Global 4-H Sets its Sights on 25 Million Members

October 12, 2016

In 7 million households around the world, the four-leaf clover is a symbol of agricultural development and youth leadership. The Global 4-H Network aspires to almost triple that reach by 2025.

25 million members. That was the goal set at the first Global 4-H Network Summit, held in Seoul, Korea in the fall of 2014. It was the first time ever representatives of the grassroots, agricultural movement from over 70 nations came together on a global scale, to act as one.

Over the course of a week, workshops, meetings, and special events were held to showcase the accomplishments of 4-H around the world. Nations also elected representatives from their regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America, to form the Global 4-H Network Board of Directors.

The movement agreed on a common vision: enabling global growth and prosperity through increased reach and positive youth development. A declaration was signed by regional representatives of the more than 60 nations in attendance.

“It was an incredible week and so rewarding to be part of a bigger movement,” said Shannon Benner, 4-H Canada CEO and a Canadian delegate at the Summit.

The World Needs More 4-H

“At a time when we are grappling with questions of food security and climate change around the world, 4-H is helping young people find ways to make their communities better and overcome these challenges. That is happening all over the globe!” Said Benner.

Over 100 years old, 4-H clubs officially started in 1912 in the United States but their roots as youth clubs teaching new agricultural techniques dates back to the 1800’s.  Clubs soon spread around the world with a common focus on growing youth leaders that create positive change in their communities.

Today, adult leaders mentor members as they learn about any number of topics with hands-on activities in a local club. In Canada, clubs are pretty much limited only by the imagination of members and leaders, relating to sustainable agriculture and food, healthy living and the environment, science and technology and communications and community engagement.

4-H Canada is excited to welcome the global 4-H family and host the next Global 4-H Network Summit in Ottawa, Ontario from July 11-14, 2017.

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