For over 100 years, 4-H has been an integral part of Alberta’s agricultural landscape, teaching youth about resourcefulness, cooperation, determination, and leadership. Agriculture Financial Services (AFSC) is proud to help support 4-H in Alberta through post-secondary scholarships, support for a variety of provincial programs and our 4-H Alberta Grassroots Fund.
Through this fund, any new or existing 4-H Alberta sanctioned club can apply for up to $300 to be used to support activities, programs, events or initiatives that fall into the areas of Agriculture/Agri-Food, Education and Outreach, and Community Well-Being. Funds are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis until all funds are allotted.
“The continued support of 4-H Alberta, regardless of if it is on the grassroots or provincial level, helps 4-H Alberta deliver first-class, hands-on youth leadership development programs that will build our future leaders of tomorrow,” explained Shane Guiltner, 4-H Alberta’s Marketing, Communications & Technology Director. “The provincial funding supports programs like Senior Symposium, Beef Heifer & Sheep Show, as well as the Ag Next Gen Tours.
“The Grassroots funding helps our clubs deliver club specific activities and projects they may not be able to complete without the funding.”
Alberta’s 4-H clubs have used money from the Grassroots Fund to support unique and creative activities. Some of the highlights include:
- DFJ 4-H Multi Club accessed the Grassroots Fund to help with the club’s Explore Alberta project. The project was geared toward providing members with an opportunity to explore Alberta’s secret gems, historical locations and off-the-beaten path locations. Grassroots funding was used to give members a day experience at the Metis Heritage Centre.
- The Brooks & Area 4-H Beef Club used money from the Grassroots Fund to help a senior member, who was enrolled in the Leadership for your Club project, create and organize mental health events for the club’s members.
- The Willingdon 4-H Multi Club hosted a series of learning segments throughout the year to help their members increase their knowledge-related agriculture financial literacy and record keeping, traceability, and lamb and ewe production. Grassroots funds helped offset supply and speaker costs.
- The Northlands 4-H Club, a city-based multi-club, accessed the Grassroots Fund to help offset costs involved in renting a hall for their achievement day/wrap-up day. This Edmonton-based club features a wide array of projects, including Outdoor Pursuits, Game Development/Coding, Foods, Exploring 4-H, Urban Ag, Performing Arts, and Photography.
Still growing strong
The 4-H movement has been around for over 100 years, and it continues to grow and adapt while remaining true to its motto of “Learn to do by doing.”
Members not only participate in 4-H programs and projects, they also take on a variety of leadership roles within their clubs, including Club President, Treasurer, Secretary and Reporter. Meetings are run by club members and decisions are made by the entire group.
“There is an ongoing need for quality, hands-on youth programming in our communities and that is supported by dedicated and passionate volunteers,” explained Guiltner.
“Since the restructure of 4-H Alberta in 2020 and post the pandemic, 4-H Alberta is proud to confirm membership growth during the 2022/2023 club year. Because 4-H Alberta has over 100 years of youth programming history and expertise, (we) were able to learn from our experiences and adapt to serve the new and ever-changing needs in our communities.”
Regardless of the type of club or the project work involved, 4-H members are taught teamwork, social responsibility, and the impact they can have on their communities, both urban and rural. Through hands-on, real-life experience, 4-H members build their confidence, independence, and resilience, all of which help build tomorrow’s leaders.
“Agriculture plays an important and large role in 4-H Alberta’s history and its roots,” said Guiltner. “By continuing to promote agriculture, as well as developing meaningful programming within the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security youth development pillar, 4-H Alberta ensures that the agriculture industry remains top of mind for members, their families, our dedicated volunteers, and their communities.”
Applying for the 4-H Alberta Grassroots Fund
Applications for the 4-H Alberta Grassroots Fund open October 3. To learn more about the fund, visit AFSC.ca/4HFund