The Ambassador Beat: Allison French

Five Reasons Why YOU Should Attend Provincial Opportunities

            Are you on the edge about whether to attend provincial opportunities that are offered through 4-H? Nervous? Scared? Or do not know what to expect? These are all perfectly normal feelings and by the end of this article I hope those nervous vibes have changed into the feelings of excitement for the next provincial opportunity you can attend.

Reason #1 Meeting people from across the province. Once you arrive at either a camp, conference or provincial competition, everyone is in the same boat. It’s like the first day of school again; new faces and new people to get to know. People come from across the province to attend these opportunities giving you the chance to have friends from Windsor to Ottawa and even all the way up to Rainy River. Over the next few days these new people will become part of your 4-H family and more importantly, your friends. Bringing us to reason number two.

Reason # 2 FriendshipsAt these opportunities, you will make new friends and in turn, find friendly faces at other events and programs. The more people you meet at provincial opportunities, the more connections you will make for the future whether it be post-secondary or other provincial events.

Reason #3 Making lifelong memories. With your new 4-H family, you will share experiences that only you can relate to and look back and laugh at. These memories are what make camps, conferences and competitions so special.

Reason #4 Building everyday skills while having fun! At these provincial events you will have the opportunity to build upon your basic skills like teamwork, communication, leadership and goal setting through fun, hands-on activities. By working as a team, you will grow stronger friendships while building your own skills. As well as everyday skills, you will be given the chance to improve your public speaking. Leading us into the number five reason to attend provincial opportunities.

Reason #5 Gain confidence when speaking. Without even realizing it, you will be speaking in front of a small group of people at these opportunities that will give you practice in a positive and encouraging environment.

For all these reasons and more, you should attend all provincial opportunities that are available to you!

Did I mention that there is always great food there?

 

Sarah Danen the 2019 Recipient of the Maryn Pardy Scholarship

Submitted by Laura Green

At the Southern Area Women’s Institute 105th Convention held in Keystone Complex, Shedden on Oct. 5th, the Maryn Pardy Scholarship for an active 4-H member in Southern Area Women’s Institute area was awarded to Sarah Danen. Sarah is enrolled in the first year of the Agricultural Business programme, University of Guelph. She is a very active 4-H member with Oxford 4-H clubs and has completed over 30 agriculture and life skills projects, attended Provincial camps and participated in one 4-H Canada exchange. She is a graduate from Waterloo Oxford Secondary School. Sarah was the 2018/19 Tavistock Fair Ambassador, is an active member of the Oxford County Junior Farmers, Step dances and works with her family on their dairy farm in the Tavistock area. Making the presentation to Sarah is Southern Area Scholarship chairperson Rie Van Steeg.

The Ambassador Beat: Christie Annett

4-H Helped Me Become Who I Am Today

By Christie Annett

My name is Christie Annett, I am 21 years old from the Lambton 4-H Association. This has been a pretty busy year for me with 4-H; I am a member, youth leader, leader and a 2019 4-H Ambassador. I have been in 4-H since 2007 and after 12 years I have been reflecting on my time as a 4-H’er. I am beginning to realize the impact that it has had on my life.  4-H has not only been a place for me to make friends with similar interests but it has given me the tools I needed to be successful in life.

I credit 4-H with being the place that started me down the path to finding my career in working with horses. I come from a beef and cash crop farming background but have always been far more interested in horses. My mom signed me up for the horse club my first year in 4-H. This was the first time that I touched a horse! It was an extremely memorable year for me, I showed my first horse, watched the RCMP musical ride, and learned something new and exciting every meeting! I won top member and top project that year, along with some other awards. For me, this was the beginning of an unforgettable journey.

After that first year in 4-H I took it further and started riding and competing on my own. I’ve tried out a few different disciplines to see what I liked best like: Western pleasure, dressage, jumping, before I decided that barrel racing and gaming was for me. After graduating from high school, I decided to take riding one step further and completed the University of Guelph’s Performance Horse Handler Program. I now work at Canada’s largest standardbred horse breeding facility. My favourite job is foaling out horses. Bringing an animal into the world is something truly special that I am honoured to have an opportunity to do. At work we keep the horses until they are a year old. During that first year, it is my job to break and train the babies. This was a learning curve for me when I first began because I had never dealt with horses that young and green before. I often wonder what I would be doing in my life now if I was never given the opportunity to find and explore my passion at such a young age.

Last year, I knew I had enough knowledge to resurrect the 4-H Horse Club in Lambton County (the same club started me out on my journey). I wanted to share all of the knowledge and enthusiasm for both 4H and horses, my goal was to help kids explore their interest in horses, and maybe even inspire someone with my story. I also started a club because I know how important 4-H was for me in finding out what I wanted to do with my life and how important it was for me in general. All of the clubs I have completed whether it be life skills or agriculture, have taught me something different about myself. I hope that my club gets kids excited to learn more about horses and find out what horses and the horse industry can do for them. If it’s only a club that they’re in for a year, I hope that they find that they learn something new about themselves and have fun participating.