4-H Ontario | Press Releases | Volunteers Honoured with 2019 4-H Ontario Arbor Award, sponsored by Bayer
4-H Ontario

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Volunteers Honoured with 2019 4-H Ontario Arbor Award, sponsored by Bayer

Laura Squires | (Posted April 5, 2019)

ROCKWOOD, ON (April 5, 2019) - 4-H Ontario is proud to announce the recipients of this year’s 4-H Ontario Arbor Award, sponsored by Bayer, a prestigious honour recognizing exemplary volunteer service with 4-H Ontario. In 2019, the following three 4-H Ontario volunteers received an Arbor Award: Anne Verhallen (Chatham-Kent 4-H), Barbara McKenna *Posthumously (Hamilton- Wentworth 4-H) and Edna White (Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton 4-H).
Anne Verhallen
For the past 18 years, Anne Verhallen has been a dynamic and influential part of the Chatham-
Kent 4-H Association and its success. Since 2001, Anne has led over 25 projects ranging from
Sheep, Poultry, various cooking and culture projects and eight locally approved clubs. She has
sat on the Chatham-Kent 4-H Board of Directors for the past 15 years and over this time she has
held many positions including Regional Director, Vice-President, President and Past-President.
Since joining 4-H, Anne has also piloted ‘Mini Crop Diagnostic Day’, an event aimed at sparking
interest in agronomy among 4-Her’s through hands-on workshops that teach participants about
leading edge technology and practices in agriculture. Anne has also been at the forefront of
many other initiatives within Chatham-Kent 4-H such as the Southwest Agricultural Conference,
community BBQs and various fundraising initiatives.
Anne is known for having a special way of encouraging leaders to try something new and
providing them with the support to do so; whether it be for leading a different club, organizing
an event or volunteering in another role within 4-H. She is not only a role model to 4-H
members, but to volunteers, board members and all involved in the 4-H program. Anne lives
and breathes 4-H and works to promote the program and its opportunities in every aspect of
her life.
Barbara McKenna (Posthumously)
Barbara McKenna was a 4-H Volunteer in Hamilton-Wentworth for 47 years where she led a
total of 82 clubs. She is the longest-standing volunteer contact in Hamilton-Wentworth
Association and played an integral part in the beginnings of the Association and building the
solid foundation it flourishes on today. Barbara was known for being a phenomenal
fundraiser and always ensuring volunteers were recognized for their efforts and sacrifices
while encouraging them to grow within the Association.
“As a young girl, Barbara took 4-H and saw the benefits to self and community and she chose
to give back by taking a leadership role in many clubs,” said Nancy Mills, 4-H volunteer who
co-lead the Quilting and Sewing club alongside Barbara.
She had a zest for giving that was demonstrated through the commitment and effort she
tirelessly put forth into the Hamilton-Wentworth 4-H Association. Her ability to pass on
passion and skills from generation to generation was reflected in the numerous clubs she led
including Square Dancing, Sewing and Cooking. Barbara took pride in each club she led and in
each position she held at both the board level and with Ontario 4-H Council.
We thank Barbara for her contributions to the 4-H program and she’ll be missed by everyone in
the 4-H family.
Edna White
Edna White has been a 4-H leader for 26 years and has led a total of 58 projects over her time
in Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton. As 4-H alumni, she knows first-hand how the 4-H program and its
many opportunities can change a person’s life. She lives by the 4-H “Learn To Do By Doing”
motto and leads her life according to the 4-H pledge by using her head, hands, heart and health
for the betterment of her clubs, her community and her country.
Throughout her 4-H journey, Edna has worn many hats within the KLH Association including:
Association Representative, Go for Gold Committee Member, Newsletter Editor, Association
Director, Association President, Association Secretary, while also taking on many other roles as
well. She firmly believes in never saying no to an opportunity and takes advantage of every
chance to work with and mentor members, volunteers and parents. Edna is always willing to
help out in any way that she can and is dedicated to making the 4-H experience a memorable
one for all youth and volunteers. As mentioned by fellow volunteer Michelle Hazenberg, “I
cannot imagine what KLH 4-H would be like without Edna White. She is a true leader who
embodies the 4-H spirit and lives the 4-H pledge in everything she does.”
“This year’s recipients represent the essence of volunteering with 4-H and their communities,”
says Evelyn Chambers, Senior Manager, Volunteer & Community Engagement, 4-H Ontario. “4-H Ontario is honoured to recognize them for their many years of engaging youth in becoming today’s leaders.”
Established in 2001 during the International Year of the Volunteer, the 4-H Ontario Arbor
Award, sponsored by Bayer recognizes a select group of 4-H Ontario volunteers who have
served the organization for over 10 years and have positively impacted 4-H and their local
community. This is 4-H Ontario’s most prestigious volunteer award.
“Bayer and 4-H have a rich history of collaboration at the provincial and national level. We
believe strongly in the value of supporting rural youth and helping them grow and develop into
future leaders,” said Trish Jordan, Public and Industry Affairs Director, Bayer Crop Science. “And
growing future leaders is not possible without the commitment, passion and dedication of 4-H
volunteers. We are honoured to recognize the many years of service and outstanding
contributions made by this year’s Arbor Award winners.”
To be eligible to receive the award, 4-H Ontario volunteers must be nominated by their 4-H
Association, a local chapter of the provincial organization. The selection committee consists of
representatives of 4-H Ontario, Bayer and previous Arbor Award winners. Nominees must have
shown significant leadership, initiative and made a positive impact on 4-H at various levels. In
addition, nominees must have other involvement within their community or other volunteer
The 2019 recipients were honoured at the 4-H Ontario Arbor Award Banquet, sponsored by
Bayer, on Saturday, March 23, 2018, in Alliston, Ontario. The banquet was held in conjunction
with 4-H Ontario’s Volunteer Conference and Annual Meeting.
4-H Ontario will also host a tree planting ceremony for each recipient later in the year to
commemorate their outstanding contributions to the 4-H program and positive youth
development within their community.
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 Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and
nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to
overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the
same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation
and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer
brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group
employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures
amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to
For more information please contact:
Laura Squires, Coordinator, Communications, 4-H Ontario
519.856.0992 x 462, digital@4-HOntario.ca
Trish Jordan, Public and Industry Affairs Director, Bayer Canada- Crop Science Division

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