It all started almost a century ago in Roland and today 4-H has 178 clubs throughout Manitoba involved in over 2,800 projects. In the lead up to 4-H's centennial in 2013, Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced on Tuesday at the Legislative Building that 4-H has formed a partnership with Food Banks Canada. Local groups will collect donations and deliver food stuffs to food banks.
"Many successful young people with rural roots got their start in 4-H programs which gave them the confidence and encouragement to achieve their dreams," Kostyshyn said in a prepared statement. "As they become adults, many will return to the program as volunteers to contribute what they have learned. As they pay it forward, we will all continue to benefit."
Another centennial project is in conjunction with MacDon Industries. 4-H executive director Clayton Robins said MacDon unveiled a self-propelled windrower decked-out in 4-H logos and images.
Robins said the windrower will tour Canada.
"(If a) club does a demonstration with MacDon, then MacDon will make a donation to them," he said.
The first 4-H group, originally called Boys and Girls Clubs, was founded in Roland in 1913 and the community has been home to the 4-H museum since 1990.
Starbuck was among the other seven communities that started their clubs in 1913: Darlingford, Manitou, Neepawa, Oak Lake, Stonewall and Warren.
For youth between the ages of 8 to 21 years, 4-H develops community leadership skills. Robins said most of the local clubs in Manitoba are agriculture-based, such as beef, equine, and dairy.
He said there are several clubs that are craft-based and others are focussed on robotics.
The four H's (head, heart, hands and health) come from the organization's pledge, "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 and my country." The 4-H museum in Roland, at the corner of 3rd Street and Pacific Avenue, is open Mondays to Fridays 1-4 p.m during July and August or by appointment through the rest of the year. For more information call (204)-343-2061.