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2020 Convention

At the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites and Conference Centre

See you Feb. 13-15, 2020

Please Contact

Kathryn Lambert,

Convention Administrator

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Phone: 519-287-3553

Book your Hotel Rooms starting MAY1ST 

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2014 OAAS Convention – Saturday Morning Roundtable Summaries

#1 - Ideas for celebrating 4-H Ontario's 100th Anniversary

  • Fair theme
  • Life skills and livestock achievement at fair and crops – 4H classes and open
  • Make sure 4-H is identified -> logos signage
  • Have a 4-H Awards Night include the Ag Society
  • Special 100th 4-H float in the parade -> each club decorated a bale on the float
  • Roadside decoration competition -> have on a wagon so it can be moved to promote 4-H
  • 4-H member free admission to RAWF
  • Special decorated cakes
  • Provide financial support for 4-H members
  • Make next year's theme for the fairs is celebrating 4-H in Ontario
  • Have a separate class for 4-h skills , call leader to find out what clubs have been done and what classes they would like to see, do not have to pay a membership fee
  • Organization committee where club can set up a display for no charge
  • Opened some sections up-> 4-H posters board category
  • 4-H displays (need extra space for this theme)
  • Had one of 4-H Ambassadors come to the fair, participates with the kids, part of the opening ceremonies, helped at the beef show, interacted with youth
  • Homecraft -> to have some categories that are 4-H related
  • Variation in theme-> Heritage, Harvest, Heart , Home
  • Inviting local 4-H to the fair
  • Signage posters for kids and adults
  • Given 4-H 2 8ft tables to do as they with, bring alot of handouts, haves someone manning the table and bring small animals
  • 4-h is given dominance in the fair, and their 4-H classes will be moved out there
  • Will be setting up historical area
  • Display old 4-H manuals the old spoons etc.
  • Hope that 4-H Ontario will have advertising on this
  • New programs and expanding the information about it out in to the community
  • Fairboard-> feed the 4-H kids, want something to do something else special for the kids
  • 4-H clubs have a space
  • Make a quilt all done in green and white and sell raffle tickets
  • Fair opening make them part of it
  • Get media coverage about 4-H
  • Put 4-H logo on the pamphlet handed out at gate
  • Use social media put the 4-H logo on their facebook
  • Radio coverage
  • Commemorative ribbons
  • 4-H Parade around the grounds, have the 4H'rs wear special shirts, long red ribbon, have every kids with scissors cut ribbon to open fair, have cow, horse etc, in parade
  • Invite the former 4-H members /volunteers to the fair
  • Livestock classes for past 4-H members from 50's, 60's, 70's etc.
  • Class for displaying 4-h spoons
  • Community dance and ask for 4-H memorabilia, to have on display
  • Gather trophies and create a display case at fairgrounds
  • 4-H current membership get into fair free
  • 4-H membership card 50% off
  • 10% off ride coupons with 4-H card
  • Have Maple the Cow to help teach
  • Invite a 4-h Ambassador with displays or ice breakers
  • Cupcakes-> get a cupcake when finding out information on 4-H
  • Big birthday sign to post for 4-H to have at the fair, give to the 4-H to use at their fairs/clubs
  • Ask about using logo maybe get permission
  • Parade, cut ribbon -> give a 4-H kids a t-shirt
  • Regional show -> parade of all kids come in and introduce each county in the region
  • Arena floor is being dedicated to 4-H
  • Booth staffed by 4-H so they can give out information
  • Promote it to adults to get leaders
  • Education is huge
  • Check 4-H Ontario website to see what information is out there
  • Live stock shows and Homecraft Competitions
  • Have each club do something/activity with fair
  • Special awards-> specific to 100th –special 4-H ribbons
  • 4-H birthday party
  • Ask 4-H Ambassador to attend fair, have a booth
  • Mobile trailer booth, to promote all area 4-H clubs
  • Kids Day stations-one is 4-H , hand out information
  • 4-H fashion show, model what they make, have show with fashions from all the decades/ past projects
  • Open exhibit/display area for 4-H memorabilia display
  • 3 or more generations of square dancing show

#2 - Dealing with pets(other than service animals) on the Grounds during the Fair

  • Only allowed Sunday at pet show must leave after ( this is to be put in prize book)
  • Rules set NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!!
  • Have a "doggie daycare"
  • Must be firm and directive with the rules
  • Had to enforce "no dogs"
  • Time line whether animals allowed
  • Common concern with all fairs
  • Dogs in farm animal areas
  • Allow pets or ban completely -> leashed and muzzled
  • Adult at gates or with youth people
  • Have a kennel facilities available for small charge
  • Pet show-> honour system, not during busy time
  • Biosecurity -> keep away from farm animals , so no disease spread
  • No pets in food areas: health problems
  • Fair goers with allergies from dogs
  • Signs at gates re: leashed and muzzled or no dogs allowed
  • Make garbage cans with poop bags available
  • Bring back to "risk management" not liable for your dog
  • Children carrying snakes around the grounds, great concerns for the public, director asked to put away
  • No pets signs distributed
  • 3rd party with the ground owner provides the property for an event , person is bitten then the suing process begins
  • If the dog is visible at the gate, the person is denied access
  • Midway staff-have dogs leashed
  • Kennel provided , could be a fundraiser
  • Exhibits building serving food, no dogs hand to control, Health Dept, will close down
  • Advertising to inform the public only service dogs
  • Proper signage for fairgoers
  • Consider putting pet rules on exhibiters forms
  • Kids don't understand difference between good and bad dogs
  • Muzzles could be used
  • Agility course for dogs could bring your own dogs, keep in one area
  • A vendor had a dog- bite someone
  • Moved the pet show from Sunday afternoon to Friday night
  • Signs to keep dogs out of animal areas
  • Gave passes to people who took pets home after pet show

#3 - Effective ways to Share Volunteers, Equipment and ideas with your district societies

  • Kids to help volunteer gets shirts and feed a meal to each day
  • Sign up sheet for Jr. Members 12 years to 21
  • Cadets for gates 7% their take
  • Joint concert and share cost and profits
  • Share staff
  • Scouts or Guides help to clean up grounds
  • Work together and to get a shared resources
  • Council members to help- schools looking to raise funds for trips
  • Get kids to do junior executive
  • Merge 2 fairs
  • ALL equipment has to have a contract
  • All keys have to be signed out
  • Have a list on O.A.A.S. site about extra equipment for rent
  • Share one night at another fair for volunteers
  • Hire a hockey or service club to work gates gets a percentage
  • Weekend can have an effect for volunteers
  • Kids for community hours-> go to schools
  • Retired business employees volunteers businessmen given money back to their organization
  • Share rental equipment
  • Rent gates-> borrow from other fairs
  • Organization donate tents, and do gates student do bracelets
  • Time of fair can have effect –summer or fall
  • Can buy stuff then rent if afterwards

#4 - Showcasing Farm Gate Produce at your fair

  • Host market tent-> with displays cooking demos form Foodland Ontario
  • Fresh vs. store
  • Keep segments short
  • Handouts
  • Cooking demos
  • Chef's challenge -> Royal used as protocol need commentator
  • Community showcase(locally produced/business
  • Outdoor vendors of fruits and veggies
  • Ag Alive tent
  • $75.00 for 4 days booth cost -> shared volunteers/vendors
  • Use central cash for vendors-> each vendor has a receipt book
    -profit over $500 share with fair board
    -host debit machines
    -hosted by fair board
    -corn bin for kids to play while parents shop
    -Scouts do crafts at slow times to bring in crafts
  • Local vendor parks close to gate
  • 50'x20' space
  • End of September
  • If in August will have more vendors
  • Exhibitors fee $200. 00 for 20' space
  • Leave enough room near gates where people can see it
  • Meet your local farmer – in a tent
  • Represent each producer with table dairy, fruit, veggies, beef
  • Fair pays $125 to each producer to be there and give out samples for free
  • No selling from the meet and greet tent
  • Have dressed up "mascots" bring people free samples
  • Great commodity promotion -> set out expectations to producer for what you want from them i.e.; examples , pamphlets educating
  • Cooking classes with local produce
  • Farmers market on fairgrounds
  • Put a few vendors near gate on Sunday afternoon, so people leaving fair can pick up their items
  • Charge a small amount for rental space
  • How do you separate market buyers from fair goers at the gate?
  • Theme: farm gate to dinner plate
  • Display at front gate or inside building
  • Farmers market just inside gate for parking no charge to use market
  • Separate committee to manage vendors
  • Giant pumpkin -> seeds for directors competition

#5 - Fabulous Programs for Children

  • Youth talent show
  • Colouring activity in Homecraft area, also a scavenger hunt one item form each area of Homecraft
  • Grain and corn play tables
  • Lumber company-sponsors craft tool box or bird house free to take home
  • Children's games sack races, 3 legged races, cash prizes
  • Bike rodeo
  • Winner of talent show perform on last day of air, get their prize money when they perform
  • Teddy bear contest -child dresses up too
  • Mom and dad calling contest, skipping hoola hoop, tricycle races
  • Kids world -> childfind
  • Blow up house –shiners' (kids programs)
  • Animals-fish ponds
  • Small train for kids
  • Pizza project -> 8 slices of farming -> show how pizza is made-> partner with pizza place-> milk producer, each child takes a tomato plant they planted
  • Animal shelters for kids to climb inside
  • Touch the textures of the plants and crops
  • High school students for volunteers hours
  • 4-H design activities for the kids
  • Face painting
  • Mini tractor pull
  • Family circle tent -> entertainment from convention, corn table, Maple the Cow
  • Petting zoo
  • Agriculture Awareness for Grade 4
  • Lego bin so they can build
  • Colouring pages
  • Dog show
  • Education day for grades 3-7
  • Set up as stations to fit school program
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Youth talent competition
  • Lawn mower races 4-H age and up
  • Kid games loonie in straw
  • Balloon animals
  • Corn table
  • School competitions
  • Touch the truck-> kids like to touch combines, fire trucks, tractors , army equipment
  • Local museum to do a display
  • Pony rides
  • Junior fair area
  • Baby show
  • Plowmans farm yard, different them each year
  • Station for quieting down children
  • Little Rays Reptiles , face painting, balloon animals, tent rental for junior fair and 4-H
  • Start with parade for children, treasure hunt, business donate prizes to business
    Kiddie corral – learning station to walk trough set with bales of hay
  • Dinner theater for fundraiser
  • Building designated for children
  • Farm equipment – John Deere for children to play with
  • Pumpkins to decorate
  • Kinsmen have a tent bring in straw , clothes from Goodwill to make scarecrows
  • Make ice cream sundaes
  • Zucchini races-> build a car out of a zucchini and race it
  • Baby races
  • Bike draw-> drop off @ local schools then have the kids bring the ballot to the fair to drop off, must be there to win
  • For each child's entry into the fair they get a penny sale ticket
  • Pet show-> stuffed animals best dressed, biggest , unique name
  • Corn box
  • Games of chance- water bottle ping pong
    - Bow and arrows
    - Fish pond
    - Bean bag toss
    - Plinko
    - Hockey shoot out
    - Face painting
  • Wheel chair races
  • Draw for schools
  • Rader gun (police officer) how fast can they throw the ball, hockey shot
  • Lollipops tree
  • Trail through barn(like scavenger hunt)
  • Volunteer run
  • Ag Education for Grade 3's curriculum orientated
  • Outdoor Stage-> entertainment is geared towards younger youth
  • Home Hardware sponsors craft for kids; bird houses, plant carrots
  • Library tent mats to sit on read story and craft, have a story hour
  • Needle in a haystack – wood dowel buried in bale with hay probe , kids rip apart the bale to find dowel
  • Dance school – performers plus a slash mob, filmed on web facebook
  • Passport system for children
  • Secret garden quiet games and activities for parents to take children
  • Early years children's program will loan free equipment for activities
  • Cookies donated so kids can decorate and eat
  • Straw roll out – kids find popsicle
  • Texting program

#6 - Hand Quilted versus Machine Quilted versus Long Arm

  • OAAS must set standard
  • Made and quilted by owner- must be proven
  • Judge long arm differently
  • Encourage exhibitors to attend judging schools for quilts
  • Develop close relationship with Guilds - so they understand OAAS rules of competition and how they may be same…or differ…with their own - as they can ensure future of competitions
  • 5 year process for making any change
  • Prize books must have complete/accurate and up to date rules for OAAS competitions
  • MUST use OAAS trained judges
    -Should we use quilt judges who don't quilt? if you don't "do" you don't quilt?
  • Judges need to get over "colour barrier"/ colour discrimination"
  • Why not category for "art quilts"
  • Long arm 8' & 4 '

# 7 - Grants and Funding Sources

  • Possible Sources: - Summer Jobs for Students program Celebrate Ontario Tourism,Trillium, OMAF TD Bank Fed.Dev - Esso – 500 Canada Post , Accessibility , Monsanto.ca, Agri Spirit, BMO ( retired
    employees) Pioneer, Bruce Nuclear, ( check Websites) GF2/Growing Forward 2, Foodland Ontario, Check Regional Gov't, County, Municipality for grants
  • CFDC will help with writing
  • OAAS should provide application "how to"
  • OAAS should maintain inventory of Societies that have been successful…ask them to mentor others
  • Proper wording important
  • Answer questions thoroughly and honestly
  • Trillium has chat room and great workshops for new applicants

#8 - Effective Ambassador Program

  • Draw from 4-H, Junior Farmers, High School
  • Have nomination plan to encourage candidates
  • Use local sponsors who will find their own candidates…ie summer students, sons/daughters of employees
  • Have past participants recruit new candidates
  • Ensure judges are "from away" and don't know competitors
  • Set complete guidelines and provide to competitors early on.
  • Use CNE rules of competition so ambassadors become very familiar with requirements
  • Make competition more than just a speech and fancy dress
  • Bring in guests to "educate" ie Toastmaster to assist with speeches, esthetician to help with grooming, coaches for posture, meet & greet…..
  • Consider Junior Program to help prepare for Senior Ambassadors, perhaps even Little Prince and Princess
  • Question: is it time to move away from tiara and sash??
    How do we remove impression of "beauty contest"?
  • Promote the benefits of the experience
  • Instead of impromptu questions, pull object out of a bag and ask candidates to talk about it
  • Post everything on the website
  • Use ambassador from one fair as judge for another
  • Involve competitors in competitions throughout the fair and choose winner at end of fair

#10 - Code of Conduct

  • good to write down so you can refer back to if there is an issue
  • some fairs are working on policy and procedure manuals and writing code of conduct
  • research other code of conducts to get ideas
  • common courtesy is disappointing
  • need conduct guidelines for meetings at fair and committees
  • it is just framework
  • what should be in it
  • needs consequences
  • don't want to be over burdened with process and documentation
  • if you don't want a code of conduct how do you deal with conflict
  • how much effort can be put into this journey
  • if you had a written code would it stop negative behaviours
    -need a policy or procedure to deal with conflict
    -don't have resources to deal with complicated processes
    -the process in writing it would be valuable
  • is it review annually
  • how do you train new directors? Orientation main component
  • 24 hour rule- wait 24 hours before you take action or complain
  • No business profit
  • Recommend police check for directors
  • O.A.A.S. has one
  • Milverton has a contract to be signed had a visioning and strategic sessions to determine market

Round Table #11

  • Strategic plans, policies, procedures and constitutions
  • Not accessing policies and procedures
  • Need to hand out to all people on the board
  • Procedures need to be look at and updated
  • O.A.A.S. guidance with updating
  • Encourage fairs to bring constitutions to next year's convention to share , hard to update but need to be reviewed every year
  • Long process
  • Decisions are often made without consulting policies and procedures
  • Some fairs are not sure what the constitutions are or how to use
  • Concerns on how to handle problem member
  • A code of conduct is an issue at some fairs, how to handle personal conflicts, how to fire a volunteer?
  • Bullying within the board, how to handle this?
  • Policies on how to handle extra money in bank accounts, reserve spend reinvest
  • Did up a policy and procedure manual
  • OMAF will sit down with you and advise the step you should take to establish a policy manual
  • Should be updated every two years
  • O.A.A.S. should give guidance to new people coming onto a society
  • Every delegate should be required to attend at least 2 seminars and round tables to be paid , also give a written report
  • Bring copies of constitution to share next year
  • Transparency some cannot understand policies
  • Making small changes that make an impact
  • Start with surveys to understand about your