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Wellington Junior Farmers play host to clubs provincial Sing Swing event in Clifford

by Kelly Waterhouse

CLIFFORD - The Wellington Junior Farmers club hosted the annual Sing Swing event Nov. 26 at the Clifford Community Centre.

“This is an annual event that moves around the province,” said Jen van der Meulen, of Alma.

Sixteen Junior Farmer clubs from across the province participated from as far as Prince Edward County and included two foreign delegates from Wales, who are here for a two week exchange program through the organization.

“We have 120 people approximately here today and are expecting over 200 people for our banquet and dance tonight,” van der Meulen said. “It was a lot more than we were expecting, because it’s up from last year, which is great. There has been a boom of new members.”

The day’s activities included a variety of events such as singing, dancing, whistling, yodeling, impromptu speaking, improvisation, card stacking and a Euchre tournament.

Throughout the day, a juried panel selected winners for prizes in categories that included photography, art, quilting, design, baking and crafts.

“I hope everyone has a good time,” van der Meulen said. “They get to see different things and what everyone’s talents are in the province.”

Richard Wilding, a beef and sheep farmer and Dylan Bowen, a mechanical engineer, both from  of Wales, have spent two weeks billeting with Junior Farmer families in Huron County, Kawartha Lakes, and in Moorefield.

“The people have been great,” said Bowen. “The hospitality is incredible.” 

Wilding agrees, but says his impression of Canada, having travelled through three different regions of Ontario is that “Canada is large, wide and long. It’s huge.”

Van der Meulen explained that Junior Farmers is for people aged 15 to 29 years who have an interest in community and agriculture, though do not necessarily have to be farmers.

She hopes events like these will continue to see the organization grow. “We have a lot of new members and we hope they’ll encourage other people to join.”

Van der Meulen believes this event’s high turn-out indicates a strong future for Junior Farmer clubs across the province. “We do a lot of community work and make a lot of friends and contacts in the province. Wherever we go in Ontario, we usually know someone and that’s a great feeling.”



December 9, 2011


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