A small group of 4-H British Columbia teen members gathered at the Saanich Fairgrounds to learn more about B.C. agriculture through the Food for Thought agriculture awareness day-camp program, delivered by 4-H BC.
“I know the past few months have been especially challenging for young people, but thanks to the creativity of 4-H BC, the camp program has been adapted so youth can safely learn about B.C. agriculture,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “The B.C. government is proud to support 4-H BC and the young people of our province who will be our future agriculture and community leaders. Our commitment helps ensure that agriculture learning is accessible to all youth throughout B.C.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 4-H BC is adapting its Food for Thought conference into a series of six one-day agriculture awareness programs for 4-H members who are age 14 to 15 years. The organization is offering virtual farm tours and agriculture presentations for small groups this summer in Abbotsford, Rock Creek, Kamloops, Williams Lake, Vanderhoof and Saanich.
“Throughout the province of B.C., the support from the Ministry of Agriculture has enabled youth to experience the benefits of the 4-H program, broadening their knowledge of the agriculture industry,” said Aleda Welch, manager, 4-H British Columbia. “This support assists 4-H BC provincial council to offer a strong 4-H program that continues to contribute significantly to the future competitiveness of the agriculture industry by educating and nurturing future leaders for our communities.”
Over the next year, the B.C. government is committing $153,000 to 4-H BC, including:
- annual financial commitment to 4-H BC: $87,000
- youth farm safety and outreach program to support underrepresented groups: $63,000
- a Buy BC 4-H BC Instagram contest that encourages 4-H members to celebrate B.C. products on social media: $3,000
During the pandemic, Ministry of Agriculture youth development staff have continued to work with 4-H club leadership, members and volunteers by providing guidance in organizational management, agriculture and community leadership education. The youth development team recently supported 4-H BC in adapting existing youth and volunteer programs to virtual formats, in developing the new 4-H @ Home project and in creating a new gardening-basics video series for at home gardeners.
- 4-H BC is dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive environment that allows for universal access and participation.
- The goal of the 4-H program is youth development. The objectives of 4-H clubs are knowledge, leadership, citizenship and personal development.
- 4-H BC has approximately 2,200 members and 600 volunteer leaders in 139 clubs throughout B.C.
- 4-H club members range in age from six to 25 years.
4-H British Columbia: https://www.4hbc.ca/
In March 2020, the B.C. government provided $50,000 to 4-H British Columbia for the Field to Fork Challenge: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020AGRI0011-000407