and develop new talents.

2.     My HEART to greater loyalty

4-H creates lifelong friendships, whether it is friends from our association we meet in clubs, or from across the province we meet at opportunities such as leadership camps or conferences.

We also learn to work efficiently as a team, sharing and accepting other people’s ideas, and we become good team players. 

3.     My HANDS to larger service

4-H members become involved members of their community. We can do so by completing projects that are focused on helping the community, by thanking community members that support our club/association, or even by organizing and taking part in fundraisers.

4.      My HEALTH to better living

4-H promotes a healthy lifestyle, for instance, with cooking clubs we learn how to cook for yourself and eat better. We also learn to manage our time, develop organizational skills, and maintain a healthy balance between every aspect of our lives.

For my club, my community, and my country.



Durant mes premiers mois en tant qu’ambassadrice 4-H, j’ai eu la chance de prendre part à une multitude d’évènements, tant avec des volontaires, qu’avec des nouveaux membres et des commanditaires ; tous aussi fiers et passionnés du programme 4-H. Durant ma participation à ces évènements, j’ai pu remarquer à quel point la prière 4-H était connue de tous. Non seulement est-elle récitée au début de la majorité des évènements, elle représente tout à fait ce qu’est le 4-H.

Je permets d’employer,

1.     Ma TÊTE pour des idées hardies

4-H nous met au défi d’élargir nos horizons et de développer notre esprit critique. La plupart des projets ont une section dédiée au jugement, que ce soit le jugement d’animaux, de pâtisseries ou encore de décorations. Pour les passionnés du jugement, il est même possible de participer à un club de jugement et de participer à des compétitions. Nous sommes toujours encouragés à apprendre de nouvelles choses, essayer de nouveaux projets et développer de nouveaux talents.

2.     Mon COEUR pour être plus humain

4-H crée des amitiés pour la vie. Ces amis peuvent être des amis de notre comté que nous rencontrons en participant à un nouveau club ou encore des amis qui habitent à l’autre bout de la province que nous rencontrons en prenant part à des camps de leadership. Nous apprenons également à travailler efficacement en équipe, à partager nos idées et écouter celles des autres afin de devenir un leader exemplaire.

3.     Mes MAINS pour être plus habile

Les membres 4-H deviennent des individus impliqués dans leur communauté. Nous complétons des clubs qui ont pour objectif d’aider la communauté. Nous prenons le temps de remercier les membres de notre communauté qui nous supportent et qui permettent la réalisation de nos projets.

4.     Ma SANTÉ pour vivre en harmonie

4-H promouvoit de saines habitudes de vie. Par exemple, grâce aux clubs de cuisine, nous apprenons à cuisine pour nous-même et l’importance de bien manger. De plus, nous apprenons à gérer notre temps, développons des aptitudes d’organisation et d’autorégulation et réussissons à maintenir un bon équilibre entre tous les aspects de notre vie. 

Pour mon cercle, ma communauté, mon pays.




The Ambassador Beat: Laura DeKlein

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 2016, 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 Laura DeKlein, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Middlesex 4-H Association

A Friendly 2016 Ambassador Hello

4-H is not only for me, but also for everyone! I am very excited to be chosen to participate in the Ambassador Program along side five other enthusiastic members. This program will give me the opportunity to connect with 4-H members, volunteers and communities. The four H’s – Head, Heart, Hands and Health are in fact some of the tools and attributes I will use on this journey. Within the next year, here are five top opportunities and things I look forward to attending, and recommend YOU to attend as well:


  1. Discovery Days- This may be a bit of a ‘throwback’, but back in the old days this was the day I looked forward to most in the summer! It is a great way to connect with youth within the community, learn new games/skills and mostly let loose and have fun! Every year a new theme is chosen, so it is never same old, same old. Be sure to check out your region’s date and register, you don’t want to miss out!
  2. YAC (Youth Adventure Camp) – A fun and collaborative opportunity, and a step up from Discovery Days! This is an overnight camp that involves lots of games, goal setting and leadership skills.
  3. PLC (Provincial Leadership Camp) – Hands down my favourite camp ever. This was the most life changing experience of my life in which I credit my leadership and communication skills to. I look forward to the delegates chosen to attend and I hope they take the risks I did and step out of their comfort zone!
  4. Sponsor Tours and Events – This Ambassador Program would not be possible without our generous sponsors; Growmark Inc., and UPI Energy LP. I look forward to attending the tours of their facilities and meeting those involved with the companies. This is a very exciting opportunity and all six of us are very thankful for their encouragement.
  5. 4-H Ontario Booths at Agricultural Events – The Outdoor Farm Show and Royal Agricultural Winter Fair are only two of many opportunities I look forward to helping and speak at on behalf of 4-H Ontario. I am vary involved within the agricultural sector, and hope to network, communicate and advocate the program to youth and volunteers within this ‘field’.

These are only five of many events and opportunities 4-H Ontario has to offer! Please take advantage of these opportunities that help you in various ways for lifelong lessons such as future employment skills, school presentation delivery and more.

I look forward to this upcoming year with everyone and stay tuned for more exciting blogs each month!

4-H Competitions Inspire Youth to Achieve

Written by: Ryan Métivier

Annually, 4-H sends a team of youth to compete in the 4-H and Youth National Judging Competition at the Canadian Western Agribition. In her third year of competing, Cassandra Gorrill set her sights on improving her results from years past and finishing in the top five of the competition. After two busy days of judging different classes and mingling with other teams and sponsors, Gorrill surpassed her goal by being named Grand Aggregate and gaining the opportunity to judge the First Lady Classic. 

Gorrill, of Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton 4-H Association, traveled to Regina for the competition with four other members and one chaperone to make up team Ontario. The competition is open to 4-H members and college and university students from across Canada. A member since 2006 when she could first join, Gorrill has been a member of numerous clubs as well as being a Youth Leader for Beef.

“I enjoy the people and skills the most in 4-H,” she says. “I love learning new things and teaching younger members all the skills I can pass along. I love the people involved with 4-H.”

On the third day of Agribition, winners were announced and Gorrill was thrilled to have placed in three classes:  Dairy Cows, Charolais Bull Calves and Barley Class. Then came the countdown of the top five spots and the realization she’d been named Grand Aggregate.

“When they announced my name as the Grand Aggregate I think I experienced shock,” says Gorrill. “I was happy and proud and couldn’t wait to call my mom, but as I walked up to receive my buckle and trophy, my hands began shaking and my tummy clenched with fear at the thought of judging the First Lady Classic.”

After getting over those initial nerves, she settled in and evaluated all the cattle the way she usually does, not worrying about how she would place them in relation to the more experienced judges. In the end she was right on point picking the champions of both the Futurity and the Bred Heifers categories.

“There was no greater honour than judging the First Lady Classic,” she says.

Gorrill says her time with 4-H directly prepared her for this opportunity by giving her the ability to have fun no matter what, the confidence to meet new people, to speak in public and the ability to judge different classes. Her county’s Evaluation Night and Peterborough Junior Day and Judge-It! Days exposed her to competitive judging and gave her the foundation for this competition.

“If I had to tell a youth who wasn’t yet involved in 4-H something, it would be that they were only a step away from making some of the best memories, building some of the best friendships and connections and experiencing the best opportunities that will impact you in the future,” says Gorrill. “4-H is great big family filled with people who want to help you explore your passions.”

Team 4-H Ontario at the Canadian Western Agribition. Caleigh Van Kampen, Dufferin Courtney Van Kampen, Dufferin Cassandra Gorrill, Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton Julie French, Peel Jessica Lasby, Wellington Also attending with the team as Chaperone: Dawn Van Kampen

The Ambassador Beat: Logan Emiry

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 2016, 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 Logan Emiry, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Sudbury 4-H Association

Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learned at 4-H

4-H is full of life lessons. Lessons can be found everywhere in the 4-H program, not only from 4-H clubs like life skills clubs, sewing and cooking clubs. Some lessons come from 4-H camps or trips. Others come from leaders and fellow members. But most importantly every lesson is valuable and can be applied to life! Here are my favourites that I use every single day:

Enjoy everything and dance in the rain

4-H trips, exchanges and events can come with lots of ups and downs. 4-H has taught me that no matter what comes my way I can overcome it with a positive attitude! On my second 4-H exchange to Alberta learning to deal with tough situations and bad weather was key. Learning to dance in the rain made me lifelong friends and some great memories too!

Stepping out of your comfort zone leads to personal growth

4-H camp is one of the best places to try something new. My experience at Future Leaders in Action this year was proof of that. I spent my week stepping out of my comfort zone while encouraging others to do the same. With such a supportive group behind me it was easy to grow as a leader. I strive to step out of my comfort zone every single day and help others to do the same!

Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic!

One of my favourite 4-H lessons ever comes from Provincial Leadership Camp. 4-H camp was so much fun and the friends I made at camp was an awesome experience. PLC inspired me to be a happy and energetic person every single day! I attempt to make every 4-H club, event and activity day as fun as PLC with my enthusiasm! Just remember to act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic!

Try new things and meet new people

4-H has given me so many opportunities to try new things, travel new places and meet great people all along the way! Through these experiences I have learned the more you try the more you learn and the more fun you have! Meeting great people has given me connections across my province, country and across the world. Meeting people is my favourite part of 4-H and you get to hear all of their great experiences through 4-H. This year I am excited to continue my travels through 4-H travelling overseas to Ghana!

Always be prepared when going on bus trips

Going on 4-H exchanges or travelling to 4-H events means lots of bus trips. In my experience that has also meant lots of bus breakdowns unfortunately. On the bright side, I have learned from this poor luck and now am always prepared for bus trips. The best way to learn is by doing and I learnt quickly that having everything you need if your bus breaks down, blows a tire or can’t stop without restarting is very important!

Greet the world with a smile and it will smile back

Having a positive outlook on everything I do is part of who I am. That is largely thanks to 4-H which helps me

4-H friends are the best type of friends

4-H’ers are truly one of a kind people, and they are definitely my type of people. Just like me other 4-H members understand how to have fun and be enthusiastic. Plus there are 4-H members all around our world who share common interests, perspectives and experiences as you! I have made so many friends from the 4-H camps, exchanges and events I have been to and couldn’t ask for better friends! You don’t have to look far to find welcoming 4-H’ers who are awesome people!


The great motto of the greatest organization in the world is definitely a good one to live life by! There is no better way to learn how!

4-H Club Leaders Help Youth Gain Confidence

Written By: Ryan Métivier

4-H leaders know when youth need that little push to come out of their shells or a change in an activity to help a particular young person reach their potential.

Isabel Miller of Haldimand spent time as a 4-H member when she was a teenager, before making the move to volunteer in 1992, first as a parent volunteer and then as a leader and out of county chaperone. Even after her youngest child graduated as a member in 2006, Isabel has continued volunteering as a leader and a member of the executive committee of Haldimand 4-H Association.

“My belief in the program and the positive impact that it has on youth plays a big role in my involvement,” says Miller.  

Of the many clubs she currently leads, at the very first meeting of her Miniature Horse Club back in 2014, she noticed she had one very shy member in the group. This member hid her face in her mom’s coat sleeve and let her mother answer for her. She also was too shy to attend the judging event or any of the horse shows. She did though, wish to stay in the club and continue to visit Miller’s barn to care for and show one of her horses (as she did not have one of her own).

Miller thought about it and made some modifications, allowing this member to write a story about her 4-H experience rather than attending a judging event. Over the summer the member quietly worked away getting advice and teachings from her with the rest of the group. Slowly, she began to speak up and ask questions and make comments on her observations. By August, she had built enough confidence to participate in a practice show at Miller’s farm with other youth members and their families, with the only stranger being the judge.

This was a huge success and the young girl agreed to sign up for the smallest show of the season afterwards.

“I told her I would register her and if she got there and didn’t feel comfortable showing, that was alright but she could still help and be part of it,” says Miller.

Once again loving the experience, the member was eager to chat about it afterwards and went on to show at her Achievement Day and read her story about her 4-H experience in front of her peers at the club’s final meeting. 

In 2015, now more confident, she returned to Miller’s barn, attended every show she could and participated in the judging event. 2016 will now be her third year as a 4-H participant.

“The saying goes that you only get out of something what you put into it and in this case, being willing to spend that extra bit of time and think a bit outside the box, continues to make this member’s 4-H experience a very positive thing that will help her throughout her life.”