Merlin Community Club – Meeting #1

The Merlin 4-H Field Crop Club Holds First Meeting
By: Abby Pepper

On Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 9:00 am the Merlin 4-H Field Crop Club met for their first meeting of 2018. The meeting was held at the Sullivan’s house.

The meeting was started off with a mixer activity in which all members and leaders had to share something that about themselves and then the group had to guess if it was true or false.

After the mixer activity, the group was asked a roll call question “Name a crop that you see farmers growing?” Answers included sugar beets, soybeans, corn, alfalfa, peppers, strawberries and tomatoes. After roll call was completed, we reviewed the guideline of being a 4-H member.

Gerry Sullivan, one of the group leaders, introduced the special project for the 4-H group this year. We will be setting traps to see if we have any Western Bean Cutworms in our area. Gerry discussed how the traps work and how much damage the Western Bean Cutworm does to our fields. The group will be testing traps and seeing if their fields have any Western Bean Cutworms, on the 3rd or 4th week of July and will stay in the ground for 2 to 3 weeks. Bob Thurwell from Glencoe supports the Western Bean Cutworm traps.

Shaun Sullivan gave the 4-H group some tips about judging. We then judged facecloths. Some things that the group had to look for were the size, smell, cleanliness and the condition of the cloth.  A few of the members gave their reasoning’s to Shaun.

The group then discussed possible educational tours and our “Me Pages.”  The group members voted on a club name “Thee Merlin Amazing Aggie’s”.

After the club name was voted on, the nominations were then open for the executive positions. The positions were voted on and the results were:

·         President – Ben Rhodes

·         Vice President – Abby Pepper

·         Press Reporter – Abby Pepper

·         Secretary –  Oliver Brady

The meeting was adjourned and Abby Pepper thanked the Sullivan’s for hosting the meeting.

Merlin Community 4-H Press Reporter
Abby Pepper

4-H first meeting 2018


Horse and Pony Club 2017

Horse and Pony Club 2017
Club Name: “Horsing Around”
Leaders:  Kyla Reid & Allison Stirling

It was a busy year for the 4H Horse and Pony Club in Chatham Kent.  We had a fantastic group of energetic youth who wanted to learn about our four-legged, long-eared, equine friends!

This year, we were very fortunate to have several guest speakers come to talk to our group about a various topics.

In March, Cindy Cook from Purina joined our meeting to talk about the importance of good equine nutrition.  Members were able to inspect different types of feed and learned how to calculate the weight of a horse using a weigh tape.

In June, we visited the Village Hardware and Tack Shop in Thamesville.  Our horse club members were provided with a list of various horse tack and accessories that they had to find throughout the store and record it’s price.  Once all the items were found on the “scavenger hunt” list, the students tallied up the cost of all the items.  They discovered that it can be quite expensive to outfit a horse!  Special thanks to Ron Vanroboys for opening his store after hours for us!  We had a lot of fun!

In July, we had the opportunity to observe a reining demonstration in Chatham at Dr. Donna Vansegbrook’s farm.  Her daughter, Amber, performed a wonderful show and talked to our group about various events that she competes at.  Afterwards, Dr. Vansegbrook spoke to the group about different types of equine injuries and emergencies.  She talked about ways to prevent some common horse injuries and what to do if they occur.  The members enjoyed their visit and especially liked the frozen treats that Dr. Donna provided to the group!

In August, we visited the von Martels farm where we met Cecile von Martels.  She graciously invited us in to watch her perform a dressage demonstration.  Her and her mother, Debbie, answered all our questions about this sport and gave us a tour of their facility. We all had a wonderful time and greatly appreciated the experience!

But the fun didn’t stop there!  We also participated in the Thamesville and Ridgetown parades!  We decorated a float and rode through Thamesville showing off our 4H pride!  Then, we headed over to Ridgetown for their parade to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday!  However, this time we dressed up like rodeo clowns and pushed our wheelbarrows down the streets of Ridgetown to pick up…you guessed it…ROAD APPLES!  Our crew did a terrific job by helping out the community during this great day.  It wasn’t a glamorous job…but everyone who participated had a positive 4H attitude!  A special thank-you goes to Fran Murphy for walking with our group and being a wonderful parent volunteer!  It was greatly appreciated and your kindness did not go unnoticed!

Our group “cantered on” into September where they displayed their 4H achievement projects with pride at the Highgate Fair!  The members also created two fantastic display boards highlighting this year’s Horse & Pony Club.

We had an amazing group of youth who were eager to learn and happy to help out.   Our goal for the year was to teach the basics about handling and caring for horses.  Our members were taught different subjects which included barn safety, grooming, equine anatomy and tack.  However, if you ask our members which meeting they liked the most they would probably say it was the obstacle course day!  The students were able to lead the horses through a pattern of obstacles on a lead line.

Lastly, on behalf of Kyla and myself, we would like to thank our members for participating in this year’s club.  We did a lot of “horsing around” and we hope you enjoyed the club as much as we did leading it.

Thanks for a great year!

Happy Trails!
Kyla & Allison


Meet Gregory, a C-K 4-H Member!

Meet Gregory!

Gregory Vermey is currently a member of the Chatham-Kent 4-H Association. Gregory is a grade 9 student at Ursuline College in Chatham where his favourite subject is gym. He comes from a family of three boys, all of which have been involved in the 4-H program.  His mother Marcia is a 4-H leader and father Marty is a 4-H Alumni. Gregory joined 4-H because it was around his age that his dad originally joined the 4-H program.

With the many clubs Chatham-Kent 4-H offers, Gregory has participated in the Blenheim Field Crop, Financial Fitness, Rabbit and Vet clubs. To date, Gregory has completed 6 4-H projects. Beyond the local level, he has participated in regional Discovery Days in Ridgetown where he enjoyed the food, playing games and meeting new people!

“4-H has changed my life by making me a better leader and teaching me how to judge different classes,” Gregory recalls, having placed 2nd in the junior class at our local Judging Competition.  4-H has also given him the opportunity to learn about a variety of topics such as soil quality, exotic animals, care of rabbits and how to save money, just to name a few.

With every 4-H experience, come some amazing memories. Gregory’s favourite memory is when he won 3rd place with his shelled corn sample at the local Field Crop Achievement Day, and then went on to place 1st with his sample at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

Outside of 4-H, Gregory stays busy playing hockey and soccer.  As well as on the farm, taking care of their 7 cows, 2 goats and 24 chickens alongside his 2 brothers.


Meet Mitchell, a C-K 4-H Member!

Meet Mitchell!

Mitchell Anderson is a current member of the Chatham-Kent 4-H Association. Mitchell is 13 years old and is a Grade 8 student at Ridgetown District High School. He comes from a 4-H family and joined 4-H for many reasons, including his love for showing cattle.  This passion developed at Paris Fair while showing cattle for his Uncle Terry when he was only 5 years old and decided to pursue the opportunity once he was of age to become a 4-H member. The friendships outside of school and hockey that you make through 4-H were another reasons for becoming involved. Mitchell has been involved in 4-H on many levels from the local up to the provincial level.

At our local level, he has been a member of the dairy, beef, poultry, rabbit and judging 4-H clubs. He has also volunteered in fitting and preparing 4-H calves for numerous shows, including Highgate, Ancaster, Rockton and Pairs Fairs as well as the Western Junior Show. At a regional level, Mitchell has attended Discovery Days a number of times and has most recently participated in Youth Adventure Camp (YAC), a provincial opportunity.  While attending YAC, he enjoyed meeting new friends from across the province.  “It was an awesome week of learning about team work, getting involved and competing in some fun activities,” recalls Mitchell. Looking forward, he looks to participate in more 4-H leadership opportunities as he progresses through this 4-H career.

“4-H is an awesome opportunity that I would encourage any of my peers to get involved in,” says Mitchell, a great testament to his personal 4-H journey. He goes on to say, “You don’t have to be from a farm to be apart of 4-H as there are lots of clubs for many different interests out there.” Mitchell has been provided through 4-H the opportunity, at the local, regional and provincial level, to compete in various dairy shows. Through these 4-H experiences, he has met many lifelong friends that you would not find anywhere else.

Even at his young age, 4-H has already provided Mitchell with many favourite memories. Some of his favourite 4-H memories this far into his 4-H career include showing Valmar Doorman Marilyn who was selected Reserve Champion at the Western Junior Show and Grand Champion at Highgate Fair; “A year of showing that I never expected.” Another favourite memory of Mitchell’s is his recent week spent at Youth Adventure Camp (YAC), meeting lots of new faces that he looks forward to seeing at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto this fall.

Outside of 4-H, Mitchell is involved in many school sports including soccer, basketball, volleyball, cross country and track and field. He also plays hockey for South Kent Lightening. When Mitchell has some free time, he enjoys riding his dirt bike!

Do you have questions for Mitchell? Leave a comment below.  Are you a current member, volunteer or alumni that would like to be featured on the blog? Let us know by commenting or e-mail us at!


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.


Poultry Club – Meeting #2

Written by Club Reporters – Cameron Trepanier & Alex Duncan

April 18th, 2017

  • Called on Vice President Ryan Heyboer to hold meeting
  • Recited 4H Pledge
  • Secretary was not present for meeting, Cameron Trepanier read notes from previous meeting
  • Asked if there were any errors, one of the last names were wrong, moved to accept notes, notes accepted
  • Role Call – state your name and favorite breed of chicken
  • Reminder of meetings to follow
  • Call on Kate Thompson from Uher Performance / Bonnie’s Chick Hatchery
  • We have the choice of 3 different birds this year
    • Plymouth Barred Rock
    • Black Sex link
    • Rhode Island Red
  • Because we are a 4H club, we are being exempt from many costs. We will not have to pay for the Form 300
  • We need to have the exact address of where our birds are being kept on the Form 300, when we are ready, we take our Form 300 to the Abattoir for processing.
  • Afterwards, we can also decide to keep the remainder of our chickens for laying eggs, note they lay brown eggs
  • We will be filling out our forms tonight to order our chickens, hoping for a June 30th delivery date
  • We will be contacted once they are in to come and pick them up and pay for them. They will be one day old and they will also have all of the supplies we need available for purchase.
  • We will be holding a future meeting regarding care and will have pamphlets available to us for additional information
  • Order forms went around, where everyone filled out their personal information and what type of chickens they will be receiving
  • Spoke about judging night, a social event where food will be provided as well.
  • There are many different things present for judging such as :
    • Poulty/chicken
    • Goats
    • Cucumbers/Maple Syrup
  • Things to remember when judging
    • be respectful – hats off
    • no fidgeting
    • make sure to write down all of your reasons for your decisions
  • We will practice a little bit every week
  • We then practised judging with pens
    • what was the best one for writing an exam with
  • Kate will be back May 9th with exact figures and date our chickens will be delivered
  • It was announced we would have a guest speaker and presentation next meeting
  • Spoke a little but about the Canada’s 150 parade
    • Ideas – glow sticks and leis
  • Ryan then adjourned the meeting.

Poultry Club – Meeting #1

Written by Club Reporters – Cameron Trepanier & Alex Duncan

March 28th, 2017

  • 4-H Pledge recited
  • 4-H Motto recited
  • Roll Call consisted of your name and telling everyone your favourite part of a chicken
  • Divided into Groups
    • Once in groups, we needed to find out 4 things we all had in common
  • Divided into Groups of Girls and Boys
    • Once in groups, we needed to find out 4 things we all had in common
  • We then got into discussion of what this year’s 4H club was going to look like and the things we would be doing with our chickens.
    • We will be purchasing Rhode Island Red Birds, which had a dual purpose (laying or meat)
    • They will be roughly $3.32 a bird and if we want more than 4 we will need to let them know by the 1st week of June
    • This year, we will be picking one of our chickens to be auctioned off and slaughtered. Which means we will have to fill out a Form 300 as well as keep a detailed log of our chicken.
    • There will be a $7 fee for this form as well as administration fees that we will know more about at the next meeting
    • We will receive them at 2 weeks of age in July.
    • By the time of the Highgate Fair they should be 12-14 weeks
    • They will be sexed but not de-beaked
  • After some discussion within the group we then moved on to Elections.
  • Results are as follows:
    • Reporter – Cameron Trepanier & Alex Duncan
    • Secretary – Lauren Sayers
    • Treasurer – Josh Heyboer
    • Vice President – Ryan Heyboer & Adria Holden
    • President – Andrew Vermey
  • We then discussed the Canada 150 parade being held in Ridgetown and if we wanted to participate as well as some ideas of what is participating looked like.
  • We also discussed the importance of the 4H website and all of the things it has to offer such as:
    • camps
    • conferences
    • competition
    • Discovery Days (6-12 in Ridgetown June 24, have to register by June 12th)
  • Youth Adventure Camp (Ages 12-15, Week of Aug 21-24 with a cost of $335)
  • We also discussed the rest of the meeting dates for the year
    • April 18th
    • May 9th
    • May 23rd
    • June 13th
    • July 11th
    • August 15th
    • September 12th
  • Judging will take place the 3rd week of July and we have to attend 7 out of 10 meetings
  • With that we adjourned the meeting.

Ridgetown Bike Gang – Club Update

Here is a photo from just before the Ridgetown Bike Gang (RBG) enjoyed a very muddy and challenging ride on the mountain bike trails at Two Creeks Conservation Area in Wheatley on Saturday, April 29, 2017. The club is looking forward to a much smoother ride at Point Pelee National Park the first (dry??) Saturday in May. Achievement Night is the International Ride of Silence on May 17, 2017 in Ridgetown. The Ride of Silence is a community event to remember those who have been injured or killed while cycling on the road. RBG family and friends will be joined by tandem cyclists from Trust Your Buddy. All are welcome to ride with us!

Wheatley 2017


Meet Kris, the C-K 4-H President!

Let’s meet Kris, the Chatham-Kent 4-H Association President!

Kris started her 4-H career at the age of 12, encouraged by her dad. He like many others told her how much fun 4-H was! She had already been showing beef cattle at the Hensall Fair but really wanted to participate in the 4-H beef show. Upon joining her local beef club, she became involved in a number of other clubs including sheep, veterinary, cooking, crafting, outdoor adventure, leadership and photography. Kris enjoyed holding a busy schedule, attending weekly 4-H meetings, learning and meeting up with friends.

As a 4-H member, Kris participated in the equivalent of Discovery Days today, Provincial leadership camp, and the Royal Bank Inter-Provincial Exchange (New Brunswick).  She participated in many Judging Competitions and Go For the Gold Competitions, including the Provincial level.  Kris was also fortunate to win some 4-H scholarships upon attending University. As a leader she has coached winning Go For the Gold teams and was a chaperone for the National 4-H Conference in Toronto one year.

‘Life changing’ is a buzzword when talking about past 4-H experiences and Kris’ story is no exception. In short, she has met many people and made many friends. She tells us “One of the people I met briefly at Provincial Leadership camp I ended up re-meeting when I started University.  We realized we knew each other when we saw each other’s photo from the event!” 4-H has also helped to increase her confidence. As a member, Kris tells us she was quiet and shy, finding it hard to express her options with others fearing she would be wrong. Through the 4-H program, she has learned it is okay to be wrong, in fact we all are sometimes! Since then, Kris has gained confidence in voicing her options, knowing she would have support. Not knowing exactly when it happened, Kris also became a public speaker!

Kris has a lot of 4-H memories but she still enjoys watching a good beef (or other livestock) show. The excitement of doing well in a show where you don’t expect too, is amazing!

Outside of 4-H, Kris enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering with the local Girl Guides, camping, hiking, canoeing/kayaking and reading (when she has the time!). She has a love for the outdoors, traveling and learning about other parts of the world. Some of her adventures include trips to Peru, Egypt, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Turkey!

As you see Kris at local 4-H events, make sure you introduce yourself and say a friendly hello, she would love to meet you!

Do you have questions for Kris? Leave a comment below.  Are you a current member, volunteer or alumni that would like to be featured on the blog? Let us know by commenting or e-mailing us at!