GUELPH, ONT. (April 4, 2023) – 4-H Ontario is proud to announce the selection of five ambassadors who will represent 4-H Ontario across the province in 2023. The following 4-H youth were selected to fulfill this prestigious role: Autumn McIntyre (Renfrew 4-H Association), Hayley Ashton (Durham-West 4-H Association), Joyce Lyn Fox (Haldimand 4-H Association), Rachel Gras (Huron 4-H Association) and Rhiannah Gallagher (Carleton 4-H Association). These 2023 4-H Ontario ambassadors commenced their year on March 25, 2023 at the Ambassador Luncheon in Richmond Hill, Ont.
“We are thrilled to announce this year’s group of 4-H Ambassadors” says Andrea Halse, Manager, Youth Experience, 4-H Ontario. “This group of exceptional leaders will play an integral role in promoting and showcasing the values and opportunities that 4-H provides across the province to volunteers, participants and stakeholders.”
For more than 15 years, the 4-H Ontario Ambassador program has provided 4-H youth with training in leadership, citizenship, communications, and public relations. The 4-H Ontario ambassadors will use these skills to recruit new members and share the 4-H story. Ambassadors will attend 4-H Ontario events across the province and represent 4-H Ontario at community events to promote the 4-H program.
The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and the Ontario FS Co-operative System. Since the program’s inception in 2005, GROWMARK, Inc. and the Ontario FS Co-operative System have provided ambassadors with this experience through sponsorship of the program.
Read on below for a listing and bio of the 2023 4-H Ontario ambassadors
Autumn McIntyre, Renfrew 4-H Association
During her nine-year tenure as a 4-H participant in the Renfrew 4-H Association, Autumn has completed 96 4-H projects including beef, veterinary, canning, bread making, horse, sheep, seed art, garden, leadership and more. In each of these nine years with 4-H Autumn has represented her association in competitions at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and is always keen to volunteer whenever the association needs. Autumn has received numerous awards including the Daca & Area Community Association Award, Youth Citizenship Award for the Township of Admaston/Bromley, and the Jennifer McVeigh Fellowship Award.
When asked why she wants to be a 4-H ambassador, Autumn said that “I am really motivated by my passion for this program. I am passionate about spreading awareness [of 4-H] and would love to see 4-H grow. I would like to be an ambassador to not only help other [youth] and clubs, but be part of the future of 4-H.”
Hayley Ashton, Durham-West 4-H Association
Hayley has been a 4-H participant in the Durham-West 4-H Association for 11 years, having completed over 30 4-H projects including dairy, sheep, field crops, horse, line dancing and more. She has participated in many provincial and national 4-H opportunities such as Discovery Days, Youth Adventure Camp, Provincial Leadership Camp, Dairy Sen$e and Club-to-Club Exchange. As an active member of her community, Hayley has also received numerous awards including the Port Perry Rotary Jim Grieve Memorial Scholarship, the Youngfield Family Farms Award, Women’s Institute Scholarship, and the Glenn Webb Education Scholarship/GROWMARK Foundation OAC 2022.
Hayley shares that she is proud to be a 4-H participant because “she is proud to be part of an organization that is inclusive, caring and provides [youth] with such a vast array of opportunities. I am proud to have spent my youth learning from many of the knowledgeable volunteers within the organization. I am proud to be part of an organization that has allowed me to grow, network and learn to do by doing.”
Joyce Lyn Fox, Haldimand 4-H Association
Joyce is a nine-year tenured 4-H participant from the Haldimand 4-H Association who has completed 30 4-H projects including field crops, breadventure, photography, sheaf, square dancing, veterinary and more. She has participated in many association, regional and provincial opportunities during her tenure, holding various leadership roles in her 4-H clubs and currently serving on the provincial 4-H 4-All committee. Joyce has received numerous awards including both the Haldimand 4-H Junior and Senior Outstanding Member Awards, the Optimist Youth Appreciation Award, and a John Deere Canada 4-H Scholarship.
When asked about what makes her proud to be a 4-H participant, Joyce said, “Being part of this supporting community, and having experienced a tremendous amount of personal growth makes me proud and grateful to be a 4-H participant.” Joyce shares that she looks forward to sharing her 4-H experience with others and further developing her own skills as a 4-H Ontario ambassador.
Rachel Gras, Huron 4-H Association
Rachel joined the Huron 4-H Association in 2018 and has since completed seven club projects including dairy, sheep, and square dancing. She is an active member of the community having served as the Seaforth Fall Fair Junior Ambassador and is a recipient of the Huron County Federation of Agriculture Award. Most recently, Rachel has dedicated her time to the University of Guelph serving on the College Royal Executive and as OAC Class of 2026 Vice President, along with participating in the University’s dairy science and goat and sheep club.
When asked about why she wanted to become a 4-H ambassador, Rachel shares that she would not be the person she is today without 4-H. “I have adapted the motto of [Learn To Do By Doing] which I would love to share with others. To promote this [motto] is a dream of mine; to help kids all over Ontario be the best that they can be.”
Rhiannah Gallagher, Carleton 4-H Association
Returning for a second term as a 4-H Ontario ambassador, Rhiannah has been a 4-H participant for 12 years in the Carleton 4-H Association and has completed over 30 4-H projects during her tenure. She has received the “I Pledge” Award for sportsmanship and enthusiasm, she is a past Queen of the Furrow and the recipient of several association awards for her project work. Rhiannah is also a member of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority where she is involved in philanthropic activities to raise money and supplies for many worthwhile causes.
As a tenured 4-H Ontario Ambassador, Rhiannah shares “This past year as an ambassador has made me realize just how much I love the 4-H program and has grown my passion and desire to promote the program through this position.”
To schedule a 4-H Ontario Ambassador for your next event please complete the request form online here.
About 4-H Ontario
4-H Ontario is a non-profit positive youth development organization that builds youth as leaders within their communities and assets to the world. With roots in rural Ontario, today it is open to youth of all backgrounds across the province. 4-H youth ages 6–21 and screened, engaged volunteer leaders come together to learn about selected topics through fun hands-on activities and mentorship. There are also provincial camps, conferences, competitions and national and international travel opportunities available to further develop skills in leadership, business, self-confidence and more. 4-H provides youth with a place they can be involved, accepted, valued and heard while developing valuable skills for leadership and life.
FS provides agriculture-related products and services to farmers and rural residents in Ontario and the United States through local FS branded member co-operatives and by GROWMARK, Inc. subsidiaries. FS branded and related products and services include crop inputs, crop protection, seed, grain marketing, energy products and services, feed and animal health as well a variety of consumer related products for farm, home and garden, through its more than 70 sites throughout rural Ontario. Visit: www.fssystem.com or www.growmark.com.
For more information please contact:
Laura Goulding, Manager, Communications, 4-H Ontario