ROCKWOOD — Long-time 4-Her Mary Brander has been awarded 4-H Ontario’s 2021 Bertram and Hazel Stewart 4-H Dairy Youth Education Award and Bursary.
“Thank you so much to the Stewart family and everyone who made this award possible, and I am very honoured and excited to win this award,” said Brander, a Rockwood-area resident who credits 4-H for teaching her many skills related to both agriculture and life. She also feels that being part of 4-H has given her many wonderful experiences and lifelong friends.
Involved in 4-H since 2013, Brander has completed 56 clubs, including seven dairy clubs and various 4-H judging competitions. She has participated in many calf shows and has competed at both the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the World Dairy Expo. An active volunteer in her community, she also helps with the Rockwood Parade of Lights, an event her family hosts each year.
Awarded annually, the $1,000 award and bursary supports post-secondary education and honours the late Bertram and Hazel Stewart’s deep commitment and passion toward agriculture, education and 4-H.
“The decision to invest into this legacy was a simple one for our Mom and Dad,” said Kelly French, Award Committee Chair and daughter of the Stewarts. “Our Mom, Hazel, was an educator, a school teacher and a 4-H leader. Dad, Bertram Stewart, had a great passion for agriculture. Years of travelling the world [and] sharing his knowledge of the dairy cow never stopped him from taking an active role in promoting, leading, coaching and developing many of the events and 4-H programs. This scholarship blended the best parts of our parents; education, agriculture and 4-H.”
This year’s recipient was chosen by a selection committee from among eligible 4-H Ontario Dairy Club participants. The bursary is awarded to the winner upon completion of their first year of post-secondary education and continuous involvement in a 4-H dairy club.
To be eligible for the award, applicants must have participated in the 4-H Ontario Dairy Club for a minimum of three years and be in good standing as a current 4-H Dairy Club Participant in the year of application. Applicants must be enrolled in Grade 9, 10 or 11 and have expressed an interest in pursuing post-secondary education.
The bursary is made possible through the Stewart family’s investment in an endowment fund held and managed by the Ontario 4-H Foundation.
A virtual ceremony was held on October 29 to celebrate Brander, as well as Raechel Charleton and Morgan Anderson, previous award winners who have become eligible for their bursary funds. See the virtual ceremony below.