There are many service clubs and organizations who generously support 4-H Ontario year after year. We often don’t hear about these amazing contributions so I was thrilled to read Russel Dickout’s story which mentioned the Ingersoll Kiwanis Club. This Club has been sponsoring the 4-H Calf Dairy Club since 1941; that’s an amazing 71 years of support! These local clubs and organizations make it possible to provide 4-H’rs with unique Club opportunities such as field trips or Club materials. Thank you to Russel for sharing his story. It’s wonderful to see first hand accounts of how the supporters of 4-H have influenced the 4-H experience. And, of course, it’s always fantastic to read each individual 4-H story.
A Never Ending Passion for 4-H
By Russel Dickout
My interest in 4-H started in 1937 when my older brother first became involved. I could not understand why I wasn’t allowed to join also. At that time, because of limited resources only one member from one family was allowed to participate. By the time I reach 12 years old, either the rules had been changed, or my father had enough influence to get me accepted, so, in 1941, I was on my way. At that time, the only Club in the area was a Dairy Calf Club, which was my interest. This Club was sponsored by the Ingersoll Kiwanis Club. After seventy years, this Club is still the sponsor of this Calf Club, an amazing record for a non farm organization consisting of urban people, store owners, industrialists, doctors and lawyers. Don Mackenzie, a recent graduate of O.A.C. and chemist at the local fertilizer plant, and Grant Small, an insurance agent, were the main organizers. The highlight of the 4-H year was the award banquet in November when we were entertained to a dinner and received our cash awards.
I spent eight years in the Club and never missed a meeting. I also served as President one year and was a high aggregate score winner my last two years.
I became involved in Ontario Junior Farmers, so for a few years I got away from 4-H but I took on the role of Assistant Club Leader in the late 1950′s and assisted the Kiwanians who were still leading the Club. I resigned in 1972 before our oldest daughter was old enough to join. I had seen some problems in other Clubs where the Leaders had children as Members of their Clubs, and by the I had three good young Alumni who could take over the Club and carry it into the future.
Our four children all spent eight years al Club Members and enjoyed the work and education the activity supplied. Our girls moved on in life but always cherished the experience. The girls took several homemaking Clubs as their mother had, and our son, in order to completed 24 Clubs, took some of the life skills Clubs. Our son was also treasurer of the Oxford County 4-H Association. While in this role, he instigated the Battery Blitz campaign which raised a considerable amount of money for Oxford County 4-H Association.
During this time, I did a considerable amount of judging both of 4-H and open shows around western Ontario. The young people who had graduated from the 4-H program excelled in the show ring.
A few years ago, my granddaughter who lived in the city had an opportunity to join the Bond’s Corner Dairy Calf Club and enjoyed the experience. I still try to take in as many shows as I can so my interest in showing and 4-H is very much still there.
4-H Ontario’s Alumni program is funded through a Promotional Partnership with Hyland Seeds, including the position of 4-H Ontario’s Coordinator, Alumni Services. Hyland Seeds is passionate about agriculture and believes in supporting the people who are deeply rooted in the agricultural industry; dedication to 4-H is proof of this commitment. Thank you Hyland Seeds!