Values and History



The 4-H Motto . . .

"Learn to do by doing"

Learning through experience is a key objective of 4-H. At all levels of 4-H, members are encouraged to learn through active participation.

The 4-H Pledge is . . .

I pledge

My HEAD to clearer thinking,
My HEART to greater loyalty,
My HANDS to larger service,
And my HEALTH to better living,
For my club, my community, and my country.

Our Philosophy . . .

4-H is young people and adults learning project and life skills, cooperating and having fun together, sharing leadership and learning to do by doing.

Our Mission . . .

4-H Alberta inspires and empowers youth to reach their full potential through learning, connecting and having fun.  Inspiring and empowering youth to reach their full potential through LEARNING, CONNECTING, and having FUN.

Our Vision . . .

4-H Alberta is recognized and respected as the organization of choice for developing outstanding future community leaders and citizens.  

Our History . . .

4‑H has been an integral part of Alberta communities since 1917, with deep-rooted history and tradition that stems back to the efforts of individuals that formed the very first club for boys and girls (later called 4‑H) in our province.

Though each decade since our beginning has brought with it new challenges and milestones, the simple vision that started 4‑H has endured the test of time, making us one of Alberta's most recognized and valued youth programs.

Our Values . . .

  • developing technical skills and knowledge of the agricultural industry in rural youth and adult volunteers
  • development of leadership in rural communities
  • fostering entrepreneurial skills in youth
  • developing and supporting communication and effective teamwork skills among youth and adults
  • high quality customer services
  • providing products and services in response to client feedback and industry needs
  • providing state-of-the-art products and services using resources in the most cost effective manner (individual, corporate, government and client fees)
  • self-reliant volunteer leaders, clubs and councils
  • supporting and achieving the department business plan
  • viable partnerships

Our Strategic Plan . . .

Representatives from the 4-H partners, committees, and councils met in January 2007 to review the current state of 4-H in Alberta and set the strategic direction for the upcoming five year period. The document below is the result of this collaborative effort, and will help to guide the 4-H Branch, Alberta  4-H Council and 4-H Foundation of Alberta in their plans and actions over the coming years.

4-H Alberta Strategic Plan

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1990 | 1980 | 1970 | 1960 | 1950 | 1940 | 1930 | 1920 | 1917

  • Online payment is introduced for selected programs
  • Gord Bamford’s “Rural Roots Run Deep” fundraiser is launched
  • 4-H Branch in partnership with the 4-H Alberta Council initiates a Member Recruitment and Retention Survey and Report
  • Digital Photography is introduced as a project
  • Clubs were able to make payments online
  • Tilley School becomes the second school-based 4-H club
  • Three new articles are added to the Leading the Way series:  Purchasing Club Assets, Starting a 4-H Club in Your Community, and What’s new on the 4-H Website?
  • The 4-H Branch combines with Agriculture Education Branch to become the 4-H and Agriculture Education Branch
  • Alberta 4-Hers participate in Farm Credit Canada’s Drive Away Hunger Campaign
  • The 4-H Foods project, which was previously delivered in levels, becomes the first project to have its resource materials combined into and delivered through one manual
  • The Marketing Action Committee (MAC) is formed at the directive of the 4-H Alberta Council in an effort to steer projects that promote 4-H and retain membership.
  • Career and Technology Studies (CTS) is approved - 4-H can officially be used towards high school credits
  • First on-line club registrations were received
  • Year of the District Council training materials developed and used
  • Key Member Program was launched
  • 4-H Alberta Magazine became the primary publication
  • Opened 4-H Time Capsule buried at the Alberta 4-H Centre in 1980; buried another time capsule to be opened in 2030
  • Visual Arts pilot project launched
  • 4-H Fun pack, Meeting pack, Music pack and Marketing pack is available to clubs
  • Theater Arts project developed
  • Provincial 4‑H Presentations first held
  • Bison project material available
  • Students in Agriculture Award program was launched with a cheque for ($1 million dollars) being received by the 4‑H Foundation of Alberta from Alberta Agriculture
  • Exchange project introduced
  • Alternative Livestock (Llama and Alpaca, Bison, Ostrich and Rhea) projects introduced
  • Entrepreneur project introduced
  • Minimum age to become a member was lowered from 10 to 9
  • Grant MacEwan Environmental Centre at Battle Lake was opened
  • Key Leader Program was launched
  • The Cloverleaf Quarterly was launched as the primary publication for 4‑H families
  • Showcase 92, a celebration of 75 years of 4‑H in Alberta, was held in Calgary
  • 4‑H Radio spots involving 4‑H members first broadcasted
  • 4‑H Ambassador Program launched
  • Awards of Excellence - Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum were introduced as part of the ATB Financial Program
  • The People Developing People program was launched
  • Dorm facility was opened at Battle Lake
  • Lodge opened its doors for camping at Battle Lake
  • Computer project introduced
  • The Leadership through Counseling Seminar evolved through an amalgamation of counselor training weekends and Junior Leadership Seminar
  • Time Capsule buried at the Alberta 4‑H Centre during a rally
  • '4‑H News Roundup' a radio broadcast which lasted until 1988 broadcast 4‑H news across Alberta
  • First 4‑H camp held at the 4‑H Centre
  • Horse Sense was established
  • now known as Horse Classic
  • Canine project is available
  • 143 acres of natural land was purchased at Battle Lake to develop the Alberta 4‑H Centre
  • 60th anniversary of 4‑H celebrated at the Alberta 4‑H Centre
  • Camp programs first held at the Alberta 4‑H Centre
  • Provincial Multi Species Judging Seminar started
  • First Provincial Public Speaking competitions were held
  • Highway Cleanup started
  • Provincial Beef Heifer Show was initiated
  • Pheasant project was initiated in partnership with Fish and Wildlife
  • Range management project created
  • The 4‑H Foundation of Alberta was created to facilitate the acquisition of property to build a 4‑H facility which would provide the base for the personal development of Alberta's rural youth
  • The 4‑H program was transferred back to Alberta Agriculture under the Home Economics and 4‑H Branch
  • The 4‑H Alberta/NWT Ag development tour is started
  • A new department, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife, became the new government home for 4‑H
  • Apiculture project was introduced
  • Canine project was started
  • Speech Arts, Small Engine and Snowmobile projects introduced
  • The Alberta 4‑H Council officially formed
  • The 4‑H Hall of Fame was instituted
  • The minimum age to become a 4‑H member was lowered from 12 to 10
  • Crafts, Outdoorsman, Rabbit, Veterinary Science and Woodworking were approved as new projects
  • 4‑H became a part of the government department of Culture, Youth and Recreation
  • Junior Leader, self determined, and photography projects launched
  • Alberta celebrated its 50th Anniversary - A Centennial 4‑H Jamboree that had 3,000 of Alberta's 9,000 club members participating
  • A Cairn was unveiled and a tree was planted to commemorate 50 years of 4‑H work at Olds College
  • An automotives project for members 14 and older was started
  • The tractor project was introduced
  • Light Horse project was introduced
  • Alberta 4‑H Conservation Camp started (discontinued in 1997)
  • Multi project Clubs were introduced
  • Award trips for leaders were introduced
  • Premiers Award was first presented to an outstanding 4‑H member
  • The first regional council - Edmonton (involving three district councils) started
  • In celebration of 50 years of 4‑H in Canada, the Royal Bank sponsored an Inter-provincial 4‑H Exchange which still continues today
  • 4‑H Club Time a weekly 4‑H television program was launched
  • 4‑H adopted the green and white colors
  • Sugar Beets and Sweet Corn projects started
  • 4‑H returned to Agriculture's Extension Branch
  • Advanced beef projects were introduced
  • First use of junior judges (4‑H members and alumni) at livestock achievement days - emphasis on junior leadership and training
  • Beef project expanded to include carcass grading and ribbon branding
  • Provincial Selections program established to select Alberta 4‑H Award winners (initially called Provincial Eliminations, Changed to Provincial Competitions now named Selections)
  • The 4‑H pledge was officially adopted
  • The motto, 'Learn to do by Doing' first used
  • Both Canadian Council and Alberta changed to use the name 4‑H
  • First Alumni club organized at U of A campus
  • First District Council was organized in Camrose
  • Clubs decided to have official uniforms
  • First Provincial Dairy Show was held
  • Adoption of the Name
  • Alberta Junior Farm and Home Clubs
  • Establishment of forage clubs and the Provincial Junior Seed Fair
  • Club Week program was established and held at Olds
  • Poultry clubs were introduced
  • First Leadership Conference involving club leaders was held at Olds
  • Club members became responsible for running project/club meetings with "an opening, a business section, an educational session, and a fun session"
  • Girls' Garden Club formed at Brooks
  • Girls club work expanded to include clothing, foods and home decoration
  • Formation of the Extension Branch within the Department of Agriculture
  • First Beef Breeding project established in the St. Paul area
  • Alberta Department of Agriculture accepted as a member of the Canadian Council on Boys' and Girls' Club Work
  • Canadian Council on Boys' and Girls' Club Work was formed
  • Field crops clubs resulted in the use of local volunteer leaders
  • Objective written which confirmed the main purpose of club work was the training the rural youth received
  • Grain project was started
  • First name change to Boys' and Girls' Livestock clubs
  • Dairy project introduced
  • Poultry project introduced but not officially recognized until 1942
  • First public speaking contests involving 81 participants took place. These contests were designed to "establish confidence and freedom of speech in girls and boys when appearing before large gatherings"
  • Junior Farmers Club was organized
  • Lethbridge district established the first sheep club
  • Lethbridge District established the first beef club
  • Mr. W. J. Elliott established the first club for boys and girls in Alberta
  • The Olds Junior Pig Club (introduction of the swine project)

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