Families, volunteers and members of the Russell County 4-H Club gathered on November 15 for their annual awards banquet. Following the presentation of awards, members and leaders in attendance at the event gathered for a photo. Thompson Goddard Photo

LIMOGES – Russell County (RC) 4-H Club held their 2023 potluck lunch and awards ceremony in the Nation Sports Complex in Limoges on November 25.  RC 4-H members were joined by their families and leaders for the event with Justin McWilliams and Osianna Williams serving as co-masters of ceremonies.

Throughout the presentation portion of the event words of thanks were provided by many for the work of volunteers and executive members as well as the several organizations and people who sponsored prizes or supported the club.

“A successful Russell County 4-H banquet recognizing members, volunteers, sponsors, leaders and their contributions.  Clubs run this year were the Outdoors Club, Dairy Calf Club and Christmas Craft Club. Throughout our clubs, members regularly demonstrated leadership skills and the 4-H Motto “Learn to do by doing”.  We are always looking for new volunteers who are interested in sharing interests or skills. Please contact eileen.blenkarn@rogers.com,” commented RC 4-H Club Vice President and Membership Database Co-ordinator Eileen Blenkarn.

The event featured volunteer recognition, presentations on several clubs and activities throughout the year and awards. Geoff Blenkarm, Julie Lee, and Abbie Mueller received their one-year volunteer seal, with Vicki Brisson and Holly Smygwaty receiving their five-year volunteer seal.  Bonnie Bergeron and Pegi Holtz were honoured for their work as volunteers and leaders as they retired this year.

New club members Kenedy Black, Julia Chin Yuen Kee, Ellie Derochie, Daniel Hill, Mila Jansson, Abigail Lee, Veronica Lee, Karl-Antonin Levesque and Nicholas McNaughton received their plaque and certificates.  Reports from various 4-H clubs including the Outdoors Club and Calf Club were presented with Osianna Williams and Justin McWilliams receiving an award for “Most Enthusiastic Club Member”,  respectively. 

The following awards were then presented, with Vicky Régimbald receiving the Leadership in an Agricultural Club Award.  Gifts for 4-H members who exhibited were then presented.  Top Novice Showperson was presented to Olivia Mueller; Top Junior Showperson was Cali Olive; Hailey Smygwaty received the Top Intermediate Showperson; Samantha Hildbrand received the Top Senior Showperson and the Supreme Champion Showperson was awarded to Hailey Smygwaty. 

Top Dairy Awards were as follows: Grand Champion Ayrshire – Ceilidh Newman; Grand Champion Holstein – Emily Smygwaty; Grand Champion Jersey – Cali Olive; Supreme Champion Dairy Heifer – Emily Smygwaty; Best Bred and Owned Heifer – Samantha Hildbrand. Congratulations were extended to Ryan Smygwaty, the Grand Champion Calf winner at TD Classic 2023. 

Information on the 2023 Judging Day, hosted by the Hildbrand family at Rosenhill Farms was provided in the PowerPoint presentation, with several awards announced.  In the Novice Division, first, second and third places were won by Olivia Mueller, Wesley McWilliams and Daniel Hill, respectively.  Emily Smygwaty, Fiona Williams and Karl-Antonin Levesque placed first, second and third, respectively, in the Junior Division.  Troy McWilliams, Hailey Smygwaty and Melissa Kaelin were first, second and third in the Intermediate Division and Tanya Régimbald, Samantha Hildbrand and Nicholas McNaughton placed in first, second and third spots of the Senior Division.

Information on several of the 4-H camps attended by club members was then presented which was followed by the presentation of provincial awards.  Fiona Williams received a provincial seal for completing six projects, with Cali Olive and Justin McWilliams receiving a seal for the completion of 12 projects.  For completing 18 projects Samantha Hildbrand and Ceilidh Newman each received a provincial seal with Tanya Régimbald receiving a seal for completing 42 projects.

Special awards were then presented with Tobias Oeschger receiving the 2023 Outstanding Agricultural Member Russell County and the Soil and Crop Award for the top soil and crop points from the Russell Fair.  Tanya Régimbald received the Youth Leader Award and Ceilidh Newman received the Jack James Memorial Leadership Award.

More information on the Russell County 4-H Club is available at www.4-hontario.ca/association/russell-4-h-association.