5 Questions With… Linda Humphrey

First Name:  Linda
Last Name:  Humphrey
4-H Association or Region:  Oxford
Years In 4-H: 34

Member, Volunteer, Alumni (Indicate all that apply):

Member, Volunteer

Currently Oxford 4-H Communications Coordinator – membership, awards, newsletter  (Paid position), an extra body if needed at meetings and an “expert” for sewing projects.

Questions:

  1. Why did you join 4-H?

My mother insisted with dad’s support. Didn’t really like it much but determined to stay in till I had completed 6 projects; Then decided that I could do 12.  Pretty sure I was a trial for the leaders. But I matured, saw the value of the program and became an Assistant Leader and continued as a member – you could do that then. Received County (6) Provincial (12) and Advanced (18) Honours which was as far as you could go. My biggest regret is that I never took a dairy club – my dad had a calf he encouraged me to show but I would have none of it.

  1. What clubs, camps, opportunities etc have you participated or volunteered in?

Became a volunteer with Princess Elizabeth (homemaking) then started a club in Bright.  At present I have volunteered for 63 projects. Have done some minor volunteer duties for 4-H at the local fair and attend every Volunteer Symposium I can manage.

  1. How has 4-H changed your life?

I kept all my project manuals and member projects and have referred to them often.  Now most of the information is available online but I learned it first from 4-H. There was a time when you learned the best way to do something in 4-H and you were expected to improve through the clubs. The program has changed over the years but that I miss the most.

  1. What’s your favourite 4-H memory?

Presenting my first 24 project award for my club member and to my daughter. But I think the best will be at our Awards Night this year. A member who took a lot of her projects with my club is to be the featured speaker. I love seeing the members grow through the years, changing from shy kids into confident speakers and workers. I also like working with my Youth Leaders and have never been disappointed in the way they come through for their projects and duties. Also thrilled that my granddaughter loved Cloverbuds and is looking forward to “real” 4-H!

  1. What do you do outside of 4-H? (hobbies, school, career, etc)

I was a stay at home mom for 23 years, worked as an Administrative Assistant then as a buyer for a manufacturer. Currently as I said above I am the Communications Coordinator for my county 4-H association handling the duties of membership, awards and newsletters – plus just ask and if I don’t know I will find out. But the most surprising thing I do now is as a lay worship leader for my church. Me, standing up in front of people delivering a sermon I’ve written when during all my career as a 4-H member I managed to avoid speaking at all. Eventually 4-H gets you trained. It took a lot of years for me. I am also an avid quilter (making lots of donation quilts while I perfect my skills), seamstress (so far around 20 Western shirts plus many other things) and also knit and crochet. I’m also teaching my granddaughter to sew and knit and am a devoted grammy to my grandkids.

 

Liked Linda’s story? Want to share your own 4-H story? Check out our 5 Questions With Feature here!

Canadian 4-H Annual General Meeting in St. John’s

Valerie Stone is the 2012/2013 Canadian 4-H Council Youth Advisory Committee – Ontario Representative. In this position, Valeria brings the views and issues of Ontario 4-H youth to the Canadian 4-H Council Youth Advisory Committee discussions. As part of her role, this year Valerie attended the Canadian 4-H Annual General Meeting (AGM) in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Valerie had a fantastic time at the AGM and connecting with 4-H’rs and 4-H supporters from across the country. Read on for Valerie’s experience at the AGM.
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Canadian 4-H Annual General Meeting in St. John’s, Newfoundland
By Valerie Stone

Calling all passengers to board Air Canada flight 654 to St. John’s, Newfoundland! We’re off to the Canadian 4-H Council Annual General Meeting (AGM). As the incoming 4-H Canada Youth Advisory Committee member from Ontario, this was my first 4-H Canada AGM.  The most welcoming thing when you get off the plane is the 4-H Volunteers with smiling faces holding that familiar logo above their heads. Instantly they greeted us, assisted us with picking up our bags, and loaded us into the van. While it was grey skies outside, inside was filled with warmth and excitement with our nation’s 4-H Annual General Meeting about to commence.

YAC
Back row: Breanne Durle (Alberta), Michael Melnychuk (Manitoba), Savannah Cheney (Saskatchewan), Kim Hooey (Ontario-Outgoing), Charles Gascon (Quebec), Kirsten Bevandick ( British Columbia), Jacob Works ( Nova Scotia) Front row: Sonya Loder (Newfoundland and Labrador), Heidi Pickard ( New Brunswick), Valerie Stone (Ontario-Incoming), Gary Skogberg (The Co-operators), and Matthew Tweedy (Prince Edward Island)

It started off by meeting each province`s Youth Advisory Committee member and getting to know one another.  Being able to put a face to a name, and voice you have heard on teleconferences, was just the start of people I met throughout the AGM. The next morning 4-H Canada held a welcome orientation breakfast for all delegates who had never attended a 4-H Canada AGM. By 7 a.m. the networking had begun. Mike Nowosad, CEO of 4-H Canada, and Rob Black, President of the Canadian 4-H Council, had sponsors, YAC members, and provincial representatives all acquainted. By the end of the networking sessions anyone attending the AGM knew you by your face and not your name tag.

During the Canadian 4-H Council AGM the Youth Advisory Committee did a presentation on a topic that has resulted in a fair amount of discussion over the past few months: Future Leaders. We, the Youth Advisory Committee, took a position about how the Future Leaders program could work and created and delivered a presentation that covered the following areas: (1) a purpose to standardize age range, (2) engage senior Members, (3) develop member skills, (4) increase membership and keep Members involved in 4-H.  Our presentation allowed the other delegates attending the AGM to hear about how this program could work and it opened the door to more networking throughout the conference.

Over the next few days I talked to many representatives from organizations that sponsor 4-H including John Deere, Farm Credit Canada, The Co-operators, Enbridge, and Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, just to name a few. I also got the opportunity to speak with past presidents of the Canadian 4-H Council and Council members from other provinces. I was able to learn about how different 4-H is across Canada, but also, how we are all connected; the 4-H logo is the piece that brings us all together. These individuals also gave us a lot of feedback on our presentation. This feedback was really valuable and the Youth Advisory Committee held a meeting to incorporate the feedback and submit this document alongside our presentation to all the provincial offices.

At the Annual Meeting banquet we witnessed thirteen 4-H delegates receive a Queen`s Jubilee Medal for their contributions to 4-H throughout Canada. It was very rewarding to be able to be acquainted with such an amazing room of people.

That matching logo! The connecting part between each Member’s head, heart, health and hands from the East coast waters, above mountains, through the Prairies, across fields, by parliament hill, around the Maritimes and to the West coast waters. The 4-H Canada logo connects each and every one of us who is a part of 4-H. It is the same grass roots across Canada.

Kim, Valerie and Marianne
Kim Hooey, Marianne Fallis (4-H Ontario Senior Manager, Programming) and Valerie Stone

As I return back to Ontario I am excited for the future of 4-H in our own province, as well as across Canada. I would like to thank Kim Hooey for attending the 4-H Canada AGM as outgoing YAC member from Ontario, the Ontario 4-H Council for providing me the opportunity to attend the 4-H Canada AGM, and Gary Skogberg from The Co-Operators for their sponsorship of the Youth Advisory Committee.

I look forward to being the Youth Advisory Committee member from Ontario over the next few years and I hope to see all of you in September at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show! The Youth Advisory Committee will be in attendance over the three days to kick off 4-H Canada’s “100 for 100″ fundraising campaign.

Anne Arksey’s 4-H Story

As part of the development of our new 4-H Ontario Alumni Program, which is funded through a Promotional Partnership with Hyland Seeds, including the position of 4-H Ontario’s Coordinator, Alumni Services, we’ve been asking 4-H Alumni across the province to share their 4-H story.

Share Your 4-H Story

Today I’d like to share Anne Arksey’s 4-H story. Anne was both a 4-H Member and Volunteer during her tenure with 4-H. Like many 4-H’rs across Ontario, the program had a big impact on Anne’s life. Thank you Anne for taking the time to share your story.

Remember, whether you are a Member, Volunteer or Alumni, we would love to hear your 4-H story. Don’t be shy, give us a call or email and tell us what 4-H means to you.

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“Learn To Do By Doing”
By Anne Arksey

My first 4-H project was sewing my own dress when I was twelve years old.  I had looked forward to my first 4-H Club with excitement since 12 was the magic age when you could join a club back in 1968 .  I attended the Minesing Club which was led by Mrs. Isabel Downey, and all of the girls were older than me.  After that first club, my mother, Mrs. Dorothy C. Giffen, and her friend, Mrs. Mabel Maw, started a club in Edenvale. Mrs. Wendy Ploeg later joined as a leader.  My sister and I went faithfully to all of the clubs, and were thrilled with the silver spoons we received at the end of each unit.  Our goal was to reach 21 units when we would receive a silver pie server (which I continue to use today!)

4-H developed a sense of responsibility, and commitment.  The expectations were high for our behavior and our attention to detail in everything we did – from our record books, conducting meetings, to our completed project.  We always looked forward to 4-H evenings – especially the ones where we learned to cook or bake and we got to sample the food!  I found that I used many of the lessons I learned in 4-H later on for raising my own family.  My sister and I both became 4-H Leaders when our own daughters were old enough to join 4-H.  I was pleased that I was able to share this with my daughter.  One highlight was when our Calf 4-H club toured ranches in Michigan and we also visited Michigan State University.

Showing my calf at the Royal Winter Fair in the Queen’s Guineas is a memory I will never forget since my white charolais calf backed in a glass door, breaking the door into many fragments, while cutting my calf’s tail.  Kind Albertan’s sewed up my calf’s tail and helped calm my nerves.

Anne Arksey

Anne with one of her 4-H calves

Taking part in the 4-H Leadership Courses was also valuable and I met people from throughout the province of Ontario.  I gained lots of friendships and experiences while in 4-H.  What a fabulous pledge to live by –  I pledge:  My Head to clearer thinking, My Heart to greater loyalty, My Hands to larger Service, My Health to better living – for my club, my community, and my country.