The Ambassador Beat: Devin Catt

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 2018, each of 4-H Ontario’s Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. To book an Ambassador for your local event click here. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador Program is sponsored by FS.

Submitted by Devin Catt, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Elgin 4-H Association

The Opportunity of a Lifetime 

The path that a 4-H Ontario Ambassador walks is an interesting one. We have been given the chance to travel across the province and impact lives and at the same time we are young adults finding our way in the world and figuring out what is important to us.

Becoming a 4-H Ambassador for 2018 wasn’t something I had planned for myself. 4-H had stopped playing an important part in my life. In previous years I had been attempting to take all the clubs available to me in my county. I had attended many of the provincial opportunities that 4-H offers such as Provincial Leadership Camp, Go For The Gold and the TD Canadian Dairy Classic Show. I thought that 4-H had done what it could for me. I was happy to move on and start getting more involved in university life.

However, as I got more involved with clubs through the university, I found myself stepping back and becoming a member and less of a leader. I was struggling to find my place among my peers and how to use my leadership skills to help the groups I was now a part of. It was suggested to me that I should apply to become a 4-H Ambassador by one of my leaders. I found myself remembering the skills and the experiences that I had gained from 4-H. As I put those to use within my university clubs, I then rediscovered how important 4-H is to me.

It is because of 4-H that I have the ability to step forward and take chances that others might not be willing to. It is because of this, that I have had many amazing opportunities, and becoming a 4-H Ontario Ambassador has been one. But what makes being a 4-H Ambassador special, is that I am able to share how important 4-H is with the younger members. By explaining that even though we grow up and 4-H may lose its appeal, 4-H is a program built to help everyone from the young members learning new skills from the clubs to the senior members learning how to lead and share experiences, to the leaders learning about their members and helping to shape them into productive young members of society.

As one of the four ambassadors from Region 6 this year, I wanted to take this opportunity to see as much of Ontario as I could. I took the opportunity to travel to Region 1 and help facilitate the regional Discovery Day, as well as attend Leader Training days. While I was in Region 1, I met many new people, shared some amazing experiences with them and learned that we all face many of the same problems. We all struggle trying to explain that 4-H isn’t just about farming, all while trying to coordinate with members across the association. I was impressed by the solutions many counties came up with and was happy to share how my home association of Elgin tries to accomplish the same goals.

All in all, the trip I have already experienced and the trips that I am looking forward to will all come together to be an opportunity I will never forget.

Ken and Marie McNabb: Members, Volunteers, Business Owners & Mentors

By Ryan Métivier

Farming, agriculture and 4-H have all been key pillars in the McNabb family their whole lives. Both Marie and Ken grew up on farms and were both 4-H members as youth. Marie has spent time consulting with farmers during her time working for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food for 13 years. Today, she serves as a Director for Gay Lea Foods, while also doing the bookkeeping at the family farm.

That family farm began with the dairy farm Ken grew up on in Halton County. Ken

would go on to eventually purchase the farm from his parents and he and Marie would form a partnership when she stopped working full-time off-farm.

Today they call the more rural Waterloo County home, after shifting their herd from a tie stall barn into a milking parlour and free stall in 2005.

“We felt that dairy farming would be transitioning towards milking parlours and robots in the future,” says Ken. “In 2015 we built a new dairy barn with a couple of milking robots and have grown from there, now milking 75 cows.”

Overall they crop 271 acres providing all the roughages for their herd and selling IP soybeans and winter wheat.

Marie has seen many changes in the agriculture industry over the years saying things are becoming increasingly high-tech, with monitors, robots and automatic calf feeders. With new technology and science, farmers are learning to use their smart phones in the field and social media as a way to reach out to consumers.

“It [social media] can be a method of answering questions about everyday activities on the farm, connecting the dots and carrying out conversations with people who truly want to learn about all types of agriculture,” she says.

With the University of Guelph stating there are currently four jobs for every graduate, Marie would highly encourage youth to consider the industry that encompasses farming, the food industry and suppliers.

Both Marie and Ken would also strongly recommend youth being involved with 4-H. Marie was a member for seven years in Oxford County completing dairy, homemaking and garden projects, as well as attending the 15 Year Old Conference. Ken was an eight-year member in Halton County, enrolled in dairy, crop, tractor and judging clubs. He also attended the 15 Year Old Conference, Provincial 4-H Leadership Camp and was chosen to go to the American Youth Foundation Leadership Training Camp.

Among the many things they appreciate from their time in 4-H, are the great mentors they had the opportunity to learn from. Ken remembers fondly his Ag Rep Henry Stanley, as well as his neighbour and leader Jeff Nurse whom he later co-led with. Marie was able to learn through her mother and also Sharon Hart during her time in homemaking clubs.

Now, they are mentoring today’s 4-H members including Noah and Olivia Lichti who have participated in clubs lead by the McNabbs.

“Ken and Marie are very passionate about 4-H,” says Noah. “Ken has helped me a lot with judging and showing my dairy heifer.”

“They are very knowledgeable in what they do and their enthusiasm is contagious,” adds Olivia.

Both came from 4-H families and have decided to continue their 4-H careers as volunteers and leaders after their time as members.

“I think as a volunteer I’ve always enjoyed working with the younger kids and I’m trying to pass on some of the knowledge and skills that I learned through 4-H,” says Ken.

“My reward in volunteering is seeing a child develop, grow, take chances and want to try something new; watching the quiet person coming out of their shell from the beginning of a club to the end of the club,” adds Marie. “Many times I have heard it said that 4-H develops life-long friends. We try to enhance that.”

Another youth, Philip Cressman, has been a dairy member for three years and has shown a calf from the McNabb’s farm each year.

“They are helpful and give me lots of tips on how to prepare and show my calf at the Elora show and the New Hamburg Fair,” he says. “Ken and Marie are very passionate about 4-H. I look forward to going to 4-H meetings and learning about calves. They have welcomed me into the 4-H world with open arms.”

Mentoring and leading just seems to run in the family as each of their oldest and youngest sons, Colin and Liam began volunteering while only 18 and still members themselves.

Marie sees so many ways youth can benefit through the 4-H program. She lists judging, communication, public speaking, leadership, teamwork financial management and cooking—to name a few of the skills youth will develop.

“There is a certain amount of competition in 4-H. It doesn’t matter where young people will go in life they will compete; whether it’s for a job, a spot in a program at university or college or an apprenticeship,” says Ken. “The skills that members learn when judging in our clubs are teaching them to make decisions and by giving reasons they learn to defend their decision.”

The Ambassador Beat: Evan Jenkins

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 2018, each of 4-H Ontario’s Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. To book an Ambassador for your local event click here. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador Program is sponsored by FS.

Submitted by Evan Jenkins, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Elgin 4-H Association

Halfway Done but More to Do!

As August comes around, it marks the halfway point of the 4-H Ontario Ambassador term. In my mind, this is a perfect time for reflection. Through this first half of the term, I have met and spoke with many people, gone to numerous events and seen various parts of Ontario. With these thoughts in mind I figure I will share some of the highlights so far.

Being a 4-H Ambassador you must have good communication skills that can help in your travels and share your experience in 4-H. Some people I talk to are current 4-H members and volunteers that share their experiences with me as well. These experiences can range from talking about the different clubs they offer to talking about how excited they are for achievement day. The other people I talk to are members of the public who have questions about 4-H in their area or are 4-H alumni that share experiences from their days in 4-H. I have also had many people react surprisingly when they hear 4-H is still going!

Since many of the events aren’t local, driving is a key part of the position. Many events can be as far south as Essex County to as far east as Prescott County. Driving can be the worst part of going to an event, but you can use the time you have driving to think of an impromptu speech or to get mentally prepped to speak in front of an audience. The best part of driving is getting to an event and being mentally and physically prepared.

Now, I had thought I had seen all of Ontario, but I have proven myself wrong through this first half of my term. I had only seen what had interested me like the big cities, landmarks and notable towns. I have now broadened my view to see the different cultures like eastern Ontario where French is the primary language – which was a difficult time for me since I gave up learning French in Grade 9. It has also made me recognize that every small town feels like home! Staying with fellow Ambassador Mélissa Brisson’s family in Embrun while attending Golf-East had me feeling like I never left Belmont!

After reading through this I see that there have been many memories made, many miles driven and many small towns I want to go see again. Most people say that you make lots of friends in 4-H, but I tend to say that I don’t make friends in 4-H, I make new family members for my 4-H family!

The Ambassador Beat: Kyle Nussey

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 2018, each of 4-H Ontario’s Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. To book an Ambassador for your local event click here. The
4-H Ontario Ambassador Program is sponsored by FS.

Submitted by Kyle Nussey, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Oxford 4-H Association

The Start of Something Great

Every day I grow more and more excited about what is to come as a 4-H Ontario Ambassador. Every day a new opportunity or chance to reach out into the 4-H community is presented to me. It gives me the opportunity to expand on what I know and teach what I know. This year has barely started but I realize it will become one of the most memorable and impactful years of my life.

My path to become an Ambassador wasn’t one that I predicted at the start of 2018. I have spent a lot of time in leadership roles and expanding my knowledge but becoming an Ambassador was a decision I wasn’t completely sure about but now I never want to look back.

My journey to become an Ambassador started back in grade 10 when it was suggested to me to take a grade 11 leadership course next year. I took the plunge and loved the course and everything I learned. Next year, I took the grade 12 leadership course, attended Provincial Leadership Camp, coached a couple of soccer teams, and ran a school-wide talent show. 2018 has just begun but already I have attended Future Leaders In Action, become a youth leader, attended the Global Student Leadership Summit in London, Ontario and most importantly, became a 4-H Ontario Ambassador. I look forward to many other new ways that I can expand my leadership abilities.

In 2015, I took a year away from 4-H as I didn’t believe 4-H could offer me much personal growth. After some convincing from my mother, I rejoined 4-H the following year for the sole purpose of attending Provincial Leadership Camp. Looking back now, I can truthfully say that rejoining 4-H has been a positive life-changing decision for me and I have no idea where I would be today without it. This year I look forward to spreading the message of 4-H and reaching out to youth who may be in a similar place as I was a few years ago.

I’m extremely thankful to everyone that has made my adventure to becoming an Ambassador a memorable one. I’m especially grateful to those that have pushed me even farther to become the best that I can be. I look forward to this great year with everything that I hope to accomplish and the people I will meet along the way.

The Ambassador Beat: Lyndsay Dickson

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 2018, each of 4-H Ontario’s Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador Program is sponsored by FS.

 

 

 

 

For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for your event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Lyndsay Dickson, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Leeds 4-H Association

 

It is hard to believe that 2018 is here already. Where did 2017 go?!

2017 was a year of growth for me. A year that taught me to say “yes” to new adventures, taught me how rewarding experiences can be and taught me how to navigate on my own.

 

January 2017 – I was selected as a 2017 4-H Ontario Ambassador, an experience that has changed my life!

February 2017 – We celebrated success, as we were officially welcomed as ambassadors at the 2017 Ambassador Reception.

Shannon, Sierra, Nicole, Robert, Sarah, and I gathered with family and friends by our sides in Guelph as we were welcomed as the 4-H Ontario Ambassadors for 2017.

March 2017 – I began a social media feed to share my year as an Ambassador.

You can find my adventures as a 4-H Ontario Ambassador on Twitter, under the handle @dicksonlyndsay.

April 2017 – I attended the 2017 National Holstein Convention in Richmond Hill, Ontario as part of the Young Leaders Program.

May 2017 – I moved out!

After nearly 20 years of living under my parents’ roof, I found a place to call my own and moved out to start a new adventure of life on my own.

June 2017 – My first event as an Ambassador!

My first event as a 4-H Ontario Ambassador was the UPI Energy Invitational Golf Tournament.

July 2017 – My first 4-H dairy show of the season was a success!

My first 4-H dairy show of the season was the EastGen Showcase held in Spencerville. I was lucky enough to walk away with 6th Senior Heifer and Top Quiz.

August 2017 – I found out that the first heifer I owned is pregnant and due in March 2018!

I have my own prefix with Holstein Canada, Experience Holsteins. I own one heifer, Rockaberry Mogul Experience. I found out that she is expecting her first calf, which is also the first calf to carry the Experience Holsteins name in March 2018!

September 2017 – I had the pleasure of visiting Niagara Falls for the first time.

Fellow ambassador Sierra Stanley and I visited the beautiful Niagara Falls together following the UPI Energy FS Launch Party.

October 2017 – I celebrated my 21st birthday!

As all senior 4-H’ers will know; what your 21st birthday really means, is it’s almost the end of their 4-H career! 2018 will mark my final year as a 4-H member.

November 2017 – I attended my 5th consecutive TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic as an exhibitor.

I had the pleasure of representing the Leeds 4-H Association at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, held in Toronto every November, at the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic. 2017 was my 5th consecutive year being a member of the Leeds team.

December 2017 – I celebrated the holidays with family and friends.

I am forever grateful for the amazing opportunity representing 4-H Ontario as an Ambassador for 2017. Thank you FS for this opportunity!

Once an Ambassador, Always an Ambassador.

 

The Ambassador Beat: Sierra Stanley

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 2017, 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 FS. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for your event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Sierra Stanley, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Carleton 4-H Association

As my time in the ambassador program comes to an end I decided that I want to reflect upon the skills I have acquired throughout my year of adventures, memories and amazing experiences.

Throughout the ambassador program I have met so many fascinating people and learned so many things from them; the people I’ve met and the places I’ve been have taught me so many skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I have improved my public speaking and my confidence through the various presentations I have given and the events I have attended. This benefits me in every aspect of my life including school, work and even in my sorority.

The confidence I have gained since February when I took on this role is amazing. I am now more confident in driving across the province, flying on my own, and showing up places without knowing anyone else in attendance. This program really helped me learn just how much you can accomplish when you’re confident, have a will to learn and want to help others succeed.

I have gained even more respect for the amount of commitment, time and effort volunteers have put into this program. These people clearly have a passion for this program and it really shows. Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers, this program could not run without all of you.

The ambassador program has also made me more passionate for my chosen career path in teaching; I’ve run activities and spoken with youth at events like Judging Days, Go For The Gold and various other events, and seeing the different youth participate and show genuine interest in what I was telling them was absolutely amazing. When I finish my schooling and eventually have my own classroom, I hope to inspire my students the way I have been able to inspire 4-Hers over the last ten months.

I am so thankful to our sponsors; Growmark and UPI Energy FS, for offering me this opportunity through their continuous support of the 4-H program.

The Ambassador Beat: Nicole 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 2017, 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 FS. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for your event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Nicole French, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Peel 4-H Association

A Backstage look at what its like to be a 4-H Ontario Ambassador.

Over the past nine months I have had the privilege to represent 4-H Ontario at many amazing events. At these events I had the opportunity to speak with sponsors, 4-H members, leaders and members of the public. This is what everyone already knows about the ambassador program so allow me to give you…… the story behind the pictures.

Where it all started… Training weekend

This photo was taken after we were all named the 2017 4-H Ontario ambassadors. It’s a fun picture, but what happened after the picture was even funnier. We dropped Robert, not on his head thankfully. He was like a cat and landed with grace. This would be a great start to great friendships we would all make, over the course of the weekend we became more comfortable with each other and got to learn more about one another. While to most, Sarah may seem like a quiet girl, once she gets to know you there is no stopping her joking with you. Even though she made me the butt of most of her jokes, I was totally fine with this because it led to the start of a great friendship of trading jokes between each other.

The Competition… the Durham Farm Connection

At this event Robert and I got to know each other better, I learned just how funny Robert was, I don’t think I have ever laughed more. Our job at this event was to talk to the parents and kids about 4-H and hopefully spark some interest in 4-H. I had brought some 4-H stickers with me, so Robert and I decided to attract the kids to our booth with stickers so we could talk to them and their parents about 4-H. We made it in to a competition trying to see who could get the most kids to take a sticker. Apparently, my approach to giving out stickers might have been a little “aggressive” (according to Robert). Let just say, Robert had more luck with the kids and won our little competition.

Oops, did I forget to tell you?… 4-H West Golf tournament

This is probably my favourite picture taken this past year and one of my favourite events. Even though because of the rain, we were unable to golf that day, we made the best of it. Our job was to go around to different tables and ask the sponsors trivia questions. This lead to many laughs as you can see in this photo. Our questions lead to many debates at the table and some pretty interesting answers. For example, the question: “how many litres of water does a cow drink to produce 1 litre of milk” the Scotiabank guy answered 100,000 litres. This lead to that guy being roasted for the rest of day and many jokes being traded. While that is what happened in this photo what happened later that day would become one of my favourite ambassador memories.

Robert and I were to sing the 4-H grace at dinner, I knew the grace so I wrote it down for Robert to learn. I guess I forgot to mention to Robert that the 4-H grace is sung. So, when we were called up to give the grace Robert began to speak it while I sang it, thankfully John Drummond was there to save that day and started sing as well. It was probably the funniest and most awkward experience; good thing Robert has a good sense of humour about it.

The Tradition… East-central junior show

This is a picture of my two sisters and I. While there is no particularly funny story behind this photo, there is a story. As many of you may know, my older sister Julie was a 2016 4-H Ontario Ambassador, and as an ambassador John Drummond requested her to come hand out ribbons at the Junior Show. John then asked me and my younger sisters to be Poop Ninjas (my lifelong dream… no joke). When we arrived however John found a more prestigious job for us, or at least that is how he phrased it. We become the ring marshals. One year later John would be requesting me to be the ambassador to come and hand out ribbons at the show, he then bribed my sisters with hamburgers to be the ring marshals. At the end of the show John informed my younger sister Allison that she would need to become a 2018 4-H Ontario Ambassador so we could keep this tradition going.

The Opportunity… Growmark AGM

This is the part of my post is where I would like to thank our wonderful sponsor, UPI Energy FS and GROWMARK. Without them this program would not be possible, especially this photo. I was the 4-H Ontario Ambassador chosen to attend the Growmark AGM in Chicago. This was one of the best experiences I have ever had! I got to meet so many amazing people, from Growmark executives to Future Farmers of America. The connections I made were incredible. I also had the chance to learn a lot not only about Growmark but also some valuable life skills. There were speakers at the AGM talking about a variety of topics from living life fearlessly to using big data, and my personal favourite was Doug Flipp. We as young leaders had the chance to take a behind the scenes tour of the Chicago Hilton. This was amazing. Our role as young leaders at the AGM was to be flag bearer. It was an honour to have been able to carry the Ontario flag into the opening ceremony. Janice Johnson the Ontario young leaders chaperone (for lack of a better word) was amazing. She treated us like her kids and made sure we got the complete Chicago experience; from going to the top of the Willis Tower, to eating my weight in deep dish pizza. We also went on an architecture boat tour of the city where we learned about Chicago’s rich history. We also had the chance to go to Navy Pier and ride the Ferris wheel and eat at Bubba Gumps. Last and certainly my favourite, we got to see the Bean!  On our final day, which is when this picture was taken, I had the honour to give the invocation at breakfast before the closing ceremonies.

This was such an amazing trip and there are no words to descried how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to go and represent 4-H Ontario.

Oh the places we’ve gone and the destinations ahead.

As our ambassadorship is drawing to a close I have taken the time to look at all the amazing events we have been able to attend as ambassadors, the people we have been able to speak to and the impact we have made. This program has not only allowed me to further develop many of the life skills that 4-H has taught me, I have also had the chance to make life long connections. As my ambassador time comes to an end and I say goodbye to these five amazing people, I will be left with the many incredible memories of our time together. I would like to thank our sponsors UPI Energy FS and GROWMARK for making this experience possible, without you I would not have become great friends with these amazing individuals. I know after our reign as ambassadors is over, we will all go on to do amazing things and continue to live the 4-H motto, by learning to do by doing.

One final special thanks to Marianne and Lindsay for keeping this ship running smoothly. Without you two there would be no program. Thank you for all that you have done for me and the ambassador program. You ladies are my role models. Thank you for being amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ambassador Beat: Shannon Desjardins

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 2017, 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. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for your event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Shannon Desjardins, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Prince Edward 4-H Association

I think this is the perfect opportunity to introduce myself, as I don’t think many of you know who I am. My name is Shannon Desjardins, and I am currently in my 12th year, last year, in the 4-H program. I have completed just over 112 clubs, and am currently completing two clubs as we speak.

I have completed almost all of my clubs in my home association, Prince Edward, with boarder hopping next door to Hastings for two club projects. I have explored multiple clubs in my home association including, milk makes it better, beef, woodworking, goat, scrapbooking, sheep, maple syrup, baking, pet, curling and more. I have had the opportunity to sit on my home association directors’ board as a Youth Director and I have been a youth leader in various clubs I have participated in as well.

The 4-H program has given so much to me that I felt this year, 2017, I wanted to give back to 4-H. Being given the opportunity to represent 4-H Ontario as one of the six 4-H Ontario Ambassadors for 2017 has been a life changing experience. I have had the chance to attend several events already, traveling throughout Ontario. I have met so many wonderful new people; 4-H leaders, 4-H members, 4-H staff, volunteers, 4-H alumni and community members who want to learn more about the 4-H program. This has given me the opportunity to share what 4-H has done for me, my 4-H story, with so many groups and individuals.

I would not be here talking to you as a 2017 4-H Ontario Ambassador if it wasn’t for our two amazing sponsors, GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy FS. Thank you for allowing me to represent 4-H Ontario this year. It is a real honor.

“Learn to do by doing” never goes a miss in your daily activities if you are a current or past 4-H member. I entered the 4-H program as a very shy individual who didn’t want to take risks or try something new. 4-H was what I needed to come out of my shell and start trying new things. 4-H taught me to be a strong leader and gave me communication skills. 4-H taught me to learn from my mistakes and to keep moving forward. Without all the fantastic 4-H leaders, volunteers and senior members who took me under their wing, I would not be the person who I have become today.

4-H as a member has allowed me to try new things and not be ashamed if something goes wrong. Instead, I learned that out of any bad situation, there is always a bright side and sometimes you can just change what you were doing at the start to make it work. 4-H has also helped me follow my dream and attend post-secondary education through scholarships and grants. Without 4-H, I would not be in the position I am today as an Agronomist.

The 4-H program has given me so many opportunities to meet lifetime friends who have similar interests to myself, try new club projects, learn valuable life skills that I will use in my everyday adult life and to always “Learn to do by Doing.”

 

The Ambassador Beat: Lyndsay Dickson

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 2017, 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. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for your event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Lyndsay Dickson, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Leeds 4-H Association

As I am sure many of you don’t know who I am, I think this is the perfect opportunity to introduce myself. Lyndsay Dickson is my name, and I have recently begun my sixth year in the 4-H program. I have completed 29 projects in the past 5 years, plus I am currently completing two projects as we speak.

I have completed over 20 projects in my home association of Leeds, but I have also had the opportunity to boarder hop to Grenville and Lanark associations to complete the remainder of my projects. I have done a wide variety of projects: including, but not limited to, photography, dairy, baking, cooking, maple syrup, veterinary, and curling. I have been given the opportunity to youth lead a number of the clubs I have participated in as well.

This year I chose to give back to the program that has given me so much. Being given the opportunity to be a 2017 4-H Ontario Ambassador has been a life changing experience for myself. I have had several opportunities to travel to new places that I have never been. I have met so many amazing new people: 4-H staff, 4-H volunteers, 4-H members, 4-H alumni, and general public that want to know more about the 4-H program. I am getting to share my story of why 4-H means so much to me.

A special thank you goes to the 4-H Ontario Ambassador program sponsors, GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy FS. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you!

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

4-H is a program that builds self-confidence, leadership and communication skills, essential life-skills, strong values, and life-long friendships.

As a 4-H’er will always tell you, “learn to do by doing.” Before entering the 4-H Program, I was a caterpillar in a cocoon. I was waiting for the chance to burst out of my shell and blossom into a butterfly. 4-H was that chance for me. 4-H taught me that being a leader begins with confidence. Without mentors and youth leaders, my life would be very different.

I credit my success as a young adult to the 4-H program. Throughout my years attending school; I was always very shy, unmotivated, and could not speak in front of my classmates. Once I began 4-H, I became a whole new person. I was confident. I could speak in front of large crowds of strangers. I became a more motivated individual.

The 4-H program has given me the opportunity to complete projects that I am passionate about, meet people who share common interests, learn valuable life skills, but most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Elwood Dunford Family Fund

Written by John & Marlene Dunford

We established the Elwood Dunford Family Fund to recognize and pay tribute to the contribution to 4-H by my dad who helped to start the Lakefield 4-H Beef Calf Club back in 1954. My sister Mauretta was in the club the first year. I went to the meetings but had to wait another year before I was old enough to join. The club later became the Douro 4-H Beef Club where dad was the leader up until his death in 1977 at the age of 69. Dad only had about a grade four school education so he struggled with reading and writing but was well respected as a leader.  4-H was a big part of my life as a teenager. I was in the beef club every year and field crop club for many years, as well as other clubs like farm safety. I was fortunate to be selected to attend interclub competitions and 4-H leadership conference at the University of Guelph. I was awarded Outstanding 4-H member for Peterborough County in 1960, competed in the Queens Guinea’s Steer Show at the Royal Winter Fair three times and competed in the Inter-County Judging Competition at the Royal in 1961 with the winning team It was probably my involvement in 4-H that lead me to attend the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). While there I competed in College Royal and was All-Round Showman in 1964. Showing an animal in the showring is a traditional showing experience but the first placings in eggs and honey is what gave me the points to win this trophy. I remember going through about 20 dozen eggs to get a uniform dozen. The secret on honey was pouring it warm into the jar without creating bubblies. Also at Guelph I won the A. D. Runions Memorial Award as the member of the OAC Dairy Cattle Judging Team with the highest aggregate score in the International Inter-Collegiate Judging competition. After graduating from UofG I worked with the Ministry of Agriculture as an Assistant Ag Rep and was heavily involved in the county 4-H program. It was during this time that I met Marlene, a town girl, at the Junior Farmers bowling club. In 1969 we purchased a dairy farm in my home neighbourhood and farmed for 33 years. I spent 19 years as a leader of the 4-H Dairy Club and our girls were each a part of 4-H for one year. They were also involved in figure skating and skated all year- round. They learned commitment, dedication, confidence and respect—all the qualities we try to instill in our 4-H members!