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Global 4-H Movement

The Pledge Goes Global

FAO 2018

This week, a delegation of three 4-H members from the U.S., Canada and Sweden is attending the 46th session of the Committee on World Food Security in Rome, Italy. This unique opportunity is giving them a chance to lead on a global stage, and to address issues of concern to all youth, such as Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero hunger. 4-H Canada strives to provide opportunities at the international level for 4-H members to expand their global perspective and cultural understanding, and learn about 4-H programming in other countries. The following articles are extracted from The 2019 4-H Advantage magazine


We live in a global village. Every time you and your 4-H friends recite the 4-H Pledge at the start of your meeting, another 4-H’er elsewhere in the world is saying it at the same time. Their language may not be the same, and their club may look a bit different from yours, but your voices recite a similar Pledge as you live together in the same world.

On July 11, 2019, the Canadian 4-H Pledge was updated so that fellow 4-H members across the country can pledge the same promise as their counterparts around the world every day. From now on, it will read “for my club, my community, my country, and my world”.

Learn more at 4-h-canada.ca/pledge

From Ghana to the World

By Logan Emiry, Youth Advisory Representative for Ontario

“[…] my country, and my world”.

I was standing halfway across the world on a 4-H service-learning project in Ghana and I paused for a moment, slightly confused. I had never heard this version of the Pledge before – which was from the National 4-H Council in the U.S. – but it was rather fitting. Little did I know that in a few short years it would also be 4-H Canada’s Pledge, after encouragement from staff, volunteer leaders, and members like myself, who believe in the global importance of 4-H.

There is no doubt that 4-H is a global movement, and the reach of 4-H Canada spans the world. 4-H has brought me around the world “Learning To Do By Doing” every step along the way, from Japan for a 4-H Canada-LABO Japan exchange, to Indianapolis for the Future Farmers of America’s National Convention. It also allowed me to become friends with 4-H’ers from many of the more than 70 countries at the Global 4-H Network Summit hosted in Ottawa two years ago.

I am very proud we are now including “and my world” in the 4-H Pledge. There is no doubt that the next generation of 4-H members in Canada will create a positive change in the world around them.

A World of Difference

By Carlie Whetter, 4-H Leader, 4-H Manitoba

It’s only three words...but it makes a “world” of difference. As a delegate at the Global 4-H Network Summit in July 2017, I heard our young Canadian representatives question why our 4-H Pledge ended with ‘country,’ when we were a gathering of representatives from around the globe. 

As President of Manitoba 4-H Council, I supported the motion made by our Board Director Denise Dewar to put forward a resolution to officially adopt the international wording. As a 4-H Canada Board member, I participated in the 2018 4-H Canada Annual General Meeting where it was agreed that the next step would be to work on a way to share this exciting news with all 4-H members across Canada.

The youth members of the 4-H club I lead in Alexander, Manitoba, voted unanimously to be early adopters of the updated wording. They have been using this new Pledge for almost a year and feel a strong sense of belonging to a global 4-H community.

I believe our youth are more aware of the global community than ever before with their ease of connectivity and access to world news. Adding “...and my world” reflects the reality of the world we live in. For our youth, it’s a no-brainer!

A Youth Council for the World

By Valerie Stone, Chair of the 4-H Canada Board of Directors

In June 2019, the 41st Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference of the United Nations (UN) was held in Rome, Italy. Representing 4-H, I was one of five youth from around the globe participating in the “Real Action on Youth: Driving the Future of Agriculture” event hosted by Ambassador Hans Hoogeveen of the Netherlands. It was a truly remarkable experience, and having the opportunity to highlight the importance of youth on the global agricultural stage was genuinely unforgettable.

During this event, the idea of a Youth Council for the three Rome-based agencies (RBAs) – the FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – was brought forward. The idea was to form an inclusive, youth-led advisory team that champions practical innovations and policies focused on the unique needs and strengths of young people in agriculture globally.

Following a debate among the countries, an informal Youth Council decision was passed at the FAO. The path forward to a formal Youth Council for the three RBAs is being paved, and I look forward to seeing how 4-H members will be involved at the global level.

If the creation of a Youth Council is approved, 4-H members from around the world will have the opportunity to apply for one of the two 4-H seats on this council! 4-H Canada encourages and empowers 4-H youth to be engaged in high-level conversations around agriculture, food security and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Did you know? The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. Otherwise known as the Global Goals, they are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Dix manières d’utiliser 4-H APPREND

Le site Web 4-H APPREND est votre guichet unique pour apprendre, accéder aux ressources et réseauter avec les animateurs partout au pays, et avec des professionnels et des animateurs bénévoles des 4-H partout dans le monde.

Après avoir créé votre profil, vous pouvez télécharger des ressources, accéder au matériel de formation et faire partie des groupes de discussion. Regardons quelques-uns des éléments disponibles pour vous dans 4-H APPREND!

Utilisez la carte interactive pour en apprendre à propos du mouvement mondial des 4-H
Consultez la carte mondiale interactive pour voir à quoi ressemblent les 4-H ailleurs au monde, et pour trouver les coordonnées des organismes des 4-H d’un nombre croissant de pays et de régions.

Réseautez avec les pairs mondiaux
Chaque utilisateur de 4-H APPREND sera en mesure de créer un profil, dans lequel vous pourrez échanger des renseignements à propos de votre rôle au sein des 4-H et de vos intérêts généraux. Par ce profil, vous serez en mesure d’accéder au site et de réseauter avec les animateurs et le personnel des 4-H provenant de 70 pays. Créez votre profil en vous inscrivant ici.

Prenez part aux discussions de groupe
Une fois que votre profil est créé, vous serez en mesure de participer à des discussions de groupe et de commencer à contribuer au réseau en ligne des animateurs des 4-H. Consultez les groupes de discussion actuels, entamez vos propres conversations, partagez des ressources et apprenez des autres animateurs.


Téléchargez à partir de la bibliothèque des ressources
C’est l’endroit où vous pouvez accéder à toute ressource et tout projet des 4-H qui ont été ajoutés à la bibliothèque de 4-H APPREND. Une fois inscrit, vous aurez accès à une base de données exhaustive des ressources provenant non seulement des 4-H au Canada, mais également de partout au monde. Vous pouvez effectuer une recherche par volet, emplacement, sujet général et mot clé spécifique.

*Avant d’utiliser une ressource d’un projet 4-H provenant de l’extérieur de la province ou du pays, nous invitons les animateurs bénévoles à communiquer avec leur bureau provincial des 4-H pour discuter plus en détail de leurs projets et plans des clubs 4-H. Votre organisme provincial, étatique ou national des 4-H peut faire l’objet de restrictions relativement aux types de projets ou d’activités des 4-H qui peuvent être réalisés dans votre région. Avant d’utiliser une ressource dans 4-H APPREND, vous êtes tenus de vérifier l’admissibilité d’un projet et de satisfaire aux exigences de votre organisme local des 4-H.

Sélectionnez les ressources utiles par le biais de notre fonction « J’aime »
Utilisez le pouvoir du réseau des 4-H pour voir rapidement les ressources les plus populaires et aimées par les autres animateurs. Trouvez une ressource que vous aimez et que vous recommanderiez aux autres animateurs. « Aimez » la ressource et aidez les autres animateurs dans leurs recherches.

Soutenez les nouveaux animateurs et les membres à l’aide de notre trousse pour les clubs
Nous avons ajouté les trousses pour les nouveaux clubs de 4-H Canada à la bibliothèque, qui comprennent : le Guide à l’intention des nouveaux animateurs bénévoles des 4-H du Canada et le Guide des membres 4-H. Ces ressources, contenant des renseignements destinés aux nouveaux animateurs et aux membres, sont une excellente manière de se lancer dans les 4-H!

Parcourez les présentations du Sommet du réseau mondial des 4-H de 2017
Un autre ensemble de ressources qui a été ajouté à la bibliothèque comprend les présentations du Sommet du réseau mondial des 4-H de 2017. Vous n’avez pas pu assister au Sommet ou à un atelier en particulier? Parcourez 4-H APPREND pour créer votre expérience unique d’apprentissage mondial.

Revenez à l’essentiel des 4-H par l’apprentissage général
Comprendre les éléments clés qui marquent l’expérience des 4-H pour les membres est important pour toute personne impliquée dans les 4-H, que vous veniez d’adhérer au mouvement ou que vous y participiez depuis des années! Consultez les renseignements à propos du développement positif des jeunes, l’enseignement fondé sur l’expérience et les partenariats entre les jeunes et les adultes.

Apprenez-en à propos des évènements mondiaux
Surveillez les activités qui se déroulent dans votre région, votre pays ou à l’étranger par le biais des annonces d’évènements destinés aux animateurs dans 4-H APPREND.

Partagez vos connaissances avec les autres
Il est important de vous rappeler que vous êtes une ressource pour le réseau des 4-H! 4-H APPREND est la plateforme dans laquelle vous pouvez partager vos connaissances avec les autres animateurs, créer des conversations et susciter de nouvelles idées. Dans les discussions de groupe, vous pouvez également téléverser des ressources qui vous semblent être utiles pour les autres animateurs. Vous remarquez qu’il manque une ressource dans la bibliothèque lorsque vous utilisez le site? Faites-le savoir à votre bureau provincial afin qu’un employé puisse la téléverser.

Alors, qu’attendez-vous? Rejoignez la communauté mondiale des 4-H par le biais du site Web 4-H APPREND!

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Ten Ways to Use 4-H LEARNS

The 4-H LEARNS website is your one-stop shop to learn, access resources and network with leaders across the country, as well as 4-H professionals and volunteer leaders around the world.

After creating your own profile, you can download resources, access volunteer training materials and be a part of discussion groups. Let’s check out some of the things that are available to you on 4-H LEARNS!

Use the Interactive Map to Learn about the Global 4-H Movement
Check out the interactive world map to see what 4-H looks like around the world, and find contact information for 4-H organizations in a growing number of countries and regions.

Network with Global Peers
Each user on 4-H LEARNS will be able to create a profile, where you can share information about your role in 4-H and general interests. Through this profile, you will be able to access the site and connect with 4-H leaders and staff from 70 countries. Get started on your profile by signing up here.

Engage in Group Discussions
Once your profile is set up, you’ll be able to dive into the group discussions and start contributing to the online network of 4-H leaders! See the current discussion groups, start your own conversations, share resources and learn from other leaders.


Download from the Resource library
This is where you can access all of the 4-H resources and projects that have been added to the 4-H LEARNS library. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have access to an extensive database of resources not only from 4-H in Canada but around the world. You can search by pillar, location, general topic, and specific keywords.

*Before using a 4-H project resource from outside of your province or country, we ask that volunteer leaders connect with their provincial 4-H office to discuss their 4-H club projects and plans in more detail. Your provincial, state or national 4-H organization may have restrictions on the types of 4-H projects or activities which can be completed in your region. Before using a resource on 4-H LEARNS, you are required to verify it is an eligible project and meets the requirements of your local 4-H organization.

Highlight Helpful Resources through our ‘Like’ Feature
Use the power of the 4-H network to quickly see which resources are most popular and liked by fellow leaders! Find a resource that you like and would recommend to other leaders? ‘Like’ the resource yourself and help other leaders in their search.

Support New Leaders and Members through our Club Kits
We have added 4-H Canada’s new Club Kits to the library, which include: 4-H Canada New Volunteer Leader Guide, 4-H Member Handbook. Filled with information for new leaders and members alike, these resources are a great way to get started in 4-H!

Browse through Global 4-H Network Summit 2017 Presentations
Another collection of resources that have been added to the library are the presentations from the Global 4-H Network Summit 2017. Unable to attend the summit or a particular workshop? Browse through 4-H LEARNS for your own unique experience of global learning.

Get Back to the Basics of 4-H through General Learning
Understanding the key elements underlining the 4-H experience for members is important for everyone involved in 4-H, whether you’re new to the movement, or have been involved for years! Check out information about Positive Youth Development, Experiential Education, and Youth Adult Partnerships.

Learn about Global Events
Check out what is happening in your own region, country or around the world with the events being advertised for leaders on 4-H LEARNS.

Share Your Knowledge with Others
It is important to remember that you are a resource to the 4-H network! 4-H LEARNS is where you can share your knowledge with other leaders, generate conversations and spark new ideas. In the group discussions, you can also upload resources you think might be useful to fellow leaders. Notice a resource is missing from the library as you use the site? Let your provincial office know so they can upload it.

So, what are you waiting for? Join the global 4-H community at 4-H LEARNS!

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Explorer les 4-H de la Jamaïque dans le cadre du programme d’échanges Les 4-H autour du monde

Je n’oublierai jamais le moment auquel j’ai eu l’occasion de voyager en Jamaïque avec les 4-H du Canada. Je peux encore savourer le goût des mangues fraîches dans ma bouche et entendre le son de la musique des salles de danse dans mes oreilles.

Au cours de quatre semaines durant l’été 2015, j’ai participé aux activités des 4-H comme le camp national des 4-H, j’ai appris au sujet de l’agriculture et de la production alimentaire dans les Caraïbes et j’ai exploré la riche histoire de la Jamaïque.

Avec ma famille d’accueil, j’ai nagé dans la mer des Caraïbes, visité la résidence du gouverneur général de la Jamaïque, escaladé les chutes de la rivière Dunn et découvert des maisons de plantation (de grandes propriétés anciennement occupées par des propriétaires d’esclaves). Ma famille d’accueil m’a également amenée visiter des fabriques locales, des fermes, des foires et des collèges d’agriculture où j’ai appris sur les différents aspects de la production alimentaire.

En observant la façon dont les 4-H travaillent dans d’autres pays, j’ai appris que leur programmation n’est pas si différente de la nôtre et que ces derniers sont populaires partout dans le monde. En Jamaïque, plus d

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e 70 000 membres 4-H achèvent des projets tels que le pliage de serviettes, la décoration de gâteaux et l’apiculture.

Grâce à cette occasion hors pair, j’ai exploré la culture jamaïcaine d’un point de vue local tout en en apprenant davantage au sujet des 4-H et de l’agriculture. J’ai également été en mesure de partager ma passion à l’égard des 4-H sur les ondes d’une station radio locale jamaïcaine où j’ai pu lire un poème que j’ai écrit.

Je pense souvent à tout ce que j’ai pu apprendre en Jamaïque – simplement en vivant l’expérience de la devise « Apprendre en travaillant », j’ai acquis une meilleure compréhension du monde dans lequel nous vivons.

Au cours des deux dernières années depuis le moment auquel j’ai pris part au programme Les 4-H autour du monde avec les 4-H du Canada, j’ai partagé ce que j’ai appris en Jamaïque une fois de retour à mon club en Ontario.

J’ai été tellement inspirée que je suis devenue une jeune dirigeante d’un club de diversité culturelle en poursuivant le partage de la programmation des 4-H en Jamaïque avec mes pairs des 4-H.

Ce voyage m’a permis de me préparer pour d’autres grandes expériences avec les 4-H, comme travailler au Nicaragua à titre d’assistante à l’enseignement, assister au Sommet du réseau mondial des 4-H en tant que membre du Comité consultatif sur la jeunesse et pour les autres aventures qui se présenteront à moi.

Je me suis fait des amis des 4-H partout dans le monde grâce aux programmes nationaux des 4-H du Canada et j’ai encouragé tous les membres de niveau senior de 18 à 25 ans à s’inscrire s’ils le peuvent! La période de soumission des demandes pour le programme Les 4-H autour du monde qui aura lieu l’année prochaine se termine le 30 novembre 2017. Pour en apprendre plus, consultez le site Web suivant : 4-h-canada.ca.   

Exploring Jamaica 4-H through a Going Global Exchange

I’ll never forget the time I travelled to Jamaica with 4-H Canada. I can still taste the fresh mangoes in my mouth and hear the sound of dance hall music in my ears.

Over four weeks in the summer of 2015, I participated in 4-H activities like their national 4-H camp, learned about agriculture and food production in the Caribbean and explored Jamaica’s rich history.

With my host family, I swam the Caribbean Sea, toured the Governor-General’s residence, climbed Dunn’s River Falls and experienced plantation houses (large estates formerly occupied by slave owners). My host family also brought me to local factories, farms, fairs and agricultural colleges where I learned about the different aspects of food production.

Maggie Kyle PictureBy seeing how 4-H in another country works, I learned that their programming isn’t so different from ours and that 4-H is popular all over the world. In Jamaica, over 70,000 4-H members complete projects like towel folding, cake decorating and beekeeping.

Through this unique opportunity, I saw Jamaican culture from a local perspective while learning more about 4-H and agriculture. I was even able to share my passion for 4-H on a local Jamaican radio station where I read a poem I wrote.

I often think about how much I learned in Jamaica – by simply living the “Learn To Do By Doing Motto,” I gained a better understanding of the world we live in.

Over the past two years since I experienced this Going Global Exchange with 4-H Canada, I’ve shared what I’ve learned in Jamaica back to my club in Ontario.

I was so inspired; I became a youth leader of a Cultural Diversity club to continue sharing Jamaican 4-H programming with my fellow 4-H peers.

This trip has prepared me for other big 4-H experiences, like working in Nicaragua as a teaching assistant, attending the Global 4-H Network Summit as a Youth Advisory Committee member and for other adventures that come my way.

I’ve made 4-H friends from all over the world through national 4-H Canada programs, and encourage any senior member aged 18-25 to sign up if they can! Applications for next year’s Going Global Exchanges close this November 30, 2017. Visit 4-h-canada.ca to learn more.   

Voyage autour du monde en 80 publications

Voyager vers de nouvelles destinations offre souvent une expérience formidable. Cela vous permet de découvrir de nouvelles perspectives culturelles, culinaires et linguistiques, et d’obtenir une excellente occasion de rencontrer de nouvelles personnes. Toutefois, il est parfois difficile de montrer à vos amis et à votre famille à quel point votre voyage a été formidable.   

Aujourd’hui, Brianna Anderson et Noel Fenez, membres des 4-H, ont présenté leur atelier Around the World in 80 Posts: Capturing Your Travels with 4-H Through Multi-Media (Voyage autour du monde en 80 publications : tenir un journal de vos voyages avec les 4-H à l’aide de plateformes multimédias). Brianna et Noel ont tous deux beaucoup voyagé avec les 4-H, à des endroits dont Taiwan, le Costa Rica, le Ghana ainsi qu’un peu partout au Canada et aux États‑Unis. Dans cet atelier, elles ont recours à leur expérience de voyage et leur expertise en médias numériques pour aider les autres membres des 4-H à mieux consigner et communiquer leurs expériences de voyage à l’aide des meilleurs outils et techniques de communication narrative par photos et vidéos.

Cet atelier intéressant a commencé par un court montage vidéo des voyages de Brianna et de Noel démontrant à quel point des photos et vidéos peuvent être magnifiques, avant de faire bouger tout le monde et les amener à discuter de destinations de voyage, de prendre des autophotos et d’offrir une critique des profils Instagram des uns des autres. 

Brianna et Noel ont ensuite abordé différents aspects de la photographie afin d’apprendre aux participants comment capter les meilleures photos, y compris la différence entre les modes portrait et paysage, la règle des tiers et la façon d’optimiser l’éclairage pour les différentes prises de vue. Les délégués ont appris de nouvelles techniques sur la façon de rendre leurs photos plus intéressantes et de mieux les cadrer, en s’assurant qu’elles captent des moments extraordinaires de sorte à bâtir et à partager des souvenirs mémorables. 

« Les médias numériques ne se limitent pas à la photo », ont précisé Brianna et Noel; « Utilisez des légendes et des mots-clics, et pensez à la meilleure plateforme de média social disponible pour raconter votre histoire et stimuler l’intérêt de vos abonnés. » 

Les 4‑H offrent à ses délégués de nombreuses possibilités de voyager vers des destinations attrayantes, et tout le monde veut pouvoir prendre ses meilleures photos avec les réseaux. Grâce à l’expertise transmise au cours de l’atelier de Brianna et Noel, il ne fait aucun doute que les participants sauront prendre la photo parfaite et raconter le récit de leur voyage avec les 4-H. 

Around the World in 80 Posts

Traveling to new places is often an incredible experience. It offers up new perspectives on culture, food, language, and gives you a fantastic opportunity to meet new people but sometimes it’s hard to portray to your friends and family just how amazing your trip was.  

Today, 4-H members Brianna Anderson and Noel Fenez presented their workshop: Around the World in 80 Posts: Capturing Your Travels with 4-H Through Multi-Media. Both Brianna and Noel have traveled extensively with 4-H, to places like Taiwan, Costa Rica, Ghana, as well as across Canada and the United States. In this workshop they used that travel experience, along with their expertise in digital media, to help other members of 4-H better document and share their travel experiences by using the best tools and techniques for photo and video storytelling.

This engaging workshop began with a short video montage of Brianna and Noel’s travels, showcasing how great photos and videos can look, before getting everyone up and moving, discussing travel destinations, taking selfies, and critiquing each other’s Instagram profiles.

Brianna and Noel then dove into the different aspects of photography to help participants learn how to take the best shots, including portrait vs. landscape, rule of thirds and how to optimize lighting for different shots. Delegates learned new techniques for how they can spruce up their photos, and better frame their shots, to make sure their photos capture amazing moments to build and share lasting travel memories.

“Digital media isn’t all about the photo,” Brianna and Noel said, “use captions, hashtags and think about the best social media platform available to tell your story and drive engagement with your followers.”

4-H offers so many opportunities for its delegates to travel to exiting destinations, and everyone wants to be able to take their best photos with the networks. By using the expertise that was shared in this workshop from Brianna and Noel, 4-H users will no doubt be able take the perfect shot, tell their 4-H travel story. 

How to Get Involved in the Global 4-H Network Summit

This summer, the Shaw Centre in downtown Ottawa will be transformed into a sea of green and a hub of energy and excitement as 4-H youth, professionals and volunteer leaders from around the world come together to celebrate, learn and be inspired!

Across Canada, 4-H’ers and volunteer leaders have been hugely involved in the Global 4-H Network Summit excitement, sitting on planning committees, spreading the hype on social media and registering as provincial delegates. It is just getting started though, and there are still many ways for YOU to make your mark on the global 4-H movement and be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event!

If you are a high school student and you find yourself in Ottawa July 11-14, 2017, why not chalk up some extra volunteer hours, chilling with us in the A/C at the Shaw Centre. There are a variety of different volunteer roles available. We are also looking for 4-H alumni & leaders to help. Visit the global-4-h-network.com/volunteer to sign-up.

Takeover the Global 4-H Network Summit Instagram
Show your 4-H Colours by taking over the Global 4-H Network Summit Instagram account for one week and sharing a glimpse into the world of your 4-H club and the projects you are working on with 4-H’ers around the world. It’s a great way to show your pride and share the things that make your 4-H club unique! Visit the Global 4-H Network blog to learn more. 

Check out Education, Travel and 4-H Volunteer Opportunities…for Free!
The Global 4-H Opportunities Expo will showcase education, volunteer, partnership and career opportunities for youth at post-secondary schools, NGOs and 4-H corporate partners. This free and open event is a great starting point if you’re looking for ideas or inspiration for the next phase of your life!

Come out to Night in the Country
Are you a local 4-H club? Bring a display and demonstrate your 4-H project to global delegates and local families at the Night in the Country at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum on July 13, 2017. Contact Hannah for more information.

Tickets are also available to purchase for any alumni or volunteers who want to enjoy a fun night out with the global 4-H delegates. Admission for the evening is only $35 for adults (15+), $15 for youth (10-14) and free for children under 9 and includes dinner, admission to the museum and entertainment. Tickets can be purchased online.  

Follow Us & Celebrate With Us Online
Follow the Global 4-H Network Summit on social media (like Twitter and Instagram) to learn about 4-H projects and programs around the world and get to  know other 4-H youth, volunteer leaders and staff. If you are in Ottawa, make sure to attend the Global 4-H Opportunities Expo, where you can visit booths of 4-H countries and celebrate our global community.

Follow the Global 4-H Network Summit on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook for event updates and to join the #4H4TheWorld conversation. Join the Momentum!


Uprooting Assumptions on Food Security

This past April, our YAC member, Andrea Soesbergen was invited to attend the 2016 Thought For Food Global Summit in Zurich, Switzerland. The following is a reflection piece from Andrea on the event and how her involvement with 4-H in Canada led her to these unique opportunities.

Thought For Food (TFF) is a movement that gathers bright young minds from around the world to work together in making the world a better place and engage in discussion about shifting common assumptions in food and agriculture. They take a hard look at the food system and work out how it can be improved by uprooting these assumptions.

The TFF Global Summit was a two-day extravaganza of excitement, communication and a commitment to breaking down food security barriers. We were invited to throw away our pre-established views of the world and design the future that we want to see.  TFF challenged university students to come up with ideas for entrepreneurial projects related to the food system for a $10,000 prize to help them accomplish their goals. At the summit, we watched the pitches of ten finalist teams. The overall winner this year was Kulisha, a group producing low-cost fish feed for aquaculture made from insects.

Throughout the Summit, we listened to talks by speakers like Daan Roosegaarde, founder of Studio Roosegaarde, an art studio whose productions often have educational and world improvement objectives, Julie Borlaug of the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, who shares the institute’s commitment to improving conditions for smallholder farmers and Chris Lewicki, president and CEO of Planetary Resources, a company exploring space to see what resources can be used to make life better here on earth.

We also took part in interactive workshops on various topics like hacking biology, open-source data and sustainable business. This combination of activities made for an incredibly enriching and unforgettable experience.

Although the invitation to attend this conference was not directly through 4-H, it was the result of my involvement with 4-H programming that set me on this path. Being in 4-H has always encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and to not be afraid to apply myself to something I am passionate about and watch what unfolds as a result of the hard work put in.

Involvement in 4-H has shown me the importance of not accepting the world as it is, but working to make the world better through volunteering and helping others. As a result, I have found myself attending conferences around the globe this past year, sharing ideas on agriculture and the food system, growing and realizing my own potential.

These experiences have shown me that I have a voice and knowledge to share and the power to make great change in the world around me by starting with small actions in my own community.

Thank you 4-H, for setting me on this journey of personal growth and taking me, quite literally, to the top of the world and back.

Generation Z: Harnessing the Power to Change the World

By Shannon Benner, CEO, 4-H Canada

The 4-H story in Canada began over a century ago, and the organization has grown into one of the country’s most respected youth movements - bridging generations and building deep community roots in the agricultural sector. From Canada’s east coast to its west coast, we are uniquely positioned in the agricultural community, through our well established programs and grassroots networks. We are fortunate to have many partners that support our work.

The secret of why this grassroots movement has been so successful in engaging youth is that it didn’t start as an organization or policy, it started as a fundamental belief that young people needed support to succeed both on, and off the farm. It was a belief that recognized the equal importance of building character, responsibility, confidence and empathy in addition to skill mastery.

The result of this philosophy, which can be traced to Ohio in the United States, is now a global 4-H movement of nearly 7 million young people in more than 60 countries. These are caring, responsible and contributing young people who effect change in the world around them.

We believe that 4-H youth from around the world are uniquely positioned to play an important leadership role in alleviating world hunger because of the work they already do in sustainable agriculture and food security. That is why, in the fall of 2014, over 70 4-H nations congregated in Seoul, Korea to participate in the first Global 4-H Network Summit.

The summit focused on evolving 4-H’s world class positive youth development approach, looking at drivers of growth in agriculture, addressing global issues through the youth lens and showcasing 4-H programming from around the world. One of the major outcomes of the summit included the formation of the Global 4-H Board, which I have the privilege of chairing.  The Summit also saw as an outcome a commitment by leaders to see global 4-H membership grow to 25 million by 2025.

Recently, this diverse group of 4-H board members came together at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto for an in-person Global 4-H Board meeting. They used this opportunity to discuss ways to equip and empower young people to meet urgent local, national, and global issues, including sustainable agriculture and food security.

The global 4-H community also formally asked 4-H Canada to be the host of the next Global Summit in July of 2017. 4-H Canada’s Board of Directors had passed a motion the day before to approve this request. 4-H Leaders and members from around the world will join us in Ottawa for a celebration of Positive Youth Development.

Convening the international 4-H community at events like the global board meeting and the highly anticipated 4-H Global Summit is invaluable to strengthening the 4-H movement and empowering youth. 

Our current and future youth members, who belong to generation Z, have the potential to create innovative and world-changing solutions to the biggest challenges we face in as a planet. We need to tap into this potential, particularly as we have the advantage of being a global youth organization. The skills that our youth are developing today are essential to solving the world’s problems. 4-H can and must support youth in this journey.

4-H Around the World Image

4-H Around the World

  • 4-H is one of the largest youth organizations in the world.
  • Independent 4-H programs can be found in all corners of the globe—from North and South America to Africa to Asia.
  • There are over 70 independent, country-led 4-H programs around the world.
  • Worldwide, there are nearly 7 million 4-H’ers. 



Paul Larmer welcomes 4-H Global Board Summit Delegates

Paul Larmer, Chief Executive Officer at Semex Alliance and President and Chairman of the Board for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. For more photos from the 4-H Global Board meeting visit our flickr page.

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