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4-H Canada Blog
4-H Canada’s Going Global Exchange to England
Wow! Where should I begin? I had an absolutely fabulous two week adventure to England through the 4-H Canada Going Global Exchange program. This exchange trip was my first time traveling outside of Canada so I was both excited and nervous and it happened to come at a tense political time for the United Kingdom who voted to withdraw from the European Union (EU) making it even more interesting!
Instead of a traditional 4-H program, the United Kingdom (UK) has the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (NFYFC). Based out of England and Wales, the NFYFC has some similarities (meetings, activities and competitions) and differences (age categories) to the structure of 4-H. I attended some of their events which focused mostly on agriculture and youth development.
I learned England has an incredible amount of history for a small country and that their two main livestock animals are sheep and beef. I spent most of my trip seeing the countryside rather than London. Don’t get me wrong - I’m sure London is beautiful but it’s very fast paced and does not represent the whole of the country.
Across England, the range of accents is noticeable within a short distance of traveling, whereas accents back home are less obvious until you visit provinces like Newfoundland or Quebec.
My first host taught me about keeping sheep, showed me around areas like Cornwall and local agricultural campuses and invited me to work with their dairy herdsman. I helped deliver liver fluke treatment to their cows and observed their daily routines as they drove tractors out to their fields to check on their sheep and beef stock.
My second host invited me to a Wimbledon tennis match and the Best of British sewing competition finale show. It was interesting to watch the participants sew various garments with such great creativity, detail and precision. In 4-H, I used to take the sewing project but I never made anything quite as amazing as they did, especially, with time limits to complete each item!
It was a great experience for me, and created many memories to look back on. The 4-H Canada Going Global Exchange trip in England helped build my confidence for traveling and through this adventure, I have networks of farmers and friends for life!
Thank you to everyone who made it an amazing experience!