Good food, an informative speaker, and a detailed meeting describe the annual meeting of the Bayfield Agricultural Meeting. About thirty people gathered for a potluck meal and enjoyed the presentation of Richard Fitoussi’s vision of viticulture in Huron County. Richard, upon residency in Huron, was told of the numerous peach orchards in this area and began his quest to see if grapes were viable here because he always believed that wherever peaches would thrive wine-making grapes would grow. With a French background wine making was part of his heritage. Through a lot of research and consultation there are now two vineyard projects in Huron. He felt that if every family in Huron drank one bottle of wine a month, out of loyalty to supporting local products, the Huron wine making industry would have a solid foundation.
At the annual meeting appreciation was extended to the youth who exhibit and have their efforts rewarded even at the District level. This year Lauren Williamson’s intermediate poster won first prize at the District Level and will be entered in the provincial competition. Cate Thompon had a second place poster and Taryn Siertsema had a third place poster at the District competition. Many youth helped set up or take down the displays and helped with food preparation. Gratitude was given to the Directors, convenors, and committee chairs for their work and to the Treasurer and Secretary for their dedicated commitment to the Society.
This coming year Jentje Steenbeek becomes the President, backed up by Bill Dowson as First Vice President, Ted Dunn as Second Vice President, and Liz Elliott as Third Vice President. This is a watershed moment since there has never been so many people willing to take Executive positions. Jentje’s opening comments included his observation of the Society’s willingness to try new ventures and applauded its support of the Miniature Horse Points Show that will be hosted by the Society at the REACH Centre on June 20.
Honorary Memberships were given to Ted Dunn who has been a member since he was a 4-H member and served as president in four different decades. Kathleen Siertema also received an honorary membership for her longtime leadership in culinary arts, helping with dinners and now assisting with the handcraft section. Afra Van Wonderen also received the honour for her longtime commitment as a Director, role as president in the past, her work with the wreath making right from its inception, and her willingness to volunteer wherever there was a need. All three are truly valued in the organization.
Now events and entertainment will be finalized over the coming months as the 159 Bayfield Community Fair promotes “Blue Jeans and Machines.”