4-H Opens Green Doors

Mackenzie Kerr at 2017 Global 4-H Network Summit







As my term as a Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) member for 4-H Canada comes to an end, I am able to look back on the memories I have made at the local, provincial and national levels of 4-H with such joy and sense of luck at what I was able to be a part of.

Being a part of 4-H has opened countless doors for me to find my passion, be a leader everywhere I go and meet my idol, Green Party Leader of Canada, Elizabeth May!

This past July, 4-H Canada hosted the largest gathering of 4-H’ers in North America at the 2017 Global 4-H Network Summit. My involvement as the Master of Ceremonies at the evening events was one of the biggest highlights of my 4-H career. I was so inspired by my experiences, I wrote about this event in my local newspaper. To my surprise, one of the readers was also organizing an event that Elizabeth May would be attending in my hometown. He knew I was interested in the environment and going “green” so he asked me if I was interested in helping with her event. Planning the food choices that evening was my favourite part! Because of 4-H, I met my idol!

My time with 4-H has taught me much more than just leadership and public speaking. It has also taught me:

  1. Professionalism: Representing an entire province of 4-H members meant I had to be professional in all aspects of my life because who knew when I would bump into a 4-H supporter, alumni or fellow member.
  2. Representing others: The ability to attend a meeting isn’t hard but making sure you are unbiased when it comes to decision making and always thinking of what is best for the social interest is a very important skill I have learned.
  3. How to manage time: Being the YAC representative for British Columbia has pushed me to improve my time management skills. Balancing school, work, 4-H and relationships with family and friends is not easy but I have had some really great practice with the help of amazing mentors.
Mackenzie Kerr at Global 4-H Network Summit

The Youth Advisory committee has allowed me to travel across Canada for various 4-H events, be a member of working groups that make important decisions and also opened doors in my community for leadership roles. Through 4-H, I have the honour of being Co-Chair for the Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer's in my community and have a part time job managing the compost program at my university. 4-H has given me once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that have not only improved my resume but have also helped me expand professional relationships in my community.

To anyone interested in taking a bigger role in the world of 4-H, I highly recommend it! The skills you will learn from taking on leadership roles will be advantageous to your future and may doors you never even thought of!

I just want to end with a huge THANK YOU to the entire 4-H B.C. community for the doors that have been opened, to Erin Smith and Valerie Stone for the YAC support and of course the amazing staff at the 4-H Canada office in Ottawa.

Author: Mackenzie Kerr, British Columbia YAC Member