CNE Ambassador of the Fairs Competition 2017

I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to represent the Embro and Zorra Agricultural Society and compete at the CNE Ambassador of the Fairs Competition this past weekend. There were over 60 ambassadors at this competition from around the province, and I had the opportunity to get to know everyone better and see where life has taken them since the Convention in February. I am proud to have placed 2nd runner up in this competition, and congrutulations goes out to Sadie-Jane from Lindsay for being 1st runner up, and to Erica from Paris for being crowned the CNE Ambassador! I couldn’t thank the Fair Board enough for providing me with this opportunity, I had an amazing time at the CNE!

OAAS Convention 2017

This past weekend, I was grateful for the opportunity to attend the OAAS Convention in Toronto at the Fairmont Royal York. I met many fellow ambassadors, attended informative seminars, and had a great time! Andrew Campbell was at the convention Friday morning and spoke to everyone about the challenges of being a part of the agriculture industry in today’s society. Another highlight of this convention was getting to meet the James Barker Band! Meghan Patrick also performed at the convention along with many other amazingly talented entertainment acts. Overall, I was honoured and proud to represent the Embro and Zorra Agricultural Society at the convention!

A reminder that Dinner Theatre is fast approaching, and this year’s production is “Shorthanded”. I hope to see everyone there, and if you still need tickets call Mary Ellen Garner (519-475-4437).

About Me

Hi Everyone,

My name is Emily Van Bommel and I am excited to be the 2016-2017 Embro and Zorra Agricultural Society Ambassador. I grew up in Thamesford on a farrow to finish hog farm. I am currently in my third year at the University of Guelph studying Animal Biology with a minor in Agriculture. I hope to apply to the Ontario Veterinary College in the future.

For the past four summers, I have worked at Happy Hills Resort as a lifeguard and a summer programs director. In my free time, I enjoy volunteering, reading, and spending time with friends and family. I also enjoy playing intramural hockey and swimming. I am an Orientation Volunteer at the University of Guelph, where I assist first years moving into residence and answer any questions that they have to ease their transition. I am very passionate about agriculture and the ag industry,  and I hope to work in this industry in the future as a veterinarian. 

I have already attended many community events such as the Fish Fry, District 7 Meeting, and I was in the Woodstock Santa Clause parade. I am enjoying my year so far as an ambassador, and I look forward to meeting many new people this year and getting more involved in my community. If you are interested or know anyone interested in the Ambassador program, please feel free to contact me with an questions you may have at

I will continue to post throughout the year about the events that I attend, so keep checking back!

My Year So Far

The past year has been one I will remember forever. I made so many new friends and had so many different opportunities. Here is a brief summary of the events I have had the pleasure of attending over the past year:

September: The Embro Fair

The weekend of the fair sure was a busy one! I was running from event to event, trying not to miss anything. The first day rained a lot, but that did not stop the kids from playing road hockey; Rain or shine, those games continued all day. Luckily, on the Sunday there wasn’t any rain so everyone could enjoy the outdoor events and the rides. My favorite part of the weekend was judging the pet show. The children and their pets were so cute! By the end of the weekend I became much better at impromptu speeches, as I had to say a little about myself at every event. I had a blast.

November: AGM

I attended the District 7 Annual General Meeting in Aberfoyle where I met all the other ambassadors in our district. They were all very nice and we became friends pretty quickly. At the ambassador program, Dr. Steve Noonan spoke to us on the power of positive thinking. This was a very inspiring and motivating talk.

November: Fish Fry

Also in November was the annual fish fry, this was a great success. The company and food were amazing.

December: Woodstock Annual Christmas Parade

In December I had the opportunity to ride in Woodstock’s Annual Christmas Parade. It was a cold, wet night but that didn’t stop the community from coming out to watch the parade. It was a lot of fun. I really like kids, and really enjoy the opportunities to interact with them and watch the joy on their faces as we went by, which I am sure had nothing to do with the candy being thrown from the floats.

February: OASS Convention

Most recently, I attended the OAAS Convention in Toronto with all of the other ambassadors in Ontario. These were an amazing few days. The other ambassadors were very fun and nice and I am sure the friendships we forged will remain over the years.

I look forward to attending the pasta supper next Friday!

About Me

Hi all,

My name is Katelyn MacKay and I am pleased to be the 2015-2016 Embro and Zorra Agricultural Society Ambassador. I grew up and currently reside on the family dairy farm just East of Embro. My sisters and I have participated in the fair and fair events over the years. I graduated from the University of Guelph in the spring of 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, majoring in Animal Science. Since graduation I have been working at Shur-Gain in St. Marys as a Ruminant Formulator. I also milk at my family farm on weekends.

In my free time, I enjoy volunteering, especially at agricultural events, including open farm days. I enjoy playing hockey, hunting, fishing, and spending time with friends and family. I am very passionate about agriculture, especially the dairy industry. I always strive to be an active agvocate, whether it is on social media or in person. I am an active member of the Ag Women’s Network and the Future Dairy Leaders Club. I have recently completed the first course of the Christopher Leadership Program in the Huron-Perth Chapter.

I am enjoying my year so far as the ambassador and I look forward to the rest of the year. If you are interested or know of anyone interested in the Ambassador program, feel free to send me an email with any questions or concerns you may have:

Stay tuned for more posts about my year so far and other events I attend.

Doors Open Oxford

Come On In! This year the Embro Fair as well as the Highland Games and Tug of War participated in Doors Open Oxford. It was a great day to bond, talk about our organizations, spread the word about the fair, and help get people involved.

Even though the weather turned a tad rainy and bit stormy we still had a great turn out for our first year participating. We were all overjoyed to spend the day talking about the organizations that are near and dear to our community and our hearts.

The laughs, discussions, hardwork, dedication, and people made this one for the books. I was glad to talk to our visitors about the Embro Fair and our traditions and we hope they will visit again soon.

Some of the highlights we had at our doors open event were a bagpipe demonstration, tug of war ropes, and a mock tug of war pull as well as many displays and photos from each organization.

Special thanks to my family for the Tim Hortons run for caffeine and sugar and to Katherine Grieve who supplied cold beverages and tastey treats to get everyone through the day.

I look forwards to seeing everyone out next year!

Pumpkin Time

It’s pumpkin time! This time of the school year was always my favourite as we would have our annual pumpkin seed assembly.

This year I had the privilage to join Anne Innes “The Pumkin Lady” at Zorra Highland Park and AJ Baker Public Schools to teach the students about pumpkin planting, the pumpkin competition and the Embro Fair. 

At Zorra, we went classroom to classroom promoting the fair, reading the pumpkin story, playing with the pumpkin patch puppet, and completing a pumpkin planting demo. Each classroom greated us with a warm welcome and true ZHPPS spirit. It was excellent to see so much enthusiasm and participation from each class and to hear the kids talk about their past experiences growing pumpkins to help eachother. It was great to be back at Zorra as i was able to see all my past teachers, meet the new staff, and see how the school has changed over the years. I was lucky enough to have an excellent tour guide named Abby who joined me on memory lane and got me up to the present. 

At AJ Baker we were invited into their morning assembly where we saw tremendous school spirit, the play “Murmel Murmel” by Robert Munsch, a guitar showcase, colour house cheers and so much more. It was a great first ever visit to AJ Baker for myself and I felt right at home! After the assembly we went classroom to classroom answering questions, reading our pumpkin book, playing with our pumpkin puppet and doing a mock pumpkin planting demonstration. 

Each student received a package containing five pumpkin seeds and Fair Books were sent home one per family. 

After seeing the excitement from all of kids this year’s Pumpkin Competition will hopefully have the greatest participation yet, as they compete for Pumpkin Prince and Princess as well as the Lucky Pumpkin Awards! 

I just can’t wait to see all these Pumpkins come September!

Victoria Day Parades

Twice the fun! This past weekend I was able to ride in not one but two parades in both Woodstock and Thamesford.

The first parade of the day was Woodstock’s Victoria Day Parade. Bright eyed and coffee in hand I met up with Marian Sterk and the 4H memebers to complete some quick pre-parade set up on the grounds to prepare the floats. Set up went pretty fast so i had some extra time to spend hanging out with the sweetest group of 4H’ers. Let me tell you, their energy and enthusiasm was incredible and rubbed off on everyone around them, including myself.

The parade was a lot of fun full of waves, smiles, and a few familiar faces in the crowd.

After the parade we quickly secured the floats and prepared to make the trip to our second parade of the day.

After some snacks and some sunscreen (thanks 4H’ers!) we were ready to begin our route in the Thamesford Calithumpian Parade.

THe 4H groups were incredibly helpful at handing out information about the fair to those along the parade route and I don’t think I can thank them enough for everything! You guys truely made our community proud.

When we neared the end of the route some Cali Weekend volunteers handed out pixie sticks, giving us all a much needed sugar rush after a long hot day.

Special thanks to Marian Sterk for driving, my new 4H friends, and both parade committees. What an incredible experience!