Top 4-H Members of the Year 2017

Matthew Vermey, Top 4-H Male of the Year

As the 4-H Male Member of the Year, I would like start by thanking Chatham-Kent 4-H for this honour, particularly the Board Members, volunteers and leaders who work tirelessly to deliver such a positive youth development program. These dedicated individuals do an amazing job mentoring youth to further develop their knowledge in agriculture, life skills and community service.

There are so many opportunities through 4-H that I have been fortunate to participate in. Regionally, I have been involved in a variety of clubs ranging from tractor repair and financial fitness to dairy, poultry, veterinary and field crop. I have assumed executive positions, participated in Rally Night, Judging Day, the Round the County Tour, fundraisers, served as the Youth Leader for the Vet Club and had the opportunity to share my experiences about 4-H in an interview with the Ontario Farmer. At the provincial level, I have participated in two 4-H leadership camps and competed in the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Not only have I made new friends along the way but I have also had the chance to network with a lot of wonderful people.

These experiences have enabled me to embrace the 4-H motto, “learn to do by doing”. I have developed greater self-confidence and gained valuable skills in running meetings, public speaking, leadership, team building, and time management, all which I use in my everyday life.

4-H has not only been instrumental in promoting my personal development but it has played an important part in supporting my future goals and aspirations. 4-H has been a formative part of my life and I hope to be able to give back to this important organization in the future. I would like to encourage all members to participate in as many opportunities as possible
through 4-H. There is definitely something of interest for every member.

Molly Sayers, Top 4-H Female of the Year

As the 4-H Female of the Year, a big thank you goes out to Chatham-Kent 4-H for selecting me, I am so honoured.  Also to the amazing people that work behind the scenes to ensure success within the program: it is because of you that all Chatham-Kent 4-H members have countless opportunities to develop their skills, gain new experience, grow as a leader, and “learn to do by doing”.  Thank you for providing us with numerous learning opportunities and pushing us to do our best.

Being part of this program has taught me many wonderful things; such as the value of friendship, how to have quality leadership skills, and when to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new.  I have been a member in over 32 different clubs, ranging from livestock to lifeskills to heritage.  Through 4-H I have participated in Youth Adventure Camp, and camp dedicated to teaching teamwork and cooperation skills, and Career Mania, a conference that provides tips for building excellent resumes and cover letters, and helpful hints when it comes to interviews.  This conference also allows members to stay at the University of Guelph campus and get a taste of campus lifestyle, which will really come in handy when it comes time to apply to secondary schools.  I have also had the opportunity to be involved in many other events through Chatham-Kent 4-H and have gained many great life skills; such as public speaking, team building, problem solving, critical thinking, and effective communication.  All of these skills have played an active role in my life and are positively contributing to my school and 4-H careers as they develop.

4-H has given me multiple chances to make new friends and develop long-lasting relationships with all of the people I meet.  From competing at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to participating in Judging Night, I have been very fortunate to have made countless valuable connections with many different people.  Also, having such fantastic relations with my leaders and fellow members has ensured that I will always have someone to look up to if I need help or direction.

Being a member of this program has made me a stronger leader, capable of being understanding, enthusiastic, passionate, and hard working.  I can accredit many of my new experiences, gained skills, and valuable qualities to 4-H.   This program has been very helpful when it comes to making tough decisions and will support me as I finish high school and move on to bigger things.  I am happy to be helping teach and encourage the younger members as they grow in 4-H and definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants to become a skilled leader, try new things, make friends, and have fun!

A Look Back on 2016

Did you miss the annual year end presentation? Take a couple minutes and check out what happened in Chatham-Kent this past year!


Ridgetown Awards Banquet

The 69th Ridgetown 4-H Awards Night was a success! Congratulations to all members.

The clubs recognized tonight:
Community Heritage Barn Quilt
Horse and Pony
Field Crop

County award winners:
Top 4-H Shelled Corn – Craig Scott
Top 4-H Soybeans – Amanda Craven

Ken Clark Memorial Award – Ryan McKerrall

Best Plowed Land by a 4-H Member at the Chatham-Kent Plowing Match:
Brendan Apers

Gay Lea Award of Achievement (24 4-H Clubs):
Amanda Craven
Molly Sayers
Hanna Reid
Rebecca Warwick
Ryan Heyboer
Morgan Anderson

Guest Speaker: Grace Jones, Dow Seeds

The Royal Agricultural Field Crop Awards (Ear Corn, Shelled Corn and Soybeans) were also presented.

My Experience as a 4-H Youth Leader

By Matthew Vermey (Vet Club)

Throughout my year as a Youth Leader for the Vet Club, I have gained confidence as a leader and assumed a variety of leadership roles. It has made a positive impact for me personally and in my 4-H clubs.

The Vet Club covers a lot of information and content. As the Youth Leader, I tried to live by the 4-H motto, “Learn To Do By Doing”, by incorporating many hands-on activities to support members’ learning and skill development. Examples of this were the hand washing and lung model demonstrations, and the judging activity that I organized.

Many of the younger members tend to look up to the senior members. By leading a number of activities, I made an effort to connect with each member and included all members in the activities.

I enjoyed my opportunity to attend the Future Leaders in Action (F.L.I.A.) Camp this spring. Not only did I have a lot of fun but I also grew as a leader. F.L.I.A. gave me ideas I can use in groups such as ice breakers and warm-ups. I learned how to work with others, and recognized that we all have different strengths and abilities. As a result of my training and leadership opportunities, I feel more comfortable speaking in front of people, and feel that I have developed good team building and time management skills.

As a Youth Leader I have learned that leaders provide opportunities for others to build their confidence and express themselves. To be a good leader you must also be a positive role model to others. In an effort to learn from my experiences, I reflected on the activities that I led in the club and identified things that I liked and things I would change.

Being a Youth Leader allowed me to help the leaders of the club and get to know the members better. It has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone but in doing so has taught me many things about myself. I have learned to work well with others and have made many new friends along the way. I would like to thank 4-H for this opportunity.

Shur-Gain Kids & 4-H Animals Calendar Photo Contest

Enter for a chance to win an iPad and be featured in the 2017 Shur-Gain Calendar!

Photos can be submitted at:


Judging Night 2016

A big thank you goes out to everyone who came out to Judging Night. Thanks to everyone who helped organize as well, it was a great night. The official results of the classes will come out in the next edition of the e-newsletter so be sure to stay tuned for those!