2021 looked very different for many clubs across the province, and Durham West JF was no different. We learned to adapt to online versions of socials, meetings and our AGM. Despite the pandemic, nothing slowed us down! We were able to have our annual Can, Bottle, and Battery Drive, participate in the Sunderland Santa Claus Parade, host a virtual Bingo Night in April, helping another social media group celebrate World Act of Kindness Day, as well as contributing to and participating in JFAO online events, activities, and challenges! The highlight of 2021 was our virtual speaker series, featuring leaders in our Agricultural Community, featuring topics such as Finance (Farm Lending), Construction, Cash Cropping and Alternatives, and managing an online farm stores and direct sales to customers.
A unique event that the Wellington Club held this year was a virtual Murder Mystery night. Being in this unique time where in person events were limited creativity was needed to find activities that were new and engaging that could also be transitioned to a virtual platform. This event did require members and guests to RSVP so that their “guest” profile could be created. Through advertising at the club level 7 members/alumni and 1 guest from a neighbouring club were able to attend.
When reflecting on the night, member Amelia Judge said that her favourite part of the night was, “At the end where we all gave little blurbs as to why we weren’t the killer and seeing some very good acting. Also each person guessing who they thought was the killer.” Member Taylor Dane said, “it was a boatload of fun!”
Overall, this was an activity that required preplanning but could be easily modified for different ages and demographics and could be used to specifically target groups such as 4-H. Wellington has another Murder Mystery event in the works – hopefully in person!
Due to challenges with Covid-19 and university restrictions, our club opted to keep the tradition of our highly popular Learn-to-Dance orientation week event alive by moving it to a virtual platform instead of in-person dancing. We prepared a dance tutorial video that describes the basic steps for 3 popular country line dances, step dancing and two-stepping. The video can be found on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwDkpm5Q2bY
The project was very successful and we would definitely consider doing it again in the future. Not only did we have a decent turnout to the synchronous virtual event itself, we also had extensive promotion of the video over social media via club members and their social contacts, so we ended up having 500 views of our video on YouTube (and it is still up for people to watch for future reference). Our hopes were that we could pass on the tradition of country dancing to new students at the university, and we are happy that we could have a positive effect on the University of Guelph and wider community this way!
2021 proved to be yet again a “different” year with having to cope with many different government lockdowns/ mandates. This Christmas we hosted our second annual Christmas Tractor Parade. We once again were overwhelmed at the amount of support we received from our club members and the community members. We were so glad to see all the Farmers who took time out of their busy schedules to decorate their tractors with hundreds of lights, and participate in our parade with their families. The community blessed us with copious amounts of food and toy donations to the Elmvale Food Bank. We are excited to see what the 2022 year will look like and are hoping to get back to some “normalcy”.
In October we wrapped up our big initiative for 2021 which was “Keep the Cows Moooving!” to raise funds for a local family who suffered a devastating barn fire earlier this year. We were happy to present this family with the donations that our community made. In November we were excited to host the East Zone farm tours for OYFF, with lunch and one of the stops being held at the family farm of two of our members. This event allowed us to connect with members from Renfrew and Stormont-Glengarry as well as several JF alumni. We also received a very generous donation from the Central Canadian Exhibition (CCEA) which will be used towards our Carleton 4-H Scholar Award in the coming years. The scholar award allows us to support youth who will be going into post secondary education in an agriculture related field. In December, we attended a Christmas dinner zone social hosted by Renfrew and were again able to attend the Metcalfe Santa Claus Parade. This year our float had Maple the cow pulling a sleigh which was a hit with the kids.
While 2021 was a quiet year provincially, Carleton did its best to help out our local communities. The big initiative for the year was our “Keep the Cows Moooving!” fundraiser, raising money for a local family and JF friend who lost their barn in a devastating fire earlier in the year. We also continued our annual Carleton 4-H Scholar Award and received a donation from the Central Canadian Exhibition to help fund the award in the coming years. In 2022 we are looking forward to returning to getting back out with our communities, both locally and provincially. We will be bringing back our Trivia Night fundraiser for a 4th year, raising funds for our local food banks. Some members will also be growing sweet corn to get a new initiative off the ground, running a corn roast booth at a local market. Our members are excited for the new interclub exchange program. Members are also looking forward to getting out to provincial events, so we catch up with our friends across the province, make some new ones, and bring in some fresh faces of our own.
It’s been a great year with Huron Perth Junior Farmers, gaining many new and energetic members. We had a blast with farm tours, campfires, and community projects to name a few. In late 2020, we wanted to promote Century Farm Signs in Huron and Perth. The Century Farm Show came about after collaboration with members’ talents and the desire to showcase the deep roots of agriculture in Huron and Perth Counties. With community support along with the Huron Heritage Fund, and farm families willing to share their stories, we were able to produce the Show. We wanted to include the story of Century Farm families and how their farm and family has evolved over the years in the docuseries. We spent many months researching and interviewing various families in Huron and Perth, finding sponsors and finalizing the project. We officially launched the first monthly episode on January 27th, 2022 featuring Tom and Bev Prout (JFAO Alumni) at the Prout Family Farm. Their 5th generation farm is a cash crop operation, producing honey, Christmas trees and has a community garden. In episode 2, we showcase Hugh and Rhonda Love. This 125 year old farm has seen different
operations on it, but is known as the home to many award winning Clydesdales. We are excited to finally bring the show on air and hope everyone enjoys learning about some of our local history!
The weather getting colder didn’t slow Huron-Perth down one bit! We got into the Halloween spirit at our October meeting with a pumpkin carving social, and drank hot chocolate to keep warm outside. We attended Grey County’s Amazing Race, and one of our teams even tied for first place! For our November meeting we stayed in, for a movie night and popcorn. Once December rolled in we started participating in our local Christmas Parade with a float and our Mascot! We went skating with Middlesex, Oxford and Waterloo. We finished the year off with a Christmas party and meeting. We played games, exchanged gifts and had a potluck.
2021 was a good year for the Essex – Kent Junior Farmers, despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. We were able to hold our November and December meetings in person which was a great feeling and allowed us to reconnect in person, something we weren’t able to do in many of the 2021 meetings, which were held over zoom. In November, we held our 2nd annual Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) sign exchange in the parking lot of the Peavey Mart in Chatham. We were once again sponsored by the Kent Federation of Agriculture as they covered the cost of the signs and refreshments for farmers. The exchange once again was a success as we exchanged 21 worn out / broken SMV signs with brand new steel ones. Something new in 2021 that wasn’t part of our 2019 event was a battery and bottle drive. AGRIS Co-operative supported us by being a collection depot for our batteries and Battery Boy in Chatham was where we delivered the batteries for recycling. Through the battery and bottle drive we raised $703.90! The Essex-Kent Junior Farmers are donating $300 to Chatham-Kent Outreach for Hunger, $300 to Essex County Food Banks and the remaining $103.90 to the Provincial charity for 2021… the Do More Ag Foundation. Our SMV sign exchange has caught the attention of the Essex County Federation of Agriculture and they have agreed to sponsor us in hosting an exchange at one of the Peavey Mart stores in Essex County in the spring of 2022. This year, Essex-Kent is looking forward to having more in person meetings and socials again, along with working on recruiting new members.
In October, we hosted our second annual Ham Supper drive-thru fundraiser which turned out to be very successful.
This year with the pandemic still ongoing we decided the best idea to raise money to be given back to the community was the drive thru Ham Supper since it was a big success last year. It was once again a great success with most members helping plan, organize and run the event as well as a great response from the community who came out to support us. The night before the big event, a few members got together to fold the takeout boxes and get prepared for the next day. Almost all of our 33 members were involved in some way, during the evening from cooking the meals to help keep the vehicles moving. Overall, feedback from the community was again very positive. People were again impressed with the portion sizes and the speed with which we were able to keep vehicles moving through the line. After a great evening of serving 400 Ham supper meals to the community, we were able to raise over $4000 that will be donated to local food banks across Oxford County. I definitely think that the club would hold the event again in the future as it was so successful this year. And it’s great to give back to those in need during this time.
“Trick-or-Canning” again this year on Halloween but instead of going door-to-door, we set up a booth outside a
local grocery store to collect non-perishable food items for local food banks. Club Reports December was fairly
busy for Oxford, starting with a joint skating social with Huron-Perth, Middlesex and Waterloo which showed a
good turnout, and a good time! We also participated in three community Christmas parades, one of which was
followed by a Christmas party to celebrate the end of the year. In January, we had our first meeting which was
held online. This was when we got to see the new executive in action! For our January club social, we got all
bundled up to go on a horse drawn sleigh ride on a members family farm with their team of horses and a neighbours sleigh and team of horses. It was a really great and warm day for it! In February, we are looking forward to an afternoon of Tubing at River Valley Tubing!
With everything still looking different in 2021, the Stormont Glengarry Junior Farmers decided to hold a Virtual Snow Ball Silent Auction on Facebook at the beginning of December. The club was overwhelmed by the support from the community through all the generous donations from local individuals and businesses – it would not have been such a success without them! Also, a big thank you to the community who bid on each of these items, allowing us to donate $3,000 to the Do More Agriculture Foundation! Another project we started to work on was magnets and stickers to handout to the community to promote Farm Road Safety. Our have obtained sponsorship to be able to hand these out free of charge at local events. We are all looking forward to getting back to some normalcy in 2022 and seeing fellow members at events throughout the year!