100 Years Old and Growing

Agrium is proud of its commitment to the Canadian 4-H program, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Since the days when members first focused on training the best calf, growing the largest crop or baking the tastiest cake, the Canadian 4-H program has evolved into much more.

Today it is one of the country’s longest running and most respected youth organizations, dedicated to building future Canadian leaders. 4-H allows Canadian youth to explore, learn and discover, while expanding their horizons.

2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the 4-H program in Canada. From its humble beginnings in Roland, Manitoba, the movement has grown, changed and developed into one of the premier leadership development programs for youth.

It was back in 1913 when the Department of Agriculture, through the Extension Department of the University of Manitoba organized eight Boys & Girls Clubs in Manitoba. That club, located in Roland, saw the Department give each new member a dozen eggs from a good breed of laying hens, good quality seed of fodder corn and seed potatoes. The eggs were set in the spring under a hen and the corn and potatoes were planted painstakingly in the corner of a field or garden and tended by the members. In the fall the communities held a fair where the chickens and the produce were judged.

The program flourished and expanded over the next couple of decades, and in 1952 these Boys and Girls Clubs became officially known as 4-H clubs, in keeping with American 4-H brand.

Agrium salutes those 35,000 Canadian members, 10,000 volunteer leaders, and countless alumni – too numerous to mention, many of whom are Agrium employees as well! Over the last 15 years, Agrium has supported 4-H in every province across the country by contributing over $500,000 for programs starting at the local level, all the way to the national program.

As part of its strong commitment to helping rural youth achieve their full potential, Agrium created the Agrium 4-H Youth Leadership Initiative Program, offering with a total of $50,000 available to eligible 4-H clubs, provinces, regions, districts and counties each year.

By helping senior 4-H members develop their leadership skills, Agrium then challenges 4-H members to enhance their local communities by actively participating and practicing their leadership skills. The program targets the development of leadership skills that can be implemented throughout any 4-H jurisdiction in North America. Eligible project areas available for funding include youth asset building, career planning, communication skills training and organization leadership.

Agrium is proud of its commitment to the Canadian 4-H program. As an organization, it has seen first-hand future leaders who have come through its ranks to become successful, no matter their chosen path in life, and to create and help shape healthy vibrant communities.

For more information about 4-H in Canada and the 100th anniversary, please visit www.4-h-canada.ca.