4-H looks to next 100 years Alberta Cleavers program grows Summer camp returns to Saskatchewan 4-H


Canada and Saskatchewan 4-H will kick off their upcoming centennial year this fall with rallies and events.

Marguerite Stark of Canada 4-H said the rural youth program plans its official launch at Farmfair in Edmonton in November.

Interviewed at the 4-H Canada annual meeting in Calgary this month, she said events planned for 2017 include hosting the Western Regional Leaders Forum March 16-19 in Edmonton. Held for the first time ever in Canada, it will bring together more than 600 4-H leaders and staff from Canada and 13 western states.

The annual 4-H Leaders’ Conference and Senior Members’ Conference will be incorporated into this meeting and include tours, sessions and entertainment. About 100 teenagers are expected to participate in Teen Track sessions, a roundtable and discussions with agriculture ministry staff.

Stark said Canada has been successful attracting younger members to 4-H. There have been increases in Cleavers, a pre-4-H optional program that clubs can create for six to eight year olds.

There have also been increases in dairy projects because a lot of younger siblings want to join, she added.

Stark said 4-H is attractive to parents.

“Parents are looking for that fit, niche and see 4-H as a great organization to start to belong to and build those relationships with the community,” she said.

Other events include an Aug. 3-7, 2017, celebration in Olds, the birthplace of 4-H in Canada.

Bale wraps promoting 4-H will be sold, and each family will receive a free 4-H calendar.

As well, provincial 4-H events and competitions will showcase projects and skills, including special versions to mark the centennial.

Saskatchewan will kick off celebrations with games, a barbecue, bonfire and fireworks for past, current and future 4-Hers at regional rallies Aug. 20, 2016, in Prince Albert, Swift Current, Weyburn and at the Battlefords Provincial Park, said Cera Youngson, 4-H Saskatchewan executive director.

She said Saskatchewan’s program is in good shape as it moves into its second century.

“We have the third most members in the country after Canada and Ontario,” she said.

It introduced new programs, including 4-H at the Legislature, in which more than 70 young people toured the legislature, met MLAs and learned about parliamentary procedures.

A beef symposium in Swift Current last February taught members how to groom animals for shows.

This year, it is also bringing back the dormant summer camp program. Depending on participation, it may become a regular program as it was for decades at Camp Rayner.

“It’s a trial for next year,” she said.

In addition, a gala is planned during 4-H Saskatchewan’s annual meeting in March featuring livestock expert Temple Grandin as the guest speaker.

The centennial will be marked with commemorative 100th Anniversary community club signs.

Each club will receive materials to help it plan its own celebration in 2017 through parades, regional shows and achievement days.

Four anniversary quilts with squares from clubs across the province will be raffled off and clubs are invited to submit material to the 100 Year History Book.



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