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
continued on page 2...
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 email@example.com.
BBQ. This is a great opportunity for you to come back to the
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
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 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
www.ridgetownc.com/alumni/forum.cfm 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
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!
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
Aaron, born in January, 2004.
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 www.ridgetownc.com/alumni/lostalumni.cfm.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
(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:
120 Main Street E
RIDGETOWN ON N0P 2C0
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.
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
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
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
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