Field Crop Achievement Night

Achievement Night in Ridgetown
By: Cora Vince

The Merlin Community and Blenheim 4-H field crop clubs held their achievement night at 7:00pm on Monday, October 24th at the Ridgetown Campus. Each member had to prepare a crop sample to hand in on this night. They each had the option to grow their choice of growing soybeans, ear corn, shelled corn or hay.

For each crop, the member had to follow various criteria, such as a specific weight and uniformity in colour and size. It helps as well when the seeds have been polished which makes them look very nice.

The overall results from the two clubs were the following:
Top overall sample was Amanda Craven (Blenheim Club)
Top soybean sample was Amanda Craven (Blenheim Club)
Top ear corn sample was Tyler Holden (Merlin Club)
Top shelled corn sample was Craig Scott (Blenheim Club)
Top hay sample was Ben Rhodes (Merlin Club)

While the various samples were being judged, Mr. Chris Gillard- a professor of Crop Sciences at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, spoke to the members, parents and leaders about the year of the pulse.

This year, 2016 is the Year of the Pulse. Pulses are divided into four groups which are dry beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas. These are the main source of protein for a large percentage of people living on the earth. Pulses are very healthy, they’re very high in protein and fiber and low in calories.

Canada is fifth worldwide for the amount of pulses grown in our country, but we are the world’s largest exporter of pulses because most countries are consuming the products that are being grown. Western Canada is where you can find the most pulses being grown in this country.

Some ways we can incorporate pluses into what we are eating are as follows: we can include beans in soups, salads, chili and chips. Chickpeas can be made into hummus and flour, peas can be used for pea soup and pea protein which can be used for ice cream, and we can eat soups and salads that contain lentils.

After Mr. Gillard’s speech the members had refreshments. The top three samples in each class from each club, will now be sent to Toronto to be entered in the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to compete against other 4-H members across Ontario.

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