The Ambassador Beat: Laura Scott

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 2015, 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 Scott, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Grenville County 4-H Association

I was fortunate enough to get to attend the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair for six days in early November. I wasn’t taking in the Royal as an Ambassador, but instead as an exhibitor in the National Limousin Show and as a 4-H member in the National Junior Beef Heifer Show. During my time on the Exhibition Grounds, I came to notice one thing in particular. Teamwork. When you walked around the barns on any of the open show days, you saw multiple people at each chute, working to get one single animal ready. Sometimes, you even went so far as to see five, six or seven people working on the same animal. There would be a couple of people fitting legs, some working on the body hair, another balling a tail and of course, someone to keep the animal happy. At each chute you walked by, there was one thing that I noticed they all had in common; a majority of these people were all involved in the 4-H program at some point in their lives. Whether they were involved as members throughout their teen years or as leaders later on in life, many of these people who were working together shared their 4-H background.

The 4-H show, also known as the National Junior Beef Heifer Show, began at the Royal with move in on Saturday, November 7 and wrapped up on the following Monday night. Over these three days, I witnessed so many people come together. Witnessing the camaraderie between members made me extremely proud to say, I am not only a member in this amazing program, but also an ambassador of this program. Let me share some of the things I saw during the National Junior Beef Heifer Show.

First off, I witnessed the grand champion, reserve champion and honourable mention showmen hug each other in congratulations instead of merely shaking hands at the end of the final drive of senior showmanship. None of these people were next door neighbours, or even from the same counties, but the three competitors were so excited for each other’s success that congratulations came in the form of a hug. I thought that this really showed other 4-H members, younger ones in particular, how to be true competitors while showing great sportsmanship. This act of kindness between youth in the ring shows how 4-H members are encouraged to work together, even with your fellow competitors, not just your teammates.

The next amazing act of teamwork that I had the honour of witnessing was three different counties working together on conformation day to get five different heifers ready. Each of these counties were from a different corner of the province, and, to the best of my knowledge, had never worked together before. The agreement started off as, “Hey, can we bring our chute over, you have more room?” and ended with members of all different ages and all different breeds of animals working together to make the heifers look their absolute best. I thought this was another fantastic example of teamwork from 4-H members. It showed members that it doesn’t matter if the people you work with don’t have the same farm name or county on the back of their jackets, great things can still be accomplished, and lifelong friendships can be established.

The final thing that I noticed was true kindness between members. On the Monday of the conformation show, I was waiting to go into my heat in the marshaling area. Near me, there was another competitor and his dad, waiting to take his animal in for the champion drive for the breed ahead of me. A heifer exiting a previous class was in a rush to get back to the barn and pushed right up against the show side of this heifer, messing up her body hair. What I saw next made me smile. A 4-H member who had come up to the ring only to see what class was in the ring, happened to be walking out and saw this heifer hit the one waiting to back into the ring. The member then walked up to the boy holding the heifer, and asked if he would like the heifer combed out to make her look good again. The showman accepted. The catch? I am quite certain that neither of these two 4-H members knew each other prior to this incident. The 4-H member walking out of marshaling area combed out this boy’s heifer out of kindness. The 4-H shows don’t allow parents or anyone who is not a 4-H leader to handle the animals, which meant that the boy would have had a very difficult time trying to comb his heifer out and hold her at the same time. A few weeks later, this moment is still fresh in my mind as it is probably one of the kindest random gestures I’ve gotten to witness while a 4-H member.

During my time at the 2015 Royal Winter Fair, I saw 4-H members work together in a way that made me proud to be a part of this century-old program. The 4-H program has obviously taught youth to work together as a team, to help each other out, and to be proud of others accomplishments; even if it means that you didn’t have as good of day as another person did. As my year as an ambassador comes to a close, I am so glad that I got to witness how 4-H brings people together in such an amazing way. It was truly the best way to round out a 4-H season.

The Ambassador Beat: Laura Scott

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 2015, 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 Scott, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Grenville County 4-H Association

Explaining 4-H and the Smiles that Come With It

“What is 4-H?” This is a question that, many, if not all reading this, have either asked somebody, been asked or tried to answer that infamous question known to all 4-Her’s; past and present alike. As the summer comes to an end and the miles that I’ve put on this year as an Ambassador increase, there’s one question that I always stumble over the answer for, “What is 4-H?”.

During our Ambassador training, we were given the answer to that. 4-H is a grassroots organization that works to build leaders in youth, among other things. However, that’s not something that you can say to a five year old who can’t wait for his sixth birthday so he can join the 4-H Cloverbud Program. So you have to pull out the most captivating aspects of the 4-H program, and convince them to give it a shot! It’s easy to talk to the kids who love tractors and animals, or who love to do crafts, but the kids who really aren’t sure, they’re the ones that you have to pull out those really unique clubs, like paintball, pizza or pottery.

I’ve also come to realize that other events and activities 4-H has to offer are great attention grabbers too! Some things that I’ve noticed that really interest potential new members include camps, conferences, provincial opportunities, scholarships, and bursaries.

One of my favourite parts of being an Ambassador has become clear this summer as I spend more and more time promoting 4-H and meeting new people; kids cannot wait to join 4-H. The best part of my day, nine times out of 10, is watching the face of a little girl or boy girl light up when they tell you that they get to join 4-H next year because their birthday was last month or is next week. These kids are so excited to join the program that their enthusiasm is nothing short of contagious. 4-H needs these members and they need them desperately. Members like these are the members that are going to be “lifers” and are going to be the next generation of leaders. They will be the ones who always have an answer to the question “What is 4-H?” because they have lived the experiences and can share them with others. There is nothing I love more about being an Ambassador than meeting these kids.

The Ambassador Beat: Laura Scott

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 2015, 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 Scott, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Grenville County 4-H Association

My name is Laura Scott and I am proud to say that I am one of the 2015 4-H Ontario Ambassadors. Not only is this an honour to be an Ambassador, it’s an extra special year as we celebrate 100 years of 4-H in Ontario.

To start, I should probably introduce myself. I call the Grenville County Association home, and have my entire life. I am 18 years old and I am going in to my second year at the University of Guelph, majoring in Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics. I have completed over 35 clubs, ranging from beef, dairy, field crops, craft and cooking. I have been in 4-H for nine years, and have loved every single minute of it!

After reciting the 4-H motto of “Learn to do by Doing” for the last nine years, this year is when I believe that I am seeing that come into effect the most. While I’ve had to learn almost every skill I’ve gained from 4-H by actually doing it and practicing, I am noticing it so much more this year while I learn how my role as an Ambassador works.

Our year began with training and the reception, where we were first introduced and met our team for the year. After that, it was a pretty quiet spring for me. I went to an event here and an event there, but nothing steady. Let me tell you, that changed drastically when June rolled around. Even though this isn’t the busiest month we’re going to have as Ambassadors, it’s the first busy month for me. I’ve met so many new people and been so many places that it makes my head spin – in a good way, of course!

With the month kicking off with one of our major sponsors, UPI Energy, hosting their charity golf tournament, my month kicked off the learning to do by doing. I’d never been to a golf tournament before this one, and boy, was I ever glad that I had most of the Ambassador team with me as familiar faces that day! While we had a blast at the UPI Tournament, I found the 4-H Ontario Foundation Golf East Tournament even more fun! We had beautiful, warm weather, and I got to talk to so many people that are local to my area and who wanted to ask me about my time in 4-H, as well as my plans for after I’m finished university.

Of the three events that I attended in June, Region 2 Discovery Days was by far the biggest learning curve I’ve experienced as an Ambassador. I have younger siblings and I’ve helped young kids in my 4-H clubs whenever needed, but 40 kids in one room for six hours and they’re all between the ages of 9 and 12? The thing I learned the most from that day, was to roll with it. That and that kids come out with some of my favourite things. One member, when he got the wrong answer in a mock Go for the Gold Competition, snapped his fingers and said “Oh, barnacle nuggets!” This made me double over with laughter.

So all in all, I am learning so much from adults about my career options, but the kids are teaching me just as much, if not more. So far, my Ambassador experience is off to an amazing start, and I can only hope it keeps going this way for the rest of the year!