Did you know that 4H Canada started in Manitoba!?

Roland is recognized as the official birthplace of 4H in Canada, 'as it was the community in which the first organizational meeting for a Boys and Girls Club was held in 1913.'

'Over 4-H’s 100-year Manitoban history, the program has been through many changes,' states the 4H website. 'At that time the clubs (Roland was followed in the same year by Darlingford, Manitou, Neepawa, Oak Lake, Starbuck, Stonewall and Warren) were organized by the Extension Service of the Manitoba Agricultural College through the school systems.'

"It's very exciting to be a very progressive youth development organization that provides experiential learning to have lasted the tests of time," says Executive Director of Manitoba 4H Shannon Carvey. 

"I come from a generational 4H family," she shares. "My mom was a 4H-er, we were 4H-ers as kids, and my kids went through the program, and next year we are excited to have our fourth generation start 4H!"

"And there's lots of traditional 4H families," continues Carvey, "I think it's a program that people experience, and once they grow up and have kids, they want their children to experience it as well."

To continue the history of 4H ...

After the 1913 start, there were 'several changes in the provincial departments responsible for club organization until 1926 when the responsibility was transferred back to the Department of Agriculture where it remains today. It was not until early 1951 that the 4-H name was adopted. In a move towards self-government, the Manitoba 4-H Club Council was established that same year with the objectives of promoting, encouraging and improving the 4-H club program.'

'The original clubs were multi-purpose and the 472 founding members raised poultry and grew potatoes and fodder corn. Between 1928-1930 single project clubs were developed, including grain, beef, sheep, dairy, poultry, garden, clothing and cookery. By 1963, the 50th Anniversary of 4-H in Manitoba, the trend had again returned to multi-purpose clubs, except for some of the agricultural projects.'

'In 1913, members were aged 10-16 and the age ranges have varied over the years to the current eligibility of 6-25 years.  Membership reached a peak of 9,495 members in 1939-40 and then declined rapidly during the war years (as a result of enlistment and labour shortages) to 4,323 members in 1944-45. In the last few years, 4-H Manitoba has had over 2,000 members.'

'Some things, however, have not changed. The program’s original aims of skill development, leadership and citizenship training are still the focus today. The importance of public speaking skills was recognized as early as 1926 and the Provincial Communications Competition, begun in 1947, remains a cornerstone of the 4-H program.' 

'The involvement of local leaders and members in club management began as early as 1916 and continues to this day. And current members continue to recite the 4-H Pledge that has been in use since 1927 when it was officially adopted at the first United States National 4-H Camp in Washington D.C.'

The 4-H Pledge represents the values of 4-H members, volunteers and alumni around the world:

I pledge
My head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
My health to better living,
For my club, my community,
my country, and my world.


The history of 4H was copied from the 4H website History page:  History | Manitoba 4-H Council (4h.mb.ca)

To learn more about 4H visit their website:  Manitoba 4-H Council | Learn to Do by Doing (4h.mb.ca)


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