Regina, SK, November 25, 2015 – 4-H Canada and CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI), today announced a unique partnership to advance youth leadership and promote farm safety in rural Canada.
Made possible through a commitment from CN of $600,000, the new annual 4-H Canada Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction (L.E.A.D.) recognize exceptional 4-H senior youth members and showcase their accomplishments in the area of leadership excellence. The CN commitment also allows 4-H Canada to establish a 4-H Farm Safety Fund that will support 4-H clubs, districts, regions and provincial organizations across Canada with farm and community safety initiatives.
Four recipients of the inaugural 4-H Canada L.E.A.D. scholarships were revealed today at the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, SK.
“L.E.A.D. is a very special program that recognizes deserving 4-H’ers as they embark on their post-secondary careers and will support them to learn and excel,” said Shannon Benner, CEO of 4-H Canada. “As one of 4-H Canada’s oldest corporate partners, we are grateful to CN for their support of youth in the agriculture community and across Canada. CN has very tangibly shown their dedication to fostering and recognizing youth leadership, notably in the area of safety in rural areas."
L.E.A.D. recipients will each benefit from four-year scholarships in the amount of $5,000 per year toward their post-secondary studies. They also will be matched with a mentor who plays a leadership role in their industry and community. This mentorship relationship is an important component of the award program and will help the L.E.A.D. recipients as they forge their careers. Recent studies have estimated that from 2013 to 2022 there will be almost 74,000 job openings in Canadian agriculture, but only 49,000 projected job seekers. This represents a huge opportunity for the country’s youth and it starts with mentorship opportunities and skills transfer.
“CN is very pleased to support this innovative program that fosters both rural youth leadership and safety,” said Sean Finn, Executive Vice-President of Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer of CN, who announced the $600,000 CN sponsorship with 4-H Canada CEO Shannon Benner in Regina today. “As a backbone of the Canadian economy, CN recognizes the importance of safety on farms and in rural communities to our society. We believe the scholarship program will help develop the leaders of the future who will promote those qualities across our nation, while the 4-H Farm Safety Fund will allow them to implement farm and rural safety initiatives in their home communities.”
The recipients of the first L.E.A.D. scholarships are outstanding 4-H’ers who epitomize 4-H youth empowerment, and who demonstrate personal and community impact, and leadership excellence in each of 4-H Canada’s four Leadership Development Pillars:
Cameron Choquette (Saskatchewan) - Community Engagement & Communications
Meghan McGillivray (British Columbia) - the Environment & Healthy Living
Louise Pickard (New Brunswick) - Science & Technology
Austin Pizzey (Manitoba) - Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security
The L.E.A.D. scholarship recipients will be available for media interviews in the days to come, as will 4-H Canada and CN spokespersons.
About 4-H Canada
For over 100 years, 4-H Canada has been one of the most highly respected youth organizations in Canada. 4-H Canada has more than 25,000 members and 7,700 volunteers. Our goal is to help young Canadians “Learn To Do By Doing” in a safe, inclusive and fun environment. We believe in nurturing responsible, engaged and confident leaders who are committed to positively impacting their communities across Canada and around the world. To learn more about 4-H Canada, please visit www.4-H-Canada.ca.
CN is a true backbone of the economy whose team of approximately 25,000 railroaders transports more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America. CN – Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries – serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information about CN, visit the company’s website at www.cn.ca.
For more information, media may contact:
Elizabeth Jarvis, Marketing and Communications Manager
613-759-1013 ext. 131
Kate Fenske, Media and Community Relations Manager