4-H Ontario | Press Releases | Volunteers Honoured with 2016 Syngenta 4-H Ontario Arbor Award
4-H Ontario

Press Releases

Volunteers Honoured with 2016 Syngenta 4-H Ontario Arbor Award

(Posted February 3, 2016)

ROCKWOOD, ON (February 3, 2016) - 4-H Ontario and Syngenta Canada Inc. have announced the recipients of this year’s Syngenta 4-H Ontario Arbor Award, a provincial honour recognizing exemplary volunteer service with 4-H Ontario.

The recipients of the 2016 Syngenta 4-H Ontario Arbor Award are Rob Ashton, Durham West; Keith Coleman, Lennox & Addington and Barb McAllister, Wellington County.

Rob Ashton

Rob grew up in the 4-H program as a youth and is now the President of Durham West 4-H Association. He’s held almost every volunteer position since he began volunteering in 1996. One of his greatest accomplishments has been the Uxbridge Dairy 4-H Club, which he continues to lead today. He’s described as friendly, outgoing, hard-working, easy going and considerate. He is regularly the first to volunteer, the last to leave an event and the word “no” is just not in his vocabulary. Outside of 4-H Rob is very involved in his community as part of the Uxbridge Fair Board and previously as a director on the Ontario County Holstein Club. An active volunteer with his church, he can be found clearing snow in the winter, making repairs and helping at fundraisers. In the 1970’s, his parents started a local Canadian Foodgrains Bank growing project and Rob has followed in their footsteps to keep this project running as the chair of the committee, along with donating time and farm resources to ensure crops are planted and harvested each year.

Keith Coleman

Keith has been involved in 4-H for most of his life having been a member in the 1960’s in Eastern Ontario, before becoming a volunteer and Club Leader in Lennox & Addington. He’s held several executive positions in the Association and from 2004-06 was also a Director on the Board for 4-H Ontario. Keith has been an instrumental part of the Lennox & Addington Association for 16 years where he’s lead many clubs such as curling, forestry and fishing. More recently he’s taken the lead in several animal clubs. His clubs encourage members to become engaged, skilled and responsible youths in their community and Keith is often involved with fundraising initiatives in the Association as well. Keith is always in high spirits and has a way of elevating everyone’s self-esteem. He is down to earth, easy to talk to, kind-hearted and always full of energy. Outside of 4-H he’s heavily involved in the Lennox Agricultural Society and often acts as minister at a Fellowship Church in Kingston and neighbouring churches.

Barb McAllister

A 4-H member as a youth, Barb went on to become a volunteer in Wellington County for over 30 years. Her legacy is that others strive to be like her in their hard work, motivation and commitment. Her energy was infectious and admired by all. Barb’s leadership and organization to 4-H, as well as her involvement in the program at the provincial level were very significant over the years. Barb was involved in everything 4-H in Wellington County from judging competitions, exchanges, bus trips, county recognition events, annual meetings, national conferences, various committees, supporting the provincial staff and always being willing to roll up her sleeves to make sure things got done right. Outside of 4-H, Barb was on the Wellington Farm Committee and volunteered locally at school, church and ladies’ groups. She was also a foster parent, part of the Red Cross Emergency Response Team and dedicated countless hours to knitting dresses and teddy bears for children in need.

“Each of these recipients are incredible examples of what the 4-H program is all about,” says Evelyn Chambers, Senior Manager, Volunteer & Community Engagement, 4-H Ontario. “Their leadership, dedication of time and commitment to youth development and success have been great assets to their Associations and communities.”

Established in 2001 during the International Year of the Volunteer, the Syngenta 4-H Ontario Arbor Award recognizes a select group of 4-H Ontario volunteers who have served the organization for over 10 years and have positively impacted both

4-H in Ontario and their local community. This is 4-H Ontario’s most prestigious volunteer award.

To be eligible to receive the award, 4-H Ontario volunteers must be nominated by their 4-H Association, a local chapter of the provincial organization. The selection committee comprises representatives of 4-H Ontario, Syngenta Canada and previous Arbor Award winners. Nominees must have shown significant leadership, initiative and made a positive impact on 4-H at various levels. Nominees’ involvement in other community activities and organizations is also considered.

“The Syngenta 4-H Ontario Arbor Awards are an important symbol of recognition and appreciation for the countless contributions of volunteers who play an important part in cultivating and reinforcing the 4-H Learn To Do By Doing philosophy,” says Chris Davison, Head of Corporate Affairs for Syngenta Canada. “Syngenta is proud to support the award and these deserving volunteers.”

The 2016 recipients will be honoured at the Syngenta 4-H Ontario Arbor Award Banquet on Saturday, April 2, 2016, in Alliston, Ontario. The banquet is held in conjunction with 4-H Ontario’s Conference & Annual Meeting.

4-H Ontario will also host a tree planting ceremony for each recipient later in the year to commemorate their outstanding contributions.

To watch a video featuring this year's winners click here.

About 4-H Ontario

4-H Ontario is a grassroots organization of leaders building leaders. At 4-H, participants, youth aged 6–21; and screened, trained volunteer leaders come together to create a 4-H club and learn about a selected topic through hands-on activities and mentorship. There are also a variety of provincial camp and conference opportunities. Through the 4-H experience, members learn to do by doing and build valuable skills that will help them reach their full potential to become conscious, contributing citizens.

About Syngenta Canada Inc.

Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world class science and innovative crop solutions, our 28,000 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more visit www.syngenta.com and www.goodgrowthplan.com. Follow us on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/Syngenta and www.twitter.com/SyngentaCanada.



For more information please contact:

Ryan Métivier, Coordinator, Communications, 4-H Ontario

519.856.0992 x465, digital@4-HOntario.ca


Chris Davison, Head, Corporate Affairs Canada, Syngenta Canada Inc.

519.837.5328, chris.davison@syngenta.com

Back to Press Release Listing