“I credit 4-H for introducing me to a variety of valuable skills that I have taken with me my entire life. As a kid growing up in the country, I didn’t have immediate access to many of the things that urban life might have given me. It was the 4-H leaders and the 4-H programs that exposed me to many fabulous opportunities.”
Rob Black, Past President, Canadian 4-H Council Board of Directors
So, how does 4-H operate in Canada? Here is a breakdown of the various levels of 4-H within Canada:
The Canadian 4-H Council (also known as 4-H Canada) was created in 1933 to oversee the 4-H movement in Canada. 4-H Canada is a not-for-profit, non-governmental agency governed by a Board of Directors. So, what does 4-H Canada do on a national level? For starters, we oversee the 4-H Canada license, standards of practice, and branding. We also administer national programs, handle risk management, produce national resources, and much more.
4-H Canada is the national governing body for 4-H in Canada. National staff handle the planning, implementation, and management of national programs, events, campaigns, scholarships, grants, and more. Staff are governed by the Board of Directors, a national volunteer board. The Canadian 4-H Foundation is responsible for overseeing the funding of 4-H Canada as a national not-for-profit organization.
Provincial 4-H organizations operate autonomously, and are often jointly coordinated by a provincial agency or ministry and a provincial 4-H council. Together, they oversee the administration and operation of 4-H in their respective provinces, as well as facilitate province-specific fundraising initiatives and regional activities.
4-H clubs are the grassroots of 4-H Canada. With support from provincial organizations, clubs conduct meetings and organize local activities that can range from photography to animal-specific competition (dairy, equestrian, etc.) to horticulture to woodworking—just to name a few examples! By joining a local 4-H club, members not only have the opportunity to participate in club-driven activities, but they can use their membership as a gateway to regional, provincial, and national 4-H programs and events as well.