4-H Ontario is 100 years old!


2015 is a big year for 4-H in Ontario, it is the 100th anniversary


2015 is also the the 10th anniversary of the 4-H Ontario ambassador program.

ambassador new logo.png 

The ambassador program provides youth with advanced training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. 4-H Ontario Ambassadors channel their energy and 4-H experiences into recruiting new members, representing 4-H Ontario youth at functions, and sharing the 4-H story. for more info about the ambassador program check out the 4-H Ontario website here.

This year the ambassadors are Ava Doner, Cailen Bromley, Laura Scott, Gina Posthumus, Olivia Bolender and myself.  
From left to right: Nic Willemsma, Ava Doner, Cailen Bromley, Laura Scott, Gina Posthumus, Olivia Bolender
As 4-H ambassadors we have the privilege of promoting the 4-H program by attending 4-H and community events across the province, with a chance of attending national and International opportunities that might become available. 

At the end of Feb I went to Guelph for the Ambassador Training weekend Reception.

The training took place at the 4-H Ontario in Rockwood, with the reception held Saturday night at the Holiday Inn in Guelph.
The next thing on my agenda was a teleconference with the my fellow ambassadors and our staff contact at 4-H, We received Updates from 4-H and discussed ideas to help us during our year as ambassador.

I looking forward to attending many events as throughout Ontario to promote the great program has to to offer.

The 4-H ambassador program is sponsored by UPI Energy LP and GROWMARK, Inc.

Head, Heart, Hand, Health


Head, Heart, Hand, Health

4-H is an organization with many great opportunities for youth between the ages of 9 to 21. In 2013 a new program was started called Cloverbuds for ages 6-8, In Cloverbuds kids get a taste of the topics covered in 4-H projects, while also developing an understanding of 4-H values.
4-H Ontario is divided into local associations. Each association has clubs that you can join,  clubs need  a minimum of six 4-H Members and two trained, screened Volunteers who act as Club Leaders. Members spend 12 hours, normally six, two-hour meetings exploring the topic of that project. Currently 4-H Ontario has over 100 different projects (topics) to chose from.
The 4-H motto of “Learn to do by Doing” is reinforced with members taking the positions of youth leader, president, vice president, secretary, press-reporter and treasurer.  All club meetings are run according to parliamentary procedure and include elements of public speaking, judging, leadership skills and decision making. 4-H is very community minded and many clubs hold their achievement day at a local fair for the public to see what the members have accomplished that year.
Local associations have different events for members during the year such as Judging Night, Rally Night(Sign-up), Go for the Gold Competition and other events. Some associations have competitions between each other through regional animal shows, as well as regional Go for the Gold and judging competitions. 4-H Ontario also plans events, camps and conferences to further develop team building and leadership skills.
Some camps and conferences you can attend are:
  • discovery days for ages 9-12
  • youth adventure camp for ages 12-15
  • Future Leaders In Action for ages 16-21 

For the full list of camps and conferences check out the 4-H website 4-hontario.ca

4-H is involved with building future leaders, is an organization that has been around for over 100 years, can be found in approximately 80 other countries and is almost completely run by volunteers.  4-H allows youth a safe environment to learn and grow.

The 4-H pledge is said at the beginning of every 4-H event and meeting. It is a pledge to use our Head to greater thinking, our Heart to greater loyalty, our Hands to larger service and our Health to better living in our Club, our Community and our Country


4-H covers all areas of our lives with the 4 Hs –Head-Heart-Hands-Health, to give our youth a well balanced lifestyle. 



For more information about 4-H check out the 4-H Ontario website 4-hontario.ca

Got Milk? From Cow to cup

Have you ever wondered how the milk you buy at the store got there?

In order for the milk to get to the store for you to buy it, it most go through many steps.
To start producing milk a dairy cow needs to freshen(A milk cow freshens after she has calved) .

Once a cow starts producing milk, she will get milked 2-3 times a day with a machine called a milker  The milk is then pumped to a big cooler that will keep the milk cool until it is picked up by the milk man.

On most farms the milk gets picked up every other day by an insulated transport tanker that will take the milk to a dairy processing plant. The milk is tested before it is loaded on to the truck and again at the processing plant to make sure it meets strict quality and sanitation regulations. If  the quality of the milk does not meet proper quality standards the farmer will face heavy penalties and/or fines.

Once at the dairy processing plant milk undergoes pasteurization, homogenization, separation and further processing.

Pasteurization machine

Pasteurization: The act or process of heating a food, especially a beverage such as milk or beer, to a specific temperature for a specific period of time in order to kill microorganisms that could cause disease, spoilage, or undesired fermentation. 

Homogenization machine

Homogenization: Involves pushing the raw milk through an atomizer to form tiny particles so that the fat is dispersed evenly throughout the milk, stopping the fat from floating to the top of the container.

Separation: Involves spinning milk through a centrifuge to separate the cream from the milk. After separation, the cream and remaining milk are remixed to provide the desired fat content for the different types of milk being produced.
For “whole milk,” the cream is reintroduced until the fat content reaches 3.25%. For “low fat milk,” the fat content is 1%. For “skim milk” (sometimes called nonfat milk) the fat content is .05%.
Machine for filtering and further processing

Further processing: Includes micro-filtration, increasing the storage life by ultra high temperature (UHT) treatment, and  mixing or culturing milk for flavored and yogurt products.

Once the milk has gone through all its processing it is ready to be packaged and shipped to the store, the milk is kept in a big cooler at the store until you buy it and take it home to enjoy.



#farm365 (COM0011 – Blog Post #5)


Thank you to Chrissie Laymon for the use of her photo. You can follow Chrissie on Twitter @the_farm_life.

Have you ever wondered what happens on a farm? What does a farmer do in his everyday routine? Well then meet Andrew Campbell a dairy farmer and Founder of Fresh Air Media from southwestern Ontario.

Fresh A1297651469586_ORIGINALir Media is dedicated to educating and informing the agriculture and food sectors about upcoming communication and marketing tools, as well as new trends in technology.
Like many people Andrew made a new years resolution, his resolution is that he would post a pictures of his daily life on the farm every day on his twitter account using the hashtag #farm365 with the goal of helping consumers make the connection from farm to plate.

To follow along you can follow Andrew on Twitter @FreshAirFarmer or the hashtag #farm365

Like Andrew many farmers are using social media to educate the public on the daily happenings on the farm and to show the public where their food comes from.

The Peterson Family in front of their family farm!

Greg, Nathan, and Kendal Peterson better known as the Peterson Farm Bros. on YouTube are known for their agriculture-focused video parodies of popular hit songs. Other videos the brothers have made are informational videos, entertainment videos and their “Life of a Farmer” documentaries. the Life of a Farmer series is split in to 12 videos one for each month of the year, and is about what life on the farm is like. As well as their videos the brothers opened their farm last year on select Saturdays in the summer for a farm tour. For more info on tour dates for this year click here.

Although Andrew started the #farm365 hashtag many other farmers and agricultural advocates including myself have joined in, But since you can not own a hashtag it has allowed for animal rights activists to hijacked the #farm365 hashtag and use it to spreed their own message.

One thing I hear all the time from animal rights activists is that farmers abuse their animals. Yes there are some cases of animal abuse, but a lot of the time what looks like a farmer being mean is for the better of the animal. I know a lot of farmers that care a lot about there animals.

One of my favorite blog posts on this subject is by dairycarrie in her post titled Sometimes we are mean to our cows Carrie talks about a down cow and what has to be done to get the cow up. http://dairycarrie.com/2013/12/09/cowabuse/

What do you think of the #farm365 hashtag? Is using social media to open the barn door a good Idea?


Benefits of homeschooling (COM0011 – Blog Post #4)

Unlike most people I have never attended traditional school, I was educated at home. In this post I am going to go over some of the many benefits of being homeschooled.

But first I want to list just a few famous homeschoolers you might recognize

Benefits of homeschooling

  • It allows for a flexible school schedule

Having a flexible schedule for school allowed me to have a job during school hours as I could do my homework when ever I had time, Much like this course.

  • It can be tailored to accommodate children with different learning styles

As it is one-on-one teaching the parent can tailor the school work to accommodate each child’s learning styles. It also allows parents to work with children with Learning disability such as ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, etc.

  • It prepares you for college

Homeschooled students tend to adjust more quickly to the college setting, because they are used to an independent study atmosphere and to asking questions of adults.

A few years ago CBC News did a story about homeschooling in my area. They talk about the different styles of homeschooing as well as some benefits of homeschooling.

To end this post I am going to leave you with 2 videos from one of my favorite YouTube channels Blimey Cow.





Living with dyslexia (COM0011 – Blog Post #3)

  • Alexander Graham Bell – inventor and scientist.
  • Tom Cruise – Actor.
  • Leonardo da Vinci – Artist and inventor.
  • Steve Jobs – co-founder of Apple Inc.
  • Tim Tebow – American football player.
  • Thomas Edison – Inventor.
  • Albert Einstein – Scientist and mathematician.
  • Henry Ford – Ford motor cars.
  • Jay Leno – talk show host and comedian.
  • And many more.

I have something in common with all of them, We all have dyslexia.

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that mainly affects the way people read and spell words.

Being dyslexic I have trouble with spelling and grammar, Those with dyslexia can have difficulties with spelling, Reading, Rhyming and discerning left and right to name a few.

The use of technology such as text to speech helps when spelling words I have difficulties with. To read more about assertive technology check out this article Assertive technology for dyslexia.

Dyslexia has its weaknesses, But it also has its advantages.

  • Dyslexics often enjoy and excel at solving puzzles.
  • Dyslexics have excellent thinking skills in the areas of conceptualization, reason, imagination, and abstraction.
  • Dyslexics have a strong ability to see concepts with a “big picture” perspective.
  • Dyslexics are adept to excellence in areas not dependent on reading.
  • Dyslexics tend to be more curious, creative, and intuitive than average.
  • Dyslexics’ special mode of thought easily produces the gift of mastery.
  • Dyslexia is not related to low intelligence.

– See more at: http://athome.readinghorizons.com/blog/50-interesting-facts-about-dyslexia

In this TEDxYouth video Piper Otterbein talks about Overcoming Dyslexia And Finding your Passion.

I am going to end this post with a quote by Albert Einstein that I think is fitting.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”






Starting a blog (COM0011 – Blog Post #2)

As one of our Assignments for this course is to post on this blog, I thought I would look at how to start your own blog. There are may different blog hosting sites out there or you can buy a domain and Self-host.

If you plan on going with self-hosting, You will need a domain that will cost approximately $10 a year and hosting (service that connects your blog to the internet) is around $4 – $7 a month. To sum this up, it will cost around $50 a year. Check out this link for How to Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog in 20 Minutes or Less.

One blog hosting site WordPress.com owned by Automattic, and powered by the open source WordPress software. It is free to use, but you can upgrade for premium features such as a custom domain, premium themes, no ads and many other options. It also happens to be the site we use for this blog.Another one is, Blogger owned by Google, Which makes it great if you already have a Google account as you do can use it for Blogger as well, And also allow you to use Google Adsense to place ads on your blog to make money. Blogger is a great site for beginners with an easy to use interface, And best of all it is free to use.

After you have decided whether to go with a blog hosting site or Self-hosting, You will need to choose a name for your blog. If you know what you are going to blog about, then try to pick a name that matches. For help with naming you blog check out this blog, How To Brainstorm Blog Name Ideas You’ll Love.