Jennifer Dane, of Wroxeter, will be heading to the Republic of Ireland after obtaining an exchange through the Junior Farmers Association of Ontario (JFAO).
Dane had never heard of Junior Farmers before meeting someone involved in the Oxford County club, and after being out to several junior farmer events, she decided if she could find a club within a reasonable distance from home she would join. She joined Junior Farmers in early 2008, with the re-establishment of the Wellington County club, a fair distance from home, but she believed it was worth it.
She never expected to have the experiences that she has had. She tried to involve herself in as many Junior Farmer activities as possible. Including getting involved in the community with several events including helping at local fairs, working with youth to help them better understand different aspects of agriculture, and fundraisers for the Wellington Club and charities.
Dane also involved herself at many provincial events put on by JFAO.
Those events included March Conference and Leadership Camp, which teaches people how to be an effective leader and the importance of teamwork. Other events include Autumn Profile (similar to farmer Olympics), Sing Swing (a chance for local clubs to get together and showcase their singing and dancing talents, in which learning to square dance was Dane’s favourite) and Winter Games (competing against other clubs in basketball, volleyball, curling, badminton, and bowling). Junior
Farmer provincial events allow people with a common interest from all over Ontario to get together to become friends and have a fun time together.
JFAO also offers great opportunities to its members. To become a member people must be between the ages of 15 and 29 and willing to have fun and learn. One of the opportunities that JFAO offers is a chance to go on exchange to another province or country.
At this time, there is one province and seven countries to choose from. Dane decided to take a chance and apply for an exchange to Ireland. She chose it because it is the roots of her last name and it has been a dream of hers to see that country.
She leaving this month for approximately one month to spend time exploring the country and learning about agriculture with Ireland’s youth organization Macra na Feirme.
"I am very excited for this opportunity and very grateful to JFAO for providing me this opportunity" said Dane.