4-H Structure

4-H is a global movement that has various levels and layers all working together toward the common goal of fostering positive youth development. As one of the world’s largest youth organizations, 4-H can be found in over 70 countries, where almost seven million young people share in the 4-H experience!

So, how does 4-H operate in Canada? Here is a breakdown of the various levels of 4-H within Canada:

National

4-H Canada is the national governing body for 4-H in Canada. National staff handle the planning, implementation, and management of national programs, events, campaigns, scholarships, grants, and more. Staff are governed by the Board of Directors, a national volunteer board. The Canadian 4-H Foundation is responsible for overseeing the funding of 4-H Canada as a national not-for-profit organization.

Provincial

Provincial 4-H organizations operate autonomously, and are often jointly coordinated by a provincial agency or ministry and a provincial 4-H council. Together, they oversee the administration and operation of 4-H in their respective provinces, as well as facilitate province-specific fundraising initiatives and regional activities.

Local

4-H clubs are the grassroots of 4-H Canada. With support from provincial organizations, clubs conduct meetings and organize local activities that can range from photography to animal-specific competition (dairy, equestrian, etc.) to horticulture to woodworking—just to name a few examples!

By joining a local 4-H club, members not only have the opportunity to participate in club-driven activities, but they can use their membership as a gateway to regional, provincial, and national 4-H programs and events as well.

4-H Canada Board of Directors

The 4-H Canada Board of Directors is a volunteer governance board comprised of individuals from across Canada.

4-H Canada Registration number: 106868854RR0001

Meet the Board

President - Donna Bridge, ON

Donna operates a purebred Black Angus cattle farm along with her husband and children. She also manages the Country Depot in Kincardine, ON. Donna’s involvement in 4-H started around the kitchen table growing up, as both her mother and grandmother were club leaders in their local community. Donna credits 4-H with giving her the most amazing opportunities and enjoys working at the national level to help ensure the program is here for many more generations to come.

Vice President - David Hovell, NS

David Hovell of Port Williams, NS, is Executive Director of the Wolfville Business Development Corporation. His 4-H history dates back to 1978, when he became a member of the Cornwallis Project 4-H Club. David has volunteered with 4-H since 1988. In 2006, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Canadian 4-H Foundation and served as its President from 2011 to 2013.  However, David’s proudest moment in his 4-H career is when his daughter, Taylor, joined Cornwallis Project 4-H Club - now he is a 4-H Dad!

Past President - Valerie Pearson, SK

Valerie has served on the board of 4-H Canada in various capacities since 2002, and is currently President of the Canadian 4-H Council. She has a degree in Agriculture, a Certificate in Business Administration, and is a Professional Agrologist. Valerie first started in 4-H as a member in the Ernfold 4-H Beef Club. She later became a club leader, plus held the position of Executive Director for 4-H Saskatchewan for nearly 12 years. Valerie has also worked on behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan in Ukraine, providing assistance in setting up 4-H clubs. In 2012, 4-H Canada presented Valerie with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her invaluable contributions to 4-H.

Foundation Chair - Randy Mowat, AB

Randy is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for the National Accounting and Consulting firm MNP LLP. Based in Calgary, AB, Randy has supported positive youth development for many years by volunteering his time to 4-H Canada, as well as coaching minor sports. Randy is a proud alumnus of the 4-H Beef program in Manitoba, where he grew up on a mixed farming operation. He continues his involvement in 4-H today as a member and the Vice President of the Canadian 4-H Foundation.

Director - Jennifer Christie, ON

Jennifer has an MBA from the Ivey Business School, and currently works for John Deere Canada. A proud 4-H Ontario alumnus, she is also a member of the Canadian Agri-Business Education Foundation (CAMA), and involved in establishing an Ag Women’s Network in Ontario. Jennifer enjoys blogging and working at her family’s cash crop and dairy farm.

Director - Stan Figley, SK

Stan is a heavy equipment operator and runs a ranch in White Bear, SK with his wife, Shelley. He has been a 4-H beef club leader for the Kyle Multiple 4-H Club for 20 years. In addition to being a Director on the Canadian 4-H Council Board, Stan also volunteers his time to the Swift Current Ag and Ex Livestock Planning Committee, helping to put on a four-day show that attracts over 150 4-H’ers.

Director – Blain Hjertaas, SK

Blain has been involved in 4-H program since his children were small. He has been a leader, district chair and served on provincial board. Blain has chaperoned citizenship conference and been the director of the leaders forum in Toronto. Blain and his son farm in south east Saskatchewan. Blain and Naomi have 3 children and 3 grandchildren which they are eagerly awaiting to be old enough to enrol in 4-H.

Director - Leanne Sprung, MB

Leanne was raised on a mixed beef and grain farm in south central Manitoba and her roots in 4-H run deep.  She was a member in the Darlingford 4-H Club, Manitou 4-H Variety and Manitoba 4-H Beef Club, a 4-H Ambassador, a 4-H leader and was also involved in District, Regional, and Provincial Councils as a Junior Director. Leanne is married with a son who’s just a few short years away from being eligible to join 4-H.

Director – Lyndon Stewart, ON

A third generation 4-H’er, Lyndon has 30 years of 4-H experience at the local, provincial and national levels.   Participating as a member, volunteer, staff, donor and parent to members, he promotes 4-H as a career builder! Lyndon Stewart & Associates consults with farm families, agribusinesses and not-for-profits in the areas of governance, leadership, administration, strategy and succession.

Director - Valerie Stone, ON

A graduate of the 4-H program growing up, Valerie was also the Ontario representative on the 4-H Canada Youth Advisory Committee for 3 years. Valerie would like to pass on what she learned in 4-H and continue to bring her passion, enthusiasm, authenticity, and unique perspective to the 4-H Canada Board of Directors.

 

Canadian 4-H Foundation

The Canadian 4-H Foundation was established in 1969 and is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization. The Foundation is made up of knowledgeable, experienced, and responsible individuals who are committed to maintaining the longevity and sustainability of 4-H Canada. By overseeing and managing 4-H Canada’s endowment funds in a responsible, ethical, and intelligent manner, the Foundation helps make it possible for 4-H Canada to create and maintain leading-edge national programs and events.

Canadian 4-H Foundation Registration Number: 887411288RR0001

Meet the Foundation

Foundation Chair - Randy Mowat, AB

Randy is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for the National Accounting and Consulting firm MNP LLP. Based in Calgary, AB, Randy has supported positive youth development for many years by volunteering his time to 4-H Canada, as well as coaching minor sports. Randy is a proud alumnus of the 4-H Beef program in Manitoba, where he grew up on a mixed farming operation. He continues his involvement in 4-H today as a member and the Vice President of the Canadian 4-H Foundation.

Board President - Donna Bridge, ON

Donna operates a purebred Black Angus cattle farm along with her husband and children. She also manages the Country Depot in Kincardine, ON. Donna’s involvement in 4-H started around the kitchen table growing up, as both her mother and grandmother were club leaders in their local community. Donna credits 4-H with giving her the most amazing opportunities and enjoys working at the national level to help ensure the program is here for many more generations to come.

Past Chair - Kim Mcconnell, AB

Kim McConnell is a founder of AdFarm, a top agriculture marketing and communications firm. Kim is a passionate supporter of 4-H Canada, and a director with a number of companies and organizations. In addition, he is the recipient of many national business awards, and in 2012 was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Vice-Chair - Brad Adams, ON

Brad joined Semex in 2009 after almost 20 years of leadership in the Canadian feed and livestock industry. In his current position as Semex’s Global Training Manager, Brad has the opportunity to develop talent and work to maximize the skills of Semex’s Global sales teams. From his first 4-H Crops Club through to numerous camps and conferences, Brad attributes much of his success in business and in life to those many years in 4-H. The father of four, Brad and his wife Heather spend their time on the family farm in beautiful Brant County, ON.

Trustee - Morley Handford, AB

Morley’s involvement with 4-H started when he became a corporate member for Imperial Oil Limited in the 1990s. He has since held many positions at both the provincial and national level. Morley was appointed Director of the 4-H Foundation of Alberta, and Chairman of the Alberta Investment Committee. At the national level, he has served as President of both the Canadian 4-H Council and the Canadian 4-H Foundation. In 2014, he was inducted as an Honourary Member of the Canadian 4-H Council for providing almost 25 years of dedicated volunteerism. Now retired, Morley had an outstanding career that spanned 30 years and included executive positions with Imperial Oil Limited, Esso, and the Exxon Chemical Company.

Trustee - Todd Klink, SK

Todd was raised on a mixed farm in southwestern Saskatchewan where he was a member of 4-H for several years. After graduating from university, Todd began working in agriculture and has been in the industry ever since. Todd joined Farm Credit Canada in 2003 and is currently the Vice-President, Partners and Channels, where he’s accountable for the FCC team working with crop input and equipment retailers, livestock suppliers as well as the Customer Service Centre.  Todd and his wife Kathryn have two teenaged children and live in Regina, SK.

Trustee - John J. MacDonald, PEI

Having been a 4-H’er himself for a number of years, John went on to donate his time as a Club Leader and Project Leader, plus served in various provincial board positions, including President. He became a member of the Canadian 4-H Council in 1995, representing the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. In 2013, John was inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Trustee - Stefanie Nagelschmitz, ON

Stefanie works as Farm Show Team Lead and Communications for Canada's Outdoor Shows LP, organizers of Canada's Outdoor Farm Show and Ag In Motion. In 2015, Stefanie seized the opportunity to work as Overlay Site Manager for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games equestrian venues. Stefanie is originally from Middlesex County, ON and a proud alumnus of the Thorndale 4-H livestock clubs. Starting with her 4-H experiences, she strongly belives in the power of youth leadership opportunites. This passion carried into her academic career at the University of Guelph's Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). Stefanie also volunteers with the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association and OAC Alumni Foundation.