Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Veterinary Technology Program Popular at Ridgetown

VIEWS: 166 PAGES: 16

									                                                                                                                                                                                                                Spring 2005

  Yo u r R i d g e t o w n C o l l e g e C o n n e c t i o n
                                           A S E M I - A N N U A L N E W S L E T T E R F O R A L U M N I , S TA F F , S T U D E N T S , F R I E N D S A N D C L I E N T S O F R I D G E T O W N C O L L E G E

Veterinary Technology Program Popular at Ridgetown
MISSION: “The Ridgetown College Veterinary Technology program strives to produce graduates that provide responsible,
compassionate care for animals, have excellent technical skills, and are integral members of the veterinary team.”

Ridgetown College is well-known for               returned to Ridgetown in 1995.                                                                         There are many reasons why Ridgetown
its fifty–year history of agriculture             With new state-of-the-art facilities                                                                   College is the preferred choice for
diploma education. In the past ten                that were built to accommodate                                                                         students interested in a career working
years, however, it has also quickly               the specialized requirements of                                                                        with animals. “Students who attend
gained a reputation for providing                 veterinary industry training, the                                                                      Ridgetown benefit from an excellent
leading edge animal health training.              program hit the ground running.                                                                        technical and hands-on curriculum that
An Animal Health Technician diploma               From the beginning, students have                                                                      is reviewed regularly by an independent
was first initiated at Ridgetown College          had high praise for Ridgetown’s                                                                        advisory committee,” says Dr. Irene
in 1966. In 1969, however, this program           facilities and instructors. “Ridgetown                                                                 Moore, Co-ordinator of the Veterinary
relocated to the new Centralia College.           College gave me great experience in                                                                    Technology Diploma program. “We also
When Centralia College closed its                 surgery and medicine,” says Tammy                                                                      offer students the opportunity to work
doors, the program, now called the                Redding, a 1996 grad. “I also had                                                                      with both large and small animals,”
Veterinary Technology diploma,                    wonderful instructors that encouraged                                                                  says Moore.
                                                                   me in my studies.”                                                                    In addition to the conventional training
                                                                                        Now, ten years later,                                            format, students can complete the
                                                                                        the high number of                                               Veterinary Technology program through
                                                                                        applicants for this                                              Alternative Delivery, which combines
                                                                                        program proves its                                               six fall and winter distance education
                                                                                        continued popularity.                                            sessions with three on-campus summer
                                                                                        Each year, over 450                                              sessions. Both delivery options yield
                                                                                        people compete for                                               equally impressive results; students
                                                                                        the 40 available                                                 who graduate from Ridgetown College
                                                                                        openings in the                                                  consistently score top marks in the
                                                                                        Veterinary Technology                                            North American Veterinary Technician
                                                                                        program. This is                                                 registration examination.
                                                                                        despite the fact that                                            The high caliber of Ridgetown College’s
                                                                                        eight colleges in                                                Veterinary Technology program has not
                                                                                        Ontario now offer this                                           gone unnoticed by the veterinary
                                                                                        course, up from four                                             industry. The program is accredited
                                                                                        in 1995.
                                                                                                                                                                                               continued on page 2...
         Director’s Message
                            For the first time since 1998, there is a new face on the Director’s Message. As many of you may
                            know, Dr. Gary Ablett has accepted a temporary assignment with the University of Guelph as Chair of
                            the Plant Agriculture department, and I am pleased to be serving the College until his return. Having
                            worked in several capacities during my past 30 years at Ridgetown College, it is indeed an honour
                            and an opportunity to now contribute to the Ridgetown College family in this leadership role. Today,
                            I am happy to share with you some noteworthy highlights of Ridgetown College activities.

    It takes much dedicated work to make the annual Student           project, the team is continuing the final phase of the fund
    Open House, REVIEW a success. REVIEW was a great event            raising campaign. With 500 full-time students, and increased
    again this year and everyone who attended enjoyed new             enrollment expected in September 2005, the need to complete
    activities, as well as old favourites. Congratulations to the     this capital project increases. I hope everyone will consider
    students and staff for their excellent efforts.                   how he or she can make a difference with a gift to this
    In May, Ridgetown College will celebrate the first graduating     important project.
    class of students from the new Environmental Management           In closing, I invite you to join with me in welcoming Jana
    Diploma program. This has been a very successful new              Green to the temporary contract position of Conference
    program and applicant numbers are strong for fall 2005.           Co-ordinator. Jana will be in this position for one year while
    We are proud of the dedicated staff that have worked so           Marlene Morris is on maternity leave. Anyone wanting to book
    hard to implement and deliver this exciting new program.          special events or facilities at Ridgetown College can contact
    Congratulations to Program Co-ordinator, Ron Fleming,             Jana at 519-674-1588. Congratulations to Marlene Morris on
    and each of the knowledgeable teaching staff for their            beginning her family.
    fine instruction efforts.                                         I hope you enjoy the diversified stories about staff, students,
    This August, two fun events are being held for Ridgetown          alumni and friends as you read this issue. We welcome your
    College graduates – an Alumni golf tournament and an Alumni       comments by e-mail to
    BBQ. This is a great opportunity for you to come back to the
                                                                      Kindest Regards,
    College and renew old friendships. More details on page 11.
    As the Ridgetown College Agri-Food Foundation approaches
    home base on the Rudy H. Brown Rural Development Centre                                                           Dr. Ron Pitblado
                                                                                                   Acting Director, Ridgetown College

    Veterinary Technology Program Popular at Ridgetown ...continued from cover
    by the Canadian Veterinary Medical            program have many options. Some              excellent training, graduates are able to
    Association and the Ontario Association       choose to attend the University of           choose from many satisfying careers in
    of Veterinary Technicians. The facilities     Guelph, where they can receive up to         the animal care field, from running a
    and procedures are accredited by the          10 course credits towards a degree           pet store, to managing a vet clinic, to
    Canadian Council of Animal Care and           program. An articulation agreement           working in research.
    the College of Veterinarians of Ontario.      with Purdue University also allows           Ridgetown College continues to work
    Dr. Moore and her staff are currently         students to transfer credits towards         hard to maintain its status as one of the
    seeking something that will be a first        Purdue’s baccalaureate degree in             leading Veterinary Technology
    for any Veterinary Technology program         Veterinary Technology.                       programs in Canada. If you are
    in Canada – accreditation from the            The Veterinary Technology diploma is         interested in learning more about this
    American Veterinary Medical Association.      not an easy program. The course-load is      program, please contact Dr. Irene
    Students wanting to continue their            demanding, but the rewards are great.        Moore at 519-674-1666.
    education after graduating from this          Combining their love of animals with

1959 Graduate Well Deserving of 2004 Westag
Alumni Humanitarian Award
If being active keeps you young,        Plowing Match. Allister is still       both his local club and at the
Allister Cameron will be 16             involved in this activity, serving     District level and helped organize
forever! For most of his life,          as a Director for the Elgin County     the Dutton LEO club, a service club
                                        Plowman’s Association.                 for young people ages 12-19.
Allister has volunteered in various
organizations and been involved         In 1957, Allister enrolled at the      Because of his participation in the
                                        Western Ontario Agricultural           Lions Club, Allister has been
in his community. Because of his
                                        School, graduating near the top of     involved with many community
commitment to the community,            his class in 1959. He has remained     events and projects. Thirty-two
Allister is the deserving recipient     involved in alumni activities,         years ago, Allister had the idea to
of the 2004 Westag Alumni               helping out with fundraising for the   honour area farmers with a Farmers’
Humanitarian Award.                     Rural Development Centre and           Night. This highly successful event
                                        organizing the annual alumni           has been held every year since,
Allister Cameron was born in St.
                                        curling bonspiel.                      featuring excellent speakers and
Thomas and has spent most of his
                                        Following graduation, Allister         entertainment. He also started the
life at R R 3 Dutton. As a teen-ager,
                                        farmed with his father and worked      Sportsfest Weekend which is held in
Allister enjoyed 4-H and completed
                                        part-time for the Ontario              Dutton every July. This is a major
24 agricultural clubs. He was also
                                        Department of Agriculture. He          fundraiser and a popular event,
an active member of the Elgin
                                        joined Farm Credit Corporation in      with ball teams attending from near
County Junior Farmers,
                                        1963, retiring in 1998. “My greatest   and far. Allister can always be
participating on the club’s square
                                        satisfaction came from being able to   counted on to be in the food booth
dancing team and serving as
                                        help my clients at the grass roots,”   at the Wallacetown Fair and the
President. His experience in 4-H
                                        says Cameron. The esteem in            Kettle Creek Valley Pioneers’
and Junior Farmers helped him
                                        which he was held was evident          breakfast, and is often seen working
acquire the skills, knowledge and
                                        when many of his former clients        charity Bingos or scrubbing the
experience that have enabled him to
                                        attended his retirement party.         kitchen floor in the Lions Den. It’s
be such an asset to his community.
                                                                               easy to see why Allister has been
At a young age, Allister proved his     The community of Dutton has
                                                                               twice honoured as Lion of the Year.
prowess in the field in plowing         benefited tremendously from having
                                        Allister as a resident. Allister was   In the rare time that he’s not doing
competitions. At
                                        invited to join the Dutton and         community service, Allister enjoys
the tender age
                                        District Lions Club in 1968 and has    golfing and curling.
of 16, he
started a                                had perfect attendance ever since.    Allister and his wife Carolyn have
three-year                                He has held executive positions in   recently moved to a condo in
reign as                                                                       London, but in spite of the move,
Champion                                                                       he continues to be involved in his
Plowman                                                                        rural community. “You can take the
at the                                                                         boy out of the country,” he says,
Elgin                                                                          “but you can’t take the country
                                                                               out of the boy.”
                                                                               Thank you for giving so much of
                                                                               your time to the community, Allister,
                                                                               and congratulations on winning the
                                                                               2004 Humanitarian Award.

                                                                                       Allister Cameron and his wife Carolyn

       Veterinary Technology Graduates Find Rewarding
       Careers in Biomedical Research
       When most students apply for the Veterinary Technology diploma at Ridgetown College, they picture themselves
       caring for beloved family pets or large farm animals. Very few envision that their jobs will include snuggling up
       to rats! Some Ridgetown grads, however, after obtaining their Registered Veterinary Technician status, have
       found rewarding careers working with lab animals in research. And five of our graduates are working at
       McMaster University.

       McMaster University is located in Hamilton, Ontario        Growing up on a dairy farm in Jarvis, Laura had
       and is one of the leading institutions in Canada using     always been around animals. Her family also owned
       animals for biomedical research. Twenty animal health      Hagersville Pet Supply, so it was inevitable that Laura
       technicians work at McMaster’s Central Animal Facility     would eventually work with animals.
       (CAF), ensuring that thousands of research animals are     Laura says it was easy to make the decision to attend
       fed and watered, healthy, and have a clean environment.    Ridgetown College. “Not only did Ridgetown offer one
       Tammy Redding grew up in Hamilton and chose the            of the leading Vet Tech programs in Ontario, but its
       Ridgetown College Veterinary Technology program            small size and rural setting allowed me to feel very
       because it offered the most versatility in an accredited   comfortable for my first time away from home,”
       environment. She graduated in 1996, as part of             she says.
       Ridgetown’s first Veterinary Technology class after the    Laura got her first taste of laboratory animal medicine
       program returned to Ridgetown College from Centralia.      during a senior year placement at the University of
       For nine years after graduating, Tammy worked full-
       time in multi-clinic practices in Hamilton in addition
       to working part-time in an emergency clinic. In
       December 2004, she decided to explore opportunities
       in research and began working as a Junior Veterinary
       Technician at McMaster. “A Vet Tech diploma from
       Ridgetown prepares students for a variety of career
       choices,” says Tammy. “It gives students the freedom
       to make their own career path.”
       Tammy enjoys her work in the laboratory and looks
       forward to future career advancements. “There are
       many benefits to working in a research setting, such
       as a higher wage than the industry average, health
       and dental benefits, and the potential to work your
       way up in the field,” says Tammy. “Most importantly,
       I like being involved in something that could result
       in a higher quality of life for millions of people.”
       While Tammy works in research to help others,
       Laura Gee (‘99) chose a career in research for a more
       personal reason. “I have been a diabetic since I was
       seven years old and I really appreciate all the good
       that can come from animal research,” says Laura.
       “If it had not been for the dogs used for insulin
       research at the University of Toronto in 1921,                 Tammy Robson (left) and Amber Faraday with one of the thousands
                                                                                 of animals in McMaster’s research lab.
       I might not be here today.”

                                                     researchers, teaching                looking for a new challenge.
                                                     facility training courses,           Tammy had heard from fellow
                                                     and supervising junior staff         classmates Lucas Nightingale and
                                                     members.                             Shawna Lussier of their success
                                                     “Any Veterinary Technician           working in research facilities,
                                                     with an interest in                  so in 2001 she accepted a job as
                                                     laboratory medicine should           a technician at McMaster. Tammy
                                                     definitely seek a career in          is now a Senior Health Technician
                                                     research. I have been                in McMaster’s CAF.
                                                     working in the research              “Like me, I think many vet techs
                                                     community for four years,            working in a clinic reach a point
                                                     and have loved every                 where they need a change,” says
                                                     moment!” says Laura.                 Tammy. “By exploring a career in
                                                           Tammy Robson, another          research, I have been exposed to
                                                           1999 grad, originally          more opportunities than I ever
                                                           wanted to be a veterinarian.   thought possible.”
                                                           Her high school co-op          When Kelly Neil was hired in 2003,
                                                           placement, however, helped     she became the third 1999
                                                           her realize that she           Ridgetown grad to join the CAF
                                                           preferred the work done by     team. Kelly was raised in Kingston
     Laura Gee puts a mouse in an anesthetic chamber.      veterinary technicians.        and received a Bachelor of Science
                                                           Once this career path was      degree from McMaster University
Guelph main campus. She had                        chosen, Ridgetown College was her      in 1997. That fall, she traveled
always been interested in research, school of choice. “I definitely                       down the 401 to start her
and this placement confirmed                       wanted to get my diploma at            Veterinary Technology diploma
her desire to pursue a career                      Ridgetown because the facility is      at Ridgetown College.
in this field.                                     amazing,” says Tammy. “At the          Prior to starting College, Kelly
After graduation, Laura put her                    time, it was the only school           was sure she would end up in the
dream of working in research on                    accredited by the Canadian             research field, but at the end of
the back burner; she worked in                     Veterinary Medical Association,        senior year, she decided to work in
a clinical setting and as a sales                  and the small town atmosphere          a mixed animal clinic in Fisherville.
person for a leading pet food                      allowed me to concentrate on my        “It was a great experience and I
manufacturer. Her passion for                      studies.”                              was able to use a lot of the skills
research finally came to fruition in Tammy began working at a small                       I learned in school,” she says. But
2001 when she joined the Central                   animal practice in Hamilton and        after three years, she was ready
Animal Facility at McMaster. Laura thought she would stay there for                       for a change and Kelly found
is now a Lead Technician,                          her entire career. However, she        herself back at McMaster, this
responsible for providing daily care soon felt that her talents weren’t                   time as an employee.
for several species of animals,                    being fully utilized and began
providing technical assistance to                                                                      continued on page 6...

                      “By exploring a career in research,
                  I have been exposed to more opportunities
                        than I ever thought possible.”
                                – Tammy Robson, 1999 Veterinary Technology Graduate

    Veterinary Technology Graduates Find Reward in Biomedical Research
       ...continued from page 5                          when you can’t use all the skills       in taking care of these valuable
       Like Laura Gee, Kelly is a Lead                   you were trained in.”                   animals, biomedical research
       Technician and is proud of this                   But because she sees great value        would be impossible.”
       achievement in her career.                        in her work, Kelly notes that her       Amber Faraday, class of 2002,
       “This type of job is not for all                  job satisfaction is high. “Our job      chose Ridgetown College because
       technicians,” says Kelly. “You have               is crucial for advances in the          her high school guidance counselor
       to start from the bottom and work                 prevention and treatment of             advised her that it was the leading
       your way up, and there are times                  disease. Without our expertise          edge school for Veterinary
                                                                                                 Technology. Amber received her
                                                                                                 diploma using the alternative
                                                                                                 delivery format, which is a three
                                                                                                 year program combining on-
                                                                                                 campus training in the summer
                                                                                                 with correspondence courses
                                                                                                 throughout the rest of the year.
                                                                                                 This option allowed her
                                                                                                 to continue to work while she
                                                                                                 completed her education.
                                                                                                 Amber began working as a Junior
                                                                                                 Health Technician at McMaster
                                                                                                 in the spring of 2004 and enjoys
                                                                                                 being independent and having her
                                                                                                 own job responsibilities. Like the
                                                                                                 other Ridgetown grads at McMaster,
                                                                                                 Amber is thrilled to be working in
                                                                                                 research. “You are constantly
                                                                                                 learning new things and you feel
                                                                                                 like you are a part of something
                                                                                                 huge,” she says.
                                                                                                 Amber is also very positive about
                                                                                                 the job prospects for other
                                                                                                 Veterinary Technology program
                                                                                                 grads. “There are so many
                                                                                                 opportunities in the vet tech
                These five Veterinary Technology grads are enjoying their careers in research.   world. Feel free to try them all,”
                         Back (left to right): Laura Gee, Tammy Redding, Tammy Robson            she advises.
                                   Front (left to right): Kelly Neil, Amber Faraday

                                                         Veterinary Technology grads can now keep in touch and discuss industry
                                                         issues with a new Vet Tech Forum on the Ridgetown College website. Visit
                                                and click on Vet Tech Alumni for
                                                         more information or to post a notice.

Donations of Time and Equipment Provide
Valuable Support to New Environmental
Management Diploma
In 2003, Ridgetown College began offering its newest program, the Environmental Management diploma. This
program has been very successful with over sixty-five students enrolling in the first two years, and even higher
enrollment expected in September 2005. The first class of students will graduate this May, and many have
already been offered positions in their field.
This program owes its success, in no small part,                             Armin Auerswald is a retired electrician from Stoney
to the generous support of several related businesses.                       Point. For the past year, Armin has been a fixture in
Lab tools, specialty glassware and chemical reagents                         the environmental lab, refurbishing, repairing and
are all required in a well-equipped teaching lab,                            rebuilding the older equipment.
and Ridgetown College has been fortunate to                                  “There were many items in storage that were not
receive valuable equipment donations from the                                being used any more,” says Deborah Hills, an
following companies:                                                         instructor in the Environmental Management
                                                                             program. “Having him return this equipment to
BioMedia Unlimited, Ltd., Toronto, Ontario                                   working order has been a wonderful gift. The labs at
Isaac Technologies Corporation, Windsor, Ontario                             Ridgetown College are now as well-equipped and well-
                                                                             maintained as any industry lab, better preparing our
Jade Scientific, Canton, Michigan
                                                                             students for the workplace,” she says.
Omstead Foods Limited, Wheatley, Ontario
                                                                             Armin is modest when praised for his work. “It gives
Ontario Food Technology Centre, Chatham, Ontario.                            me something to do,” he says.
                                                                             Many thanks to Armin and private industry for their
In addition to the valuable equipment donated to the                         generous gifts of time and equipment to the programs
program, one volunteer has provided hundreds of                              at Ridgetown College. Your contributions are
hours of his time to help make the Environmental                             greatly appreciated.
Management diploma a success.

               Among his many tasks, Armin Auerswald (right) has rebuilt a water still, fabricated aluminum rings to contain samples, and
             made beaker storage racks. He also installed this new muffle furnace and designed and manufactured the exhaust system for it.   7
                Westag Alumni Association News
                  Westag Alumni Association President’s Message

                             Fellow Westags, Come on Back!
                             This summer, Westags are invited back to Ridgetown for two special events. A golf
                             tournament will be held on Friday, August 19th and the Alumni Association Annual Meeting
                             and BBQ will follow on August 20th. These events offer everyone a great chance to reconnect
                             with old friends and come back to a place we called home for a short, but important time.
                             See you this summer!
                             Maureen Hagan
                             President, Westag Alumni Association

       Ridgetown College Alumni
       Return for Annual Bonspiel
       The Annual Ridgetown College Alumni Curling
       Bonspiel was held on Saturday, January 15th at the
       Ridgetown Curling Club. Sixty-four alumni and friends
       of Ridgetown College participated in this year’s event.
       “There was a great representation of graduates from
       the last 52 years,” says tournament organizer Les
       Hogg. “We had a team from the first graduating class             Although they aren’t graduates, Ken Nesbit and Jim Young were
                                                                        familiar faces to many curlers. Jim is a former Dean of Men and
       in 1953 and one curler from the class of 2004.”                          Ken was the Recreation Director from 1978-1991.
       Distance was certainly not a factor for the curlers.
       Alumni from as far as Lucknow, Coldwater and                 first draw. Duane Morden (‘82) skipped his team of
       Jarvis made their annual trek back to Ridgetown              Bryan Stirling (‘83), Pete Wright and Bryan Brodie
       for the bonspiel.                                            to the top spot in the 2nd draw.
       Al Howard and his team of Brian Jackson, Al Kominek          The bonspiel committee is already planning next year’s
       and Dave Bilyea, all from the class of 1978, won the         event, tentatively scheduled for January 14, 2006.

       The Class of 1954 Gathers
       to Celebrate 50 Years
       In 1954, thirty-seven young men graduated from the
       Western Ontario Agricultural School, eager to start a
       career in agriculture. In November 2004, fifteen of
       them came to the Alumni Banquet to celebrate their
       50-year anniversary.
       Congratulations to everyone in the
       Class of ‘54 on this milestone!
                                                                           Back (left to right): Frank Holik, Jim Wilkins, Murray Wright,
                                                                        Tony Tetrault, Ron Ireland, Glenn Wootton, Marv Little, Ray Little,
                                                                                            John Gleeson, Andrew Martyn
                                                                            Front (left to right): Chris Wolff, Bruce Bycraft, Bill Bilton,
                                                                                               Norm Pierce, Bill Knights
       Alumnus Gives the Coat Off
       His Back to College Museum
       Thanks to Harlan Nash, the Ridgetown College
       museum has a new piece of history. Nash,
       a 1955 grad, recently had his class jacket
       restored and decided to give it to the
       College to commemorate his 50th
       anniversary. Harlan’s son Dale is a
       1976 grad; he also has a class coat
       but he’s not quite ready to part with
       it yet – maybe in another 21 years!

Harlan (left) and Dale Nash show off a vintage WOAS jacket.

       Alumni Corner
       To have your news printed in a future issue of Roots, please contact Janet Nauta at 519-674-1504
       or send an e-mail to with the subject ‘Roots news’.

       Rod Stapleton (‘67) and his wife Ann have four            Janice Brooks (‘98) and Matthew Dick (‘99) were
       married sons, six grandchildren and are looking           married in November of 1999. They live near Owen
       forward to the arrival of another grandchild this         Sound and operate an organic cash crop, pork and beef
       spring. Rod recently retired from Freedom 55              farm. Matthew drives a livestock truck and Janice is
       Financial after 34 years as a financial security          home looking after the farm and their two children.
       advisor. Rod and Ann still live on the family
                                                                 Gregg Ogilvie (‘00) is enrolled in the Doctor of
       farm in Kingsville, Ontario.
                                                                 Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program (Class of 2008)
       Elizabeth (Geroly) Friedmann (‘77) lives in Port          at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.
       Hope with her husband and three children. She is
                                                                 James Ring (‘03) married Sereena Trowbridge on
       an educational assistant for the Kawartha Pine Ridge
                                                                 September 25, 2004. He and his wife recently moved
       District School Board.
                                                                 to Chipman, New Brunswick, where they have 150
       Lisa (Szabad) Jennings (‘84) has switched careers.        acres of land. James hopes to one day clear this land
       After more than 15 years as a lab technician/co-          and start an agricultural enterprise. He currently
       ordinator at 3M Canada in London, Lisa married            works at the Chipman Sawmill. James invites his
       Scott Jennings in October, 2003. She now lives in         former classmates to contact him at
       Parry Sound and is a stay-at-home Mom to her son
       Aaron, born in January, 2004.
                                                                 In Memoriam
       Terry Sleegers (‘95) married Jenny Sinasac in 2003
                                                                 Carl Shaw (‘57) passed away on February 21, 2005.
       and they live in Ingersoll. Terry works at Kintore
       Boxes Lumber Yard and also on the family farm.            Scott Daly (‘82) died suddenly as the result of a car
                                                                 accident on October 2, 2004. Scott and his wife
       Kim (Huson) Surette (‘97) married Paul Surette on
                                                                 Jennifer lived in Dresden and owned Babcock Supply,
       September 25, 2004. They are currently living in
                                                                 a precast concrete company.
       Guelph where Kim works in a veterinary dental
       referral clinic.                                          Jake Hayward (‘97) passed away on February 8, 2005
                                                                 as the result of a car accident.

       Date Set for 2005 Alumni Banquet
       All graduates from years ending in a 0 or 5 – THIS IS YOUR REUNION YEAR!
       The 2005 Westag Alumni Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 19th at Club Lentina in Chatham.
       Watch for your invitation in the mail in October.
        Looking for Alumni Contact Info
        The 2005 Westag Alumni banquet for graduates in years ending in a 5 or 0 is quickly approaching. Our alumni
        mailing list is missing the addresses for some of these grads, and we need your help to get it updated. If you
        have contact information for any of these people, please call Janet at 519-674-1504, or send an e-mail to

           For a complete list of Ridgetown College “Lost Alumni”, visit

        1955                        Wolfgang Laush              Laurence Wiens               William Clark
        Clarence Cornelius          Martin McCracken            1985                         Mark Daponte
        1960                        Patricia Myers              David Bowering               Marja De Jong
        Robert Brown                Karen Stack                 Donald Buchanan              Ed Decuethe
                                    Kenneth Waites              Cliff Carrothers             Lela Dorrington
        1965                        Duane Watt                                               Julie Dray
        John Bechard                                            Diane Carrothers
                                    Grant Wilson                Tim Cowan                    Evert Dykman
        Edmund Bezaire                                                                       Denise Erwin
        Orvil Burnett               1980                        John Dawson
                                    Samuel Adie                 Matthew Dunn                 Ruth Falkins
        Danny Coward                                                                         Cynthia Fieten
        William Demars              Donald Armstrong            Michael Foote
                                    Edward Cambeta              Mark Forbes                  Michael Gautreau
        Phillip Humphrey                                                                     Brian Hathaway
        Paul Johnston               Fay Cowan                   Laura Goff
                                    Sarah Dekergommeaux         Gordon Illes                 R. David Jenkinson
        John Kelly                                                                           Jeffery Mirth
        Edward Ouellette            Richard Dougall             David Kints
                                    David Feaver                Dianne Krushel               Katherine M. Moore
        John Patterson                                                                       Lisa Murphy
        Francis Robinson            Pedro Fernandez             Robert Kuchta
                                    Kenneth Ford                Kathryn Lehman               Christina Nickles
        John Watson                                                                          David Penhale
                                    Stewart Foster              Karen Mackie
        1970                        Douglas Galbraith           David Marshall               Robert Ramsay
        William Desmond             Jacqueline Goldring         John Neufeld                 Leonard Roth
        John Featherstone           Kenneth Gray                Scott Ousterhout             Catherine Selby
        Daniel Havens               John Griessen               Joanne Pinsonneault          Murray Sharpe
        Ross Hills                  Glenn Hope                  Keith Pretty                 Bernard Stickney
        Douglas Lees                Gordon Kemp                 Nancy Sayer                  Staci Taggart
        Angus McArthur              Harold Klassen              James Smith                  Deborah Tompkins
        Richard Pouget              James Marshall              Stephanie Smith              Melissa Vermeer
        John Robinson               Barry McKay                 Robert Stackaruk             Melissa White
        Andrew Ryskamp              Tom Mozny                   Gerald Sullivan              2000
        Wayne Thornton              Elizabeth Mulholland        David Sylvestre              Chris Ceaser
        1975                        Keith Nordemann             Randy Thomas                 Tonya Hadwin
        Howard Acton                Vistasp Panthaky            Brian Thomson                Tanya Killins
        John Alderson               Leo Parent                  John Van Dyk                 Christina McDermid
        Harry Arts                  Betty Riepma                Scott Young                  Wanda McNeil
        Robin Baker                 Kenneth Smith               1990                         Sabine Pelletier
        John Buis                   Eric Stewart                Rita Devries                 Christie Poag
        Marc Cookson                Valerie Stuart                                           Margo Salts
        Frederick Cronkite          Cindy Van Hyfte             1995                         Melissa Sharkey-Lapointe
        William Fulmer              Kenneth Wall                Jennifer Allen               Robynn Smith
        Sandra Glover               Kevin Wallace               Lisa Barry                   Heather Spencer
        Houston Hembree             Laurie Webb                 Angela Bates                 Crystal Steffen
        Henry Hulshof               Grace Wesselink             S. Paul Bechtel
        Daryl Hutton                Joanne White                James Butcher

Welcome Back Westags!
Plan Ahead! Mark August 19th and 20th on your calendar.
This summer, Ridgetown College is planning two events for graduates.

Friday, August 19th                                      Saturday, August 20th
Westag Alumni Golf Tournament                            Alumni BBQ and Alumni Association Annual Meeting
A golf tournament for Westags and their guests will be   All graduates are invited to bring a guest and attend
held on Friday, August 19th. This is a fun event and     the 2nd Annual Westag Alumni BBQ on Saturday,
golf skill is not a pre-requisite, just get your         August 20th.
classmates together to enjoy a summer afternoon          Location: Picnic Shelter on the main lawn of
on the golf course.                                      Ridgetown College
Location: Ridgetown Golf Club.                           Time: Begins at 3:00 p.m. – BBQ at 5:00 p.m.
Entry Fee: $65.00/person – includes cart, 18 holes       Cash bar available
of golf, prizes and a steak dinner following the         Highlights:
tournament.                                              •   Update on what’s happening at Ridgetown College
Format: Four person scramble – Tee-off times start       •   Vintage car and tractor display
at 1:00 p.m.                                             •   Alumni Association Annual Meeting
To help organizers make arrangements for prizes and      •   Lots of time to visit with your classmates and friends
carts, anyone interested in participating in the golf
                                                         *Watch your mail in July for more details!
tournament is asked to register by May 31st.

 For more infomation on these events, contact Janet Nauta, Alumni Services Co-ordinator.
              Phone: 519-674-1504 E-mail:

Registration Form for Westag Golf Tournament
Name of Alumnus: _______________________________________________________
Graduating Year:__________ Phone Number: ________________________________                 Registration Deadline:
Address: ________________________________________________________________                 M AY 3 1 , 2 0 0 5
E-mail address: __________________________________________________________

❐ I will be participating in the Westag Alumni Golf Tournament on Friday, August 19th.
  My team members are:
  2. ________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. ________________________________________________________________________________________
  (You can also register as an individual and we will put you on a foursome)

❐ $65 per person entry fee enclosed
  (make cheques payable to Ridgetown College)

Please return this registration form by May 31st to:
Janet Nauta
Ridgetown College
120 Main Street E
PHONE: 519-674-1504, FAX: 519-674-1530

        Introducing...                                                                               “I’m committed to making
                                                                                                     sure that everyone is
                                                                                                     involved. I always make

        Our Ridgetown                                                                                sure to invite, encourage
                                                                                                     and personally welcome all
                                                                                                     the different people. Being
        Student Leaders                                                                              a leader requires people to
                                                                                                     step out of their comfort
                                                                                                     zone, take risks, take
                                     “To me, a leader is someone                                     initiative and put
                                     who leads by example.                   themselves out there for everyone else to see.”
                                     A leader sees others as                 JoAnne Martin
                                     individuals but also as an              Senior, Veterinary Technology Diploma Program
                                     integral part of a group.”              Sudbury, ON

                                     Brendan Zettler                         JoAnne’s Volunteer Activities at Ridgetown College
                                     Senior, Agriculture Diploma Program     Student Council Vice-President, Senior VT Class President,
                                     Teeswater, ON                           Food Committee Chairperson, Review Square Dancing
                                                                             Lead, Head Coach, Ridgetown Bantam Girls Minor Hockey
        Brendan’s Volunteer Activities at                                    JoAnne’s Background
        Ridgetown College                                                    I grew up moving all over northern Ontario and have enjoyed
        Review President, Cabaret Co-chairperson, Men’s                      the sport of hockey for 14 years. I started volunteering
        Volleyball Team                                                      when I was 8 years old, and can’t remember a time in my
                                                                             life when I wasn’t involved with a volunteer program.
        A Leader Brendan Admires
        Rob Black, Executive Director of the Ontario 4-H Council             Why Does JoAnne Volunteer?
                                                                             I volunteer to keep busy. I love waking up every morning
        Brendan’s Background                                                 knowing that my day is accounted for; even if it doesn’t
        I live on a beef and swine farm and have one older brother           all get done, I still have the feeling of accomplishment.
        attending the main campus at Guelph and a younger sister             By volunteering with different programs and working with
        completing high school. I’m actively involved in my home             all kinds of people, it helps broaden my thinking and helps
        community and try to stay involved wherever I live.                  me not get stuck in my own little world.
        My father is a principal and my mother is a supply teacher
        and we all work at home on the farm.                                 JoAnne’s Favourite Thing About Ridgetown
                                                                             There are lots of opportunities to get involved and the staff
        Why Does Brendan Volunteer?                                          and students are encouraging and loyal.
        I volunteer to make a difference, because to make change
        you have to start it. I think I would be bored if I did not          JoAnne’s Favourite Saying
        volunteer in some aspect. It uses up my free time and helps          To each their own.
        me escape from doing homework. But mostly, I enjoy being             (This reminds me that my way isn’t the only way.)
        around people and working with them. Volunteering gives              JoAnne’s Volunteer Goals
        me a sense of accomplishment helping others.                         I hope to someday be managing a program for juvenile
        Brendan’s Favourite Thing About Ridgetown                            delinquents and shelter dogs. Through this program I would
        My favourite thing about Ridgetown College is the small              hope to teach patience and understanding to the youth.
        size and friendly nature of the campus. Being at a smaller
        College allows us to approach professors and ask questions                                       “Leadership means taking
        and solve problems that we have in our own lives.                                                charge, sometimes when no
        Brendan’s Favourite Saying                                                                       one else wants to. Leadership
        Do what you love and love what you do!                                                           means becoming a role model
        What Does Brendan Want to be When He Grows Up Some More?                                         for others, doing your best,
        I would like to be an elementary school teacher and a                                            doing what’s right, and doing
        farmer, possibly owning an educational farm where urban                                          what needs to get done.”
        kids learn what farmers have to offer consumers.                                                 Jessica Vince
        Brendan’s Volunteer Goals                                                                        Senior, Horticulture Diploma Program
        To make a difference, even if it’s small, stay active, help others                               Chatham, ON
        when they need it and see them flourish at what they do!             Jessica’s Volunteer Activities at Ridgetown College
                                                                             Student Council Secretary/ Treasurer, Student Representive
                                                                             for Ridgetown College on U of G Senate, Review Ball
                                                                             Chairperson, Involved with Review Static Displays,
                                                                             Cabaret, and Livestock Shows
                                                                             A Leader Jessica Admires
                                                                             Jesus...and I’m totally serious about it!

Jessica’s Background                                             trade shows and talk to kids about the Ridgetown
I am very active in my church. I also play the bagpipes with     experience. I’d also like to encourage junior students to
Branch 28 Royal Canadian Legion Pipe and Drum Band.              take on leadership roles that will prepare them to be
Why Does Jessica Volunteer?                                      leaders in their senior year.
I volunteer because I want to make my small part of this         Any Other Comments for ROOTS Readers
big planet a better place. Mostly, I volunteer because I have    Beyond the excellent learning that occurs in the classroom,
benefitted so much from those who have helped me                 you learn a lot of ‘life-lessons’ here, without your parents.
develop through their volunteer efforts.                         It’s good to have the opportunity to make your own
Jessica’s Favourite Thing About Ridgetown                        decisions, both good ones and bad ones.
I like being with my classmates and I like the atmosphere
on this campus. But my favourite thing has been seeing                                       “Leadership means putting
Dr. Arend Smid ride his bicycle with a huge smile plastered                                  responsibilities into the hands
on his face and saying ‘hello’ to anyone he passes.                                          of those who can positively
What Does Jessica Want to be When She Grows Up Some More?                                    affect others in their actions
I want to be a loving wife, Mom and volunteer.                                               and daily decisions.”
Jessica’s Volunteer Goals                                                                    Tina Green
I want to make someone happy, learn from others, and                                         Senior, Agriculture Diploma Program
become a better person.                                                                      Monkton, ON

Any Other Comments for ROOTS Readers
In my opinion, I think Ridgetown College is a rare place
with committed staff and an agricultural heritage and            Tina’s Volunteer Activities at Ridgetown College
agricultural future, unique in Canada and perhaps North          Chairperson, Student Recreation Committee,
America. I have become a more resourceful person from            Yearbook Committee
my time here and feel blessed to have had this opportunity.      A Leader Tina Admires
                                                                 My parents are leaders that I admire. They have taught me
                           “To me, leadership is getting         valuable lessons about life and how to stand on my own
                           involved. It’s not the                two feet. Without them I would never be where I am today.
                           leadership title that’s               Tina’s Background
                           important, it’s that you get          I grew up on a beef farm outside of Listowel where the farm
                           actively involved in what’s           operation and sports activities were a big part of my life.
                           going on and then                     When our family moved to Monkton I got a job working on
                                                                 a dairy farm and also worked at the Inland Co-op in
                           you are already a leader.”
                                                                 Mitchell in the summer months.
                           David Jacob
                           Senior, Agriculture Diploma Program
                                                                 Why Does Tina Volunteer?
                           Stratford, ON                         I volunteer because I find it very rewarding. You get the
                                                                 chance to meet new people and make a difference in the
David’s Volunteer Activities at Ridgetown College
                                                                 lives of others.
Student Council President, Review Committee Member,
Volunteer Auctioneer for Review and United Way Pub               What Does Tina Want to be When She Grows Up Some More?
                                                                 I would like to pursue a career in agriculture, in the seed
David’s Background
                                                                 business. Someday, I would like to have my own dairy farm.
I grew up in a family of five and have always been involved
in my dad’s auction business. I started auctioneering myself     Tina’s Favourite Saying
a couple years ago.                                              When life gives you lemons...make lemonade!
Why Does David Volunteer?                                        Tina’s Volunteer Goals
I get to learn new things when I volunteer and I can put         My goal is to be there for others when they need a hand,
some of those new skills on my resume. I enjoy meeting           and to ensure all Westags have plenty of fun sports
new people and they may be contacts that I’ll have for           activities and special events to enjoy.
years to come. In the past, I’ve made some really good           Any Other Comments for ROOTS Readers
friends from volunteering.                                       At Ridgetown College I have gotten the education that
David’s Favourite Thing About Ridgetown                          I need to move on with my life and to help me fulfill my
At Ridgetown College, the instructors know us by name,           life’s ambitions. I have made friendships that I know will
and we’re not a number. I’ve made good friends and it’s a        last a lifetime!
great place to learn.
What Does David Want to be When He Grows Up Some More?
I think I’ll stick with this auctioneering idea but may work
in agribusiness as well.
David’s Volunteer Goals
I would really like to see current students get involved with
the recruitment of future Ridgetown College students and
would like to have students like myself work at agricultural

            Mentoring Young Scientists
            is a Win-Win for
            Ridgetown Researchers
            What’s it like to have three, four, five and maybe even 10
            young scholars in tow as they work on their Masters
            or Ph.D.s.? That’s what a number of the Ridgetown College
            researchers are finding out as part of their role as
            University of Guelph faculty. Actually, the Masters and
            Ph.D. students are often the driving force behind some
            of the work that is done at Ridgetown, and Ontario
            agriculture is better off because of the program.

        Soil fertility is the specialty of College Professor,      particularly in the more remote areas. “Studies
        Dr. Ivan O’Halloran. Right now, he is supervising two      looking at conserving lime are irrelevant in Canada
        graduate students and looking for more. Because            because lime is so plentiful and relatively inexpensive
        O’Halloran has a particular interest in the high tech      here,” says O’Halloran. “In Indonesia, however, liming
        tools available for farming including variable rate        materials are scarce and relatively expensive.” This
        technology, he has attracted students who are              Indonesian student looked at ways to improve soybean
        interested in working with variable nitrogen trials,       yields while placing lime just in the row, thereby
        spatial variability of soil properties, and how that       cutting costs dramatically and improving production.
        relates to yield and nutrient requirements.                “I find work like this very rewarding,” says O’Halloran.
        “In-field testing of yield response to nitrogen is         “You start with an interesting question, add some
        one area where the work of several students has            good science plus some practical application, and
        contributed to the way farmers assess the fertilizer       the end result is very beneficial,” he concludes.
        requirements of their crops on a field by field basis,”    O’Halloran has been on Ridgetown’s campus for seven
        says O’Halloran. “An extension of this work is the         years and he regards supervising Masters and Ph.D.
        environmental impact that this nutrient application        students as an extremely rewarding part of his job.
        has on greenhouse gas emissions and soil nitrogen          “Distance from Guelph sometimes makes supervising
        levels, as well as the agronomic impact on crop            these students a challenge but I like splitting my
        quality,” he adds. Other students are evaluating           meetings up with these students; some of them are
        technologies such as remote sensing, where aerial          here at Ridgetown and some are at the main campus.
        photographs using specialized cameras and filters are      Then I use the telephone and e-mail a lot,” he explains.
        used to identify spatial differences in soil properties,
        crop growth, and stresses. Such tools may aid in the       O’Halloran says an added benefit to this research is
        identification of areas within a field to sample for       having access to the University of Guelph’s satellite
        pest or soil management problems.                          campuses. “With the numerous sites here at
                                                                   Ridgetown in the southwest, to Guelph in central
        Students under O’Halloran’s tutelage are not always        Ontario and to Kemptville in the east, it is easier to
        driven to use high tech equipment to advance               establish research projects that encompass a range
        agriculture. Before coming to Ridgetown, O’Halloran        of soil types and growing season conditions that are
        was at McGill University and one international             more representative of the main agricultural areas
        student he supervised was from Indonesia. This             of the province,” he says.
        person chose to study placement of localized lime on
        soybeans; soybeans are an important part of the diet       Art Schaafsma is another researcher working with
        of many subsistence farmers, and it is a crop that         graduate-level students. Schaafsma likes supervising
        does not perform well in strongly acid soils. In many      students because it keeps him fresh in his outlook
        parts of Indonesia, low soil pH limits production,         on bugs and diseases in crops. “Right now I have five
                                                                   students working under me and that is just about

right. One year I had nine and that kept me hopping,”
he admits. Finding the students to do work in his
particular field is not an issue but rather securing
                                                             Scenes From Review 2005
the funding to make sure the work can happen                 Thanks to the hard work of many student
is the challenge.
                                                             volunteers, Review 2005 was a great success.
Schaafsma’s group this year includes two Ph.D. and
three Masters students, many doing their research            The displays, livestock show, pet fair, cabaret,
right on the Ridgetown College campus. In the winter         plant sale and other events were well
months, he commutes about once a week to meet
with students who are taking classes at Guelph.
                                                             organized and well attended.
Topics that his students have chosen include Black           Congratulations to everyone involved!
Cutworm and how it responds to Bt corn in Ontario,
Barley Yellow Dwarf in wheat and how it is transferred
from old stubble to the new crop, a molecular marker
for Corn Rootworm to help identify new adaptive types,
biological controls for Soybean Aphids, and sprayer
application technology for fusarium control in wheat.
“This is more fun than work,” declares Schaafsma.
“It keeps me on my toes and on the front line with the
questions they ask. In fact, I really believe I learn more
from them than the other way around,” he states.
Working with students is not without some challenges
for this respected Ridgetown researcher. “Sometimes
supervising students can be stressful; their time lines        Visitors to the Veterinary Technology building were able to watch
                                                               Kyle Aikema, a junior Vet Tech student, assemble a dog skeleton.
and mine are not always the same, but we manage,”
confides Schaafsma. He believes the benefits of
having graduate students at Ridgetown are immense.
“Ridgetown College is better off for this program and
I wish there was more of it going on here,” he says.
Along with Schaasfsma and O’Halloran, Dr. Peter
Sikkema also supervises University of Guelph
students. In total, ten students are currently
working with Ridgetown College researchers.

                                                                        The student square dance demonstration was
                                                                                 a popular noon-hour event.

“Called to Serve” Story Update
In the Fall 2004 issue of Roots, an article was
included about Ridgetown College grads that have
gone on to become ministers. Since then, Roots
has been notified of four other alumni who have
been ‘called to serve’.

Darwin Wismer, from the class of 1956, preaches part
                                                                       Joanna Thibeault, a senior Horticulture diploma
time with the Community of Christ church.                            student, demonstrated the safe way to climb a tree.
Tom Beecroft, a 1970 graduate, is a United Church
minister serving in Watford.
Martin Dawson (‘73) is also an ordained minister
with the United Church. He was in Newfoundland
for several years and is now back in Ontario, serving
a congregation in Arthur.
A 1974 alumnus, John DeBoer, is living in
Peterborough doing Mission work for the Pentecostal
Assemblies of Canada.                                             Three young visitors enjoyed all of the Review events, and
                                                                    were especially impressed by this straw bale tractor.

    Westag Alumni Association Merchandise Order Form
    Full Name: ___________________________________________________
    Mailing Address: ______________________________________________
    Grad Year: ____________ Home Telephone: ______________________
    Forward to:                                    Sign orders must
    Westag Alumni Association,                     be received by
    C/O Heather Heyboer,                           September 1, 2005**
    Ridgetown College,                             all prices include
    Main Street East,                              shipping & taxes
    Ridgetown, Ontario
    N0P 2C0

      ITEM                                                      GRAD YEAR   QUANTITY   COST     AMOUNT

      **Orders by: September 1, 2005
      Made of metal and are white with maroon lettering

        2-Sided Rectangular Sign                                                       $30.00
        5" x 18"
        1-Sided Square Sign                                                            $30.00
        8" x 8"
      WESTAG SWEATSHIRT                                         Size:                  $35.00
      Maroon shirt with grey lettering, 90% preshrunk cotton,
      10% polyester; sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL

      WESTAG LICENCE PLATE COVERS                                                      $7.00
      White with burgundy lettering

      Please make cheques payable to: Westag Alumni Association                        TOTAL

120 Main Street East
Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0

To top