Sugarbeet Club – Meeting #4

“Tapping into the Roots of Sugar”
Chatham-Kent 4-H Sugar Beet Meeting #4
By: Lauren Ross

On Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 9:00 am at the St.Paul’s Church on 40 Highway Ryan McKerrall called the meeting to order with the 4-H pledge. Next William read the minutes form the last meeting and did roll call. Roll call was can you give any suggestion of what our club can do as a social event? Some suggestions were going to a water park, a trampoline park or having a Canada 150 event. Next Maureen went over the recipes we were going to make. We made muffins, cookies and the sauce for pulled pork and a lot more stuff all made with SUGAR!! Once we got done making all the food we gathered around and grabbed a plate so we could taste all the delicious food that we made! Once we were done eating we tasted two glasses of Pepsi; we had to figure out which glass of pop had sugar in it and which had high fructose corn syrup. The retro Pepsi is made with sugar and the regular Pepsi is made with high fructose corn syrup. Ryan McKerrall then made a motion to close the meeting at 12:00 pm. The next meeting will be determined.











Sugarbeet Club – Meeting #3

2017 Sugar Beet Meeting 3
April 15, 2017
“Tapping into the Roots of Sugar”
By: Lauren Ross

On Saturday April 15 2017 at 9:00am our President Ian Lawton called the meeting to order with the 4-H pledge. Next Ian opened the floor for our club name nominations. The club decided on the name “Tapping into the Roots of Sugar”. Then Rob explained how sugarbeets are processed into sugar. Maureen read an article from The Voice of the Kent Farmer April 4, 1995 that recalled the 4-H movement in Kent County came to life in 1930, with the introduction of the “Better Sugar Beet Club”. The 1930 sugar beet club in Chatham Kent was for boys to learn how to grow better sugar beets. Then sugar beet meeting was adjourned at 10:35am with a social time among the sugar beet participants.

Sugarbeet Club – Meeting #2

2017 Chatham-Kent Sugarbeet Club – Meeting #2
January 3, 2017
By: Lauren Ross

The second meeting of the 4-H Sugarbeet Club was held at the Croswell Michigan processing plant. The meeting was on January 3, 2017. It started at 10:00 am and ended at 12:00 pm. Our leaders called the meeting to order and we all said the 4-H pledge. Roll call was “ask a question to the tour guides from Michigan sugar”. Then we were greeted by Keith Kalso and he gave us a brief rundown of how the plant works. After that, we started our tour of the plant. First we saw where the trucks bring the beets to the plant and pile them. Next we saw where the rocks are separated from the beet pile and the beets are washed and sliced. Then we saw the diffusion and purifying step. After that, we saw the evaporating and crystallizing phase along with the separation and granulation stage. Finally we saw the packaging and distribution step. That was where Keith told us why there are stickers on the bags of sugar. It is because customers were complaining that the bags would unseal and some of the sugar would spill. We then ended our meeting in the front of the processing plant and took a group picture with the Michigan Sugar sign in the background. Our next meeting is yet to be determined.

Ryan thanked Keith Kalso of Michigan Sugar for giving us a tour of the Croswell, Michigan sugarbeet processing plant.

Sugarbeet Club – Meeting #1

Press Report #1 – 4-H Sugarbeet Club
Dec 29, 2016
By: Lauren Ross

On Thursday December 29, 2016 at 7:00pm we opened the first meeting of the 4-H Sugarbeet Club with the 4-H pledge. Then Maureen McKerrall and Rob McKerrall introduced themselves and talked about what we would be doing in the club this year. Next we did roll call and it was, “What was your favourite part of Christmas and why?” Next we played a game called “Spot It”. Then once we got done playing the game we did elections. President is Ian Lawton, Vice-President is Ryan McKerrall, Secretary is William McKerrall, Press Reporter is Lauren Ross and Treasurer is Halle Irwin. We then watched a four minute video about processing beets into sugar. The next meeting will be at Croswell, Michigan where we will be visiting the sugar beet processing plant to see how sugar is extracted from sugarbeets. Then Lauren McKerrall made a motion to close then meeting at 8:21pm and we enjoyed a snacks and social time.

Vet Club Achievement Day

Check out some pictures from the Vet Club’s Achievement Day at Greenview Aviaries!

Merlin Community Club – Meeting #5

The Crop Pros learn at Diagnostic Days
By Elliott Vince

On July 6th, 2017, the Merlin 4-H Crop Pros along with the Blenheim 4-H Crop Club had a Diagnostic Day at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. Anne Verhallen started the meeting by saying the 4-H pledge. We then went on a wagon ride out to the fields.

Anne then separated us into three different groups. First, we went to a station where there were two women who talked to us about the western bean cutworm. They explained to us that the moths are harmful because in August they lay eggs on the corn plant. The eggs then hatch and the worms then eat into the corn and this causes disease. The eggs are said to take 5-7 days to hatch.

After that, we walked to the second station where a man named Jason talked to us about sprayers and pesticides. Pesticides are useful but dangerous because using pesticides can kill unwanted insects in your field, however if you do not clean your sprayers when you have finished spraying, you can harm your sprayer and your field. He told us that if you spray 6 fields, you must clean it 6 times. He explained the cleaning procedure, and how certain dangers of the remaining pesticide can be avoided. He showed us a field where they tested the residue in the sprayer on the field, and most of the soybeans failed.

Then, we went to the second station where Mr. Dave Bileya talked to us about some dangerous weeds. He first talked about Rough and Stalked Blue Grass. It is said to invade wheat fields, making it dangerous. He explained about Annual Bluegrass, which is a weed that can cover an entire field, and it can grow and reproduce very quickly, making it a problem. He then told us about Scouring Rush, a weed that can grow in fields, thus killing the crops.

He explained about Dog Strangling Vine, which grows up on trees, then suffocates the trees from light, and kills it. It is also toxic to Monarch Butterflies, Deer and other animals. He showed us a plant called Wild Parsnip. If you come into contact with it, your skin will erupt in sunburn, and it will get worse each time you go out into the sun, unless it is covered.

We rode back on the wagons to the main campus. The meeting was then adjourned.


Merlin Community Club – Meeting #4

The Crop Pros visit Manitree Farms
By Elliott Vince

On Saturday, June 24th, 2017 at 9:00 AM, the Merlin 4-H Crop Pros had a meeting at Manitree Farms. Mr. Brian Rideout was our tour guide. He told us that at Manitree Farms they grow grows apples, cherries, freestone peaches, apricots, pears, nectarines, strawberries, squash, and melons.

He described about the scheduling and different needed temperatures for harvesting and growing the crops. He said that even the slightest change of temperatures or too much rain can be extremely harmful to the crops. He also explained about the different times that they harvest the crop. Since there any many types of crops at Manitree Farms, there are many different harvesting times.

He brought us to a cold room where they bring the apples to speed up the process of ripening. When the room is full of apples, the oxygen levels help ripen the apples. Oxygen levels can get as low as 2%. He said that they need to wear special suits when they enter those cold rooms, because the cold temperatures and the low oxygen levels can be harmful.

Mr. Rideout took us to a room where there was a very big conveyor belt along with other machinery. He told us that the conveyor belt was used for measuring fruits and vegetables so they can fit sizes that companies want.

Brian took us to a young apple orchard and explained how the new pheromone sticks are used to eliminate certain insects. The pheromones help to greatly reduce the use of the pesticides.

He brought us on a tour and showed us what he called “the June drop”. He said that the tree will change phases during June, so the peaches will drop. There were a few peaches on the ground, but many were still growing in the trees.

He took us to the sour cherry section of the farm, and he described the shaking process, where they will shake the sour cherries to get the sour cherries into the machinery. Different types of cherry trees need different equipment to get the cherries out of the trees, because sometimes the machinery is too hard on the cherries so the cherries fall into the machinery and split.

He showed us the apple orchard. He explained about how apples grow and and the different types of apples and the requirements they need to grow like how every type of apple is a hybrid of two types of apples. He said that they have a new orchard and an old orchard. In the old orchard there are (windows) holes in the trees.

After that, the tour was over and we had our meeting. First, we said the 4-H pledge. Then, we went over old business and upcoming events and meetings in our club. We then judged ropes for best holding a box. Most of us chose the ropes based on thickness and length. And finally, the meeting was adjourned.


Kent Beef Club

On June 25th members of the Kent 4-H beef club as well as members from the Brook-Alvinston 4-H beef club held a joint meeting together. The meeting started with a tour of Highgate Tender Meats then proceeded to Clear Creek Farms which is a 100% certified organic angus farm. A delicious BBQ and potluck meal concluded the meeting at the home of Chris and Julie Knight.

Merlin Community Club – Meeting #3

The Crop Pros learn about Cover Crops 

By: Elliott Vince

On Saturday, May 20th, 2017 at 9:00 AM, the Merlin 4H Crop Pros had their third meeting of the year at Blake Vince’s farm. Mr. Vince led the tour.

We started off by Mr. Vince telling us about his focus as it pertains to farming. He said that he uses cover crops to protect the soil and that when the cover crops die, they release nitrogen on to the field, allowing him not to buy as much nitrogen fertilizer making the cost cheaper. Some more benefits of cover crops are to reduce soil erosion and help water filter through the soil.

Then, we walked out to the field. He explained that even though he plants 18 species of Cover Crops, there were only 7 that survived the winter. He had us observe and name the living cover crops. Most kids named kale and crimson clover.

After that, Mr. Vince dug up a soil sample from the field and let everyone see it and feel it. He told us about how to check soil for earthworms. The more earthworms you find, the more biologically active your soil is.

He then explained to us the “Soil your undies” project. The project consists of burying a pair of men’s white cotton underwear. He uses white cotton for the project because there is less dye used so it won’t harm the organisms as much. He gave us a demonstration of how to plant the underwear in the field, only leaving the elastic above the ground. Everyone received a pair of underwear to try this at home.

After that, he showed us the planter he uses to plant his crops. He explained the many functions of the planter and then the Crop Pros had their meeting. They discussed about useful cover crops. Following that, they judged tomatoes for best slicing for a sandwich. They then went over the results of the special neonic bait project- a wireworm trap.

The wireworm trap consists of rolling a ball of rolled oats combined with water. Many of the members did not have wireworms in their field. If you didn’t know, wireworms eat the seeds that are planted, so the more members without wireworms, the better. The secretary reviewed the minutes of the last meeting then the meeting was then adjourned.


Vet Club – Meeting #7


Dissecting a Frog

4-H Veterinarian Club May 3, 2017
Seventh meeting at leader Marcia Vermey’s house

We began our final meeting with the 4H pledge. Then our Secretary Molly did rollcall, which was, “What is something you would like the Vet Club to do next year?” The minutes were read and adopted. Kelly then read the treasurer’s report which was adopted. Mathew Vermey, our Youth Leader, did a presentation about frogs which included its classification, habitat, and anatomy. The members then split into two groups. One group watched a dissection of a frog while the other group worked on the club poster. Each group then switched so that everyone could view the frog dissections and work on the poster. A number of announcements were made and plan for Achievement Day were discussed. The meeting was then adjourned.