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4-H Ontario Announces New 2024 4-H Ambassadors

4-H Ontario is proud to announce the selection of six ambassadors who will represent and champion the 4-H program across the province in 2024. The following 4-H youth were selected to represent 4-H Ontario in this prestigious role: Abby Covert (Northumberland 4-H Association), Beck Sommerville (Waterloo 4-H Association), Colin Ormiston (Wellington 4-H Association), Haleigh-Jo tePlate (Stormont 4-H Association), Kayla Emmerton (Peel 4-H Association) and Rachael Simpson (Hastings 4-H Association). These incredible 2024 4-H Ontario Ambassadors commenced their year on March 23, 2024, at the Ambassador Luncheon in Richmond Hill, Ontario. 

“We could not be happier to announce this year’s 4-H Ontario Ambassadors. We are so appreciative of the time and support they give to 4-H Ontario’s programs, volunteers and stakeholders. This group of exceptional leaders truly showcase the value of being a 4-H participant, and we are excited to see what they do this year,” says Andy H, Manager of Youth Experience at 4-H Ontario. 

For more than 15 years, the 4-H Ontario Ambassador program has provided youth with specialized training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. 4-H Ontario Ambassadors will apply these advanced skills to recruit new 4-H participants and share the 4-H story. The 2024 Ambassadors will attend 4-H Ontario events across the province and represent 4-H at community events to promote and advocate for the 4-H program. 

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is generously sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. Since the program’s inception in 2005, GROWMARK and the Ontario FS Co-operative System have provided Ambassadors with this incredible experience and empowered Ambassadors to make meaningful connections in their communities and beyond. 

Read on below to learn more about each of the new 2024 4-H Ontario ambassadors that will make a tremendous impact on the 4-H program. 

Abby Covert, Northumberland 4-H Association 

During her eight-year tenure as a 4-H participant in the Northumberland 4-H Association, Abby has completed 16 projects including square dancing, country dancing and other exciting life skills projects. She has also participated in many provincial and national 4-H opportunities including 4-H Discovery Days, Youth Adventure Camp, Future Leaders in Action Camp and the National Members Forum as well as holding various leadership positions within her 4-H clubs. As an active member of her community, Abby has received numerous awards including the Ontario Scholar Award, the Canadian Federation of University Women Award and the Cobourg Collegiate Institute Athletic Volunteer Award. 

When asked about what she loves about the 4-H program, Abby said, “4-H has had an amazing influence on my life, and I’m grateful for all of the opportunities that I have been able to receive from it. I want to help continue to grow the legacy of 4-H… 4-H is an amazing opportunity to learn and it brings people of all ages together, which is very special.” 

Beck Sommerville, Waterloo 4-H Association 

Beck has been a 4-H participant in the Waterloo 4-H Association for 12 years and has completed 46 projects including sheep, gardening, beef, maple syrup, rabbit, crafting, knitting, woodworking, photography and more. Beck has also taken part in various regional and provincial 4-H opportunities including Provincial Leadership Camp, Future Leaders in Action Camp, the Impact Conference, Youth Adventure Camp and the National Members Forum. Most recently, Beck has been volunteering her time with Remix Swing, a local dance group, as well as dedicating her time to the 4-H program through the Youth Voice Committee and the running of local clubs. 

When asked what she would tell others about the 4-H program, Beck shared that 4-H has completely changed her life. “I want to become a 4-H Ontario Ambassador to help give back to others what 4-H has given to me. Through 4-H, I’ve gained so much confidence and it has defined who I am. I would love to help others have the same experience of 4-H that I had…” 

Colin Ormiston, Wellington 4-H Association 

Colin has been a 4-H participant in Wellington 4-H Association for 10 years and has completed 30 projects during his tenure including beef, veterinary, cooking and engineering. He has also participated in various provincial and national 4-H opportunities including Provincial Leadership Camp and Future Leaders in Action Camp as well as holding various leadership positions within his 4-H clubs. Most recently, Colin has been involved in the Beyond Borders program where he experiences new learning opportunities that prepare him for post-secondary education. 

When asked what makes him proud to be a 4-H participant, Colin shared the importance of the 4-H community. “I have made so many friends through not only 4-H clubs but provincial camps. Some of the people I have met are people I never would have met otherwise, and I am grateful every day that I met them. The weeks I’ve spent at 4-H provincial camps have been, truthfully, some of the best experiences of my life….and I wouldn’t trade the memories I made attending them for anything. 4-H has given so much to me and my life, and I am extremely passionate in trying to give to 4-H as much as it’s given me.” 

Haleigh-Jo tePlate, Stormont 4-H Association 

Haleigh joined Stormont 4-H Association in 2012 and has completed 78 projects including bread making, beef, maple syrup, judging, rabbit, poultry and quilting, among many others. She has also taken part in many regional and provincial opportunities during her tenure including Youth Adventure Camp, Dairy Sen$e, Provincial Judging Day and 4-H Discovery Days. As an active member of her community, Haleigh volunteers her time with Stormont-Glengarry Junior Farmers, the Stormont County Plowmen’s Association and the Stormont Federation of Agriculture. She has also received numerous awards including the Jennifer Waldroff Spirit of 4-H Award, the 4-H Ontario Youth Leader Award, the Stormont Federation of Agriculture Award and the Eastern Ontario Land Improvement Award, among many others for her outstanding achievements. She was recently named Stormont County’s 2023-24 Queen of the Furrow and will be representing Stormont at the 2024 International Plowing Match. 

Haleigh is excited to be a 4-H Ontario Ambassador this year and looks forward to sharing her love for 4-H across Ontario. “Whenever someone asks me what 4-H is, and what is it all about, I always tell them that being a 4-H member allows you to make new friends, keep in contact with friends from further counties and learn new skills…it builds confidence and gives you opportunities to grow into a better person and do good things in your community.” 

Kayla Emmerton, Peel 4-H Association 

Kayla has been a 4-H participant in Peel 4-H Association for 13 years and has completed over 75 projects including financial literacy, dairy, square-dancing, sewing and judging, among many others. She has also participated in various regional, provincial and national 4-H opportunities including Go for the Gold, 4-H Canada’s Leadership Summit, the National Members Form, Citizenship Congress, the United States National Conference, Provincial Leadership Camp and more. Recently, Kayla volunteers her time in various leadership positions with the Concurrent Education Students’ Association, the Albion and Bolton Agricultural Society, the 4-H Canada Youth Advisory Committee and 4-H Canada’s Board of Directors. She has also been recognized through various awards and scholarships such as the Brampton Kiwanis Citizenship Award (2019), the Queen’s University Principal’s Scholarship (2020), the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Level Award (2021), the John Deere 4-H Canada Scholarship (2022) and the Peel Region Judging Competition Champion (2022, 2023), among many others.  

When asked about what makes her proud to be a part of 4-H, Kayla said “4-H has changed my life. Because of 4-H, I have grown into a person who is more confident, determined to make a difference and passionate about the world around me. I’m proud of that person, and I will continue to thank 4-H for its impact. As an older 4-H member, I have repeatedly seen how 4-H has shaped other members around me, the skills the program has provided, and the well-rounded people they have become. 4-H not only grows leaders, but well-rounded individuals that are kind, compassionate, hardworking, and capable. I am so proud to be associated with a program that plays such a vital role in positive development, creating positive community members.” 

Rachael Simpson, Hastings 4-H Association 

Rachael has been a 4-H participant in Hastings County for 12 years. During her time, she has completed over 50 projects including veterinary, dairy, beef, scrapbooking, plowing, welding and more. Rachael has also participated in various regional and provincial 4-H opportunities including the 4-H Canada Club-to-Club Exchange Program, Youth Adventure Camp and Provincial Leadership Camp among many others. She has also held several leadership positions within her clubs, volunteers her time as president on the “4-H On Campus” executive team at the University of Guelph and takes part in student government. 

When asked why she is excited at the prospect of becoming an Ambassador, Rachael shared “I firmly believe in the 4-H program and its ability to promote a strong skillset, among youth, in a positive setting. As an Ambassador, I would like to be a role model for younger members and contribute back to the organization that helped build who I am today.” 

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. 

About FS 

The FS brand represents a standard of excellence for agricultural and energy-related products. FS Member Companies are located in the United States and in Ontario, Canada. These local FS Member Companies provide farm and non-farm customers with fuels, lubricants, propane, plant nutrients, crop protection, seed, professional services, grain marketing, retail, feed and animal health. FS Member Companies are part of the GROWMARK System. GROWMARK, Inc. is a regional agriculture cooperative, striving to be the best agricultural cooperative system in North America. 

For more information please contact: 

Mary Haurilak, Manager, Communications, 4-H Ontario 

519.803.5026, [email protected]