The B.C. government is investing $87,000 in the B.C. 4-H Council to encourage young British Columbians to experience and pursue a career in agriculture.
The funding was announced by Eric Foster, MLA for Vernon Monashee, on behalf of B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick, at a Vernon Young Riders 4-H horse club first-year check, in which members were taught skills such as measuring, and checking a horse’s temperature.
The funding will support the 4-H program in its 99th year of operation in B.C. and help its 2,200 youth members learn about farming and food production as well as building leadership skills and personal development. 4-H members complete hands-on projects in areas such as field crops, beef, horse, dairy, poultry, bees, agroforestry and mechanics designed to prepare them with knowledge and experiences to guide a successful career.
“One of the things I find most rewarding about being Agriculture Minister is my meetings with young British Columbians interested in farming,” said Letnick.”They are incredibly passionate about local foods, have grown up technology-savvy, and are keenly aware that a career in agriculture is also one in business.”
“4-H clubs offer our youth the mentorship and expertise of volunteers, who are often an owner of one of the 20,000 family farms in B.C.”
Ministry of Agriculture youth development staff also deliver conferences to youth and work closely with more than 600 registered 4-H volunteers, who mentor the youth and help transfer agriculture knowledge and skills from one generation to another.
4-H stands for head, heart, hands and health. 4-H members range in age from six to 21 years and are part of clubs in more than 50 B.C. communities. The goal of the 4-H program is youth development, with a focus on knowledge, leadership, citizenship and personal development.
“Kids learn top-notch agriculture and leadership skills through ‘learn to do by doing’ in 4-H,” said B.C. 4-H Provincial Council president Rick Kantz. “I and other B.C. 4-H volunteers are pleased to partner with the Ministry of Agriculture to deliver this practical learning to youth, it is necessary for our future in the agriculture sector.”