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Oxford Junior Farmers’ Association donates $5,000 to Farm & Food Care

January 28, 2013, Embro, ON – Members of the Oxford Junior Farmers’ Association have donated $5,000 to Farm & Food Care Ontario’s Agricultural Ambassador program.
 
The Oxford County Junior Farmers’ Association is an affiliate of the Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario. Each year, the Oxford club helps to host the Embro Truck and Tractor pull in August. Oxford members operate information booths, assist with activities on the track and host a food booth and beverage tent.
 
Each year, the club donates the proceeds of the event to local charities and causes. In 2012, money was donated to the Embro Community Centre to complete its fundraising campaign. In 2013, the funds will be divided between Farm & Food Care and the Woodstock, Ingersoll and Tillsonburg hospitals.
 
Farm & Food Care’s Agricultural Ambassador training program provides workshops for young advocates interested in learning how to be better spokespeople for their industry. In 2012, the program provided training for 435 ambassadors from the Kemptville, Ridgetown and Guelph campuses of the University of Guelph, fall fair ambassadors and more.
 
Virginia Dibble, spokesperson from the Oxford Junior Farmers, said, “As an organization comprised of rural youth, we’re excited to support this program. Some of our members have already taken the young ambassador training and have said that their newfound skills give them more confidence in talking about their family farms with urban audiences.”
 
Heather Hargrave manages Farm & Food Care’s Agricultural Ambassador program. She said that Oxford funds will be put into planned expansions for the program in 2013. Work is already underway to create a social media portal for Ontario advocates. A new website will be launched later in 2013 that will feature blogs from young Ontario advocates as well as an online forum for advocates to talk with each other about the work they’re doing, questions they’ve been asked and more.
 
Said Hargrave, “Training young advocates is a critical component of Farm & Food Care’s mandate. Funds received from the Oxford Junior Farmer organization will help us provide opportunities for even more enthusiastic ambassadors to share their great stories about food and farming in Ontario.”
 
This donation from the Oxford Junior Farmers is over and above a generous commitment made by the Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario to support the Farm & Food Care Foundation as its provincial charity for 2012. The decision was made by delegates to JFAO’s March Conference in 2012.