Wrapping up a great year
Stormont-Glengarry Junior Farmer members (not in order): Kelsey Smith, Molly McDonald, Lachlan McDonald, Jakob Vogel, Maxime Quesnel, Chanelle Martin, Jeremie Martin, Thomas Kuipers, Ashlie Hardy, Alyssa Waldroff, Joel Quesnel, Zach Hakvoort, Alec McDonald and Justin Brooks.  Courtesy photo

by Jakob Vogel
Special to the AgriNews
STORMONT/   GLENGARRY – 2017 has been an exciting year for young members in the agricultural community. This year, after a 16 year hiatus, Junior Farmers was welcomed back with open arms as a joint venture in Stormont and Glengarry.

Although involvement in provincial activities has been limited for the first year, the local chapter of the parenting Junior Farmers Association of Ontario (JFAO) has been involved in many local community events such as hosting Farmer’s Olympics at the celebration of Avonmore’s 175th and 4-H Fun Night, and being a key part of this past summer’s Strawberry Sunday/e.

The association has welcomed over 20 very active members with an executive comprised of Alyssa Waldroff (President), Justin Brooks (Vice-President and Provincial Director), Kelsey Smith (Secretary), Jakob Vogel (Treasurer) and Ashley Hardy (Social Media Coordinator).

As part of a mission to give back to the community which has been supportive of the group from the beginning, on Nov. 17, the first annual Harvest Gala was hosted at North Stormont Place in Avonmore. There were 103 attendees who were treated to a roast beef buffet catered by Elwyn Massia, entertained by the County Lads and exposed to a silent auction to which various local businesses donated.

As part of the evening, the crowd welcomed local royalty as both the Princess and Queen of the Furrow addressed the group and offered congratulations to the newly founded association. Several alumni of Junior Farmers including Jeff Waldroff and Henry TePlate also stood and shared various stories of their times involved with the Junior Farmers Association. As said by Jim Wert, “ Quality sells, and this fine group of young people are well on their way to becoming the next generation of leaders for our community and abroad. Congratulations to all.”

Within the hall, there was a sizeable display of past Junior Farmer items, including awards, documents, newspaper articles as shown in the photo above.

As previously mentioned, the goal of the evening was to give back to the community, and as such, all proceeds from the event will be donated to a local charity to help families during the holidays.

Junior Farmers is an association for youth aged 15-29 as of Jan. 1. Anyone interested in joining should contact a current member, check out the Facebook group (Stormont-Glengarry Junior Farmers) or contact President Alyssa Waldroff at awaldroff05@gmail.com.