Lambton County’s Christie Annett is now an Ambassador.
The 21-year-old was named one of 4-H Ontario’s six 2019 provincial ambassadors on April 8, selected for her exceptional service and passion in promoting the values of the 4-H club, a non-profit youth development organization that develops leadership skills, business skills and self-confidence in youth through a variety of camps, conferences, projects and travel opportunities.
As part of her newly-obtained ambassadorial duties, Annett will travel to numerous 4-H and other community events across the province to promote the club, recruit new members and share her experience as a 4-H member.
The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program, which is sponsored by FS, will also provide Annett with training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations
The LCCVI and University of Guelph grad, who has been a 4-H member since she was nine, said she was thrilled with being named one of Ontario’s six ambassadors and is looking forward to carrying out her duties over the next 12 months.
“I’m very excited about being one of 4-H Ontario’s ambassadors,” she said. “I really want to be able to inspire Ontario’s youth the way I was inspired when I was younger.”
Annett said she joined the club because of her family’s deep roots within the organization.
“I got involved with the Lambton 4-H Association because my parents both led clubs when I was growing up,” she said. “My older brothers were involved before I was able to sign up, but I always knew I would join 4 -H too. Before I was even old enough to start 4-H, I was given a 4-H lamb when my brothers got theirs that I trained alongside them.”
Throughout her 13 years in the Lambton 4-H Association, Annett has always found herself immersed in activity.
From her early days as a nine year-old taking part in the association’s Horse Club, Sheep Club and the Field Crop Club to her time in the club as a teen, completing 26 projects, attending camps and leadership forums as well as picking up awards – including the Gay Lea Award for achievement and Top Agricultural Member in her association – Annett said she has received opportunities beyond her wildest dreams as part of 4-H.
“(Through my involvement in the 4-H), I’ve been given the opportunity to show sheep, show horses, make pizza, enter decorated cake and jam in the fair, grow a giant pumpkin and enter soybeans in the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair,” she said. “All of the projects that I completed required a lot of time and dedication, but also gave me a sense of pride and independence. These projects taught me how to set realistic goals for myself and gave me confidence in my abilities.”
“Over the years, I have been to five 4-H Ontario camps including Discovery Days, Youth Adventure Camp, Career Mania, Provincial Leadership Camp, and Future Leaders in Action,” Annett added. “I feel that these camps have had the biggest impact on me today because they gave me so much confidence. I had never felt so encouraged to get out of my comfort zone and try something new or different.”
Now entering her last year as a 4-H member (the club is open to youth aged six to 21) Annett, who currently works at Seelster Farms in Lucan, said 4-H has had a profound and completely positive impact on her life.
“It’s changed my life so much, I’m not sure what I would be doing if I was never in 4-H,” she said. “4-H is where I found my passion in working with horses and is the reason that I pursued my career in it. Aside from my career choice, 4-H has given me confidence that I would never have if I wasn’t involved. Because of 4-H I can do things like speak in public, conduct an election or communicate and connect with people that I am meeting for the first time.”