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4-H Ontario recognizes 50-year volunteer

Volunteer - Joan Law has been volunteering with her local 4-H club for 50 years. She was recently recognized for her achievement at the annual meeting on April 2. From left: Monsanto Canada Inc sales associate Jenna MacDougall, Ontario 4-H council president Tammy Oswick-Kearney, Joan Law and 4-H Ontario executive director Debra Brown.      submitted photo

4-H Ontario recognizes 50-year volunteer

by Olivia Rutt

PUSLINCH - “Learn to do by doing” is the 4-H motto and Joan Law has being “doing” for 50 years.

Law was 37 when she first started volunteering with 4-H in Puslinch Township. She was raising eight children on her farm at the time.

Law was a part of the Badenoch Women’s Institute, which sponsored 4-H, when there was a call for volunteer 4-H leaders.

She decided that she would join as a leader and she hasn’t looked back.

“I wanted to give back to the community,” she said.

Fifty years later, Law has been recognized for her long-term service by 4-H Ontario. At a 4-H Ontario Conference and Annual Meeting on April 2, Law received a volunteer award along with three other 4-H leaders, each with over 45 years of service.

“I was very proud that I was recognized, but I’m proud of all my 4-Hers,” said Law.

She has served on the Wellington County 4-H Leader’s Association, even serving as president for the board. She has also been a speaker at different events and a chaperone at a national conference.

“Well it is (fun), you meet a lot of nice people,” she said.

Law said she’s met a lot of people over her 50 years.

“Any time I see any of them out I try to find out what they are doing, keep in touch.”

At 87, Law is still volunteering, currently leading a “Milk makes it better” club. Law said she enjoys being a part of everyone’s lives, even for just a short while.

“It’s really satisfying to know you had a little bit (of a role) in their development,” she said.

Over the years, Law has witnessed changes in the 4-H clubs.

“It has changed a lot. Originally each member had to keep a record book and there was a lot of writing. Now it’s more hands on, and the motto is Learn to do by doing,” she said.

“It’s all practical and the kids really like it.”

4-H used to only accept children 12 and up, but children as young as 9 can now join regular clubs. Even children from six to nine can join the 4-H Clover Buds. Law said there have been a number of different agricultural clubs added since she started volunteering.

Volunteering is important to the community, said Law.  

“It makes a far better community, people are more caring and people are more responsible,” she said. “You have just a far better community if you have a lot of volunteers.”

Her advice to volunteers just starting out? Start small.

“It will grow on them, they’ll really get a lot of satisfaction from it,” she said.


April 8, 2016


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