Each year at this time you will see people across Edmonton dressed in their best cowboy gear and, most likely, you will see them sporting a button that says, “Go Cowboy” featuring the United Way logo.
It’s a great way to welcome all the guests who visit us to compete, browse or just enjoy all our city has to offer during this activity-packed week. As a city we embrace the rodeo's arrival because there are proven benefits for the Capital Region, on a very large scale. There’s also a benefit to United Way because proceeds from participating companies who allow employees to wear the “Go Cowboy” button and dress western for the week come to United Way to be invested back into the community.
Edmonton is host to the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) and Farmfair International. CFR is of course the top ranked cowboys and cowgirls vying for the top honours in Canada in the sport of rodeo. For the rodeo and Farmfair competitors, it’s all about bringing their finest performance and/or best livestock to compete and promote their family business. And in the farming and ranching business in Canada, the roots are firmly planted in family. And a lot of credit for keeping the farm and ranch family’s roots nourished belongs to 4-H Canada. 4-H Clubs have been thriving in Canada for nearly 100 years and November is 4-H month.
The Canadian 4-H Council provides a strong national platform that offers innovative support and initiatives which inspire youth to become contributing leaders in their communities.
Youth achieving their full potential
The principle of the cross-Canada clubs is quite simple, much like their Mission and Vision Statements; “the focus is on fun, friends, and learning cool new skills...like creating crafts, building a website, producing a play, building a small engine, or learning all about animals! Open to boys and girls between 8 and 21 (age varies in each province), 4-H has been helping develop well-rounded, responsible and independent youth since 1913. Members engage in technical skill development, exciting projects and other fun Club activities. Members have the opportunity to travel in Canada and beyond on exchanges, participate in cutting-edge provincial and national conferences, and apply for more than $25,000 in available national scholarships.”
Anyone with a child in 4-H, knows there’s so much to be gained from being involved. For many families, 4-H dates back generations and has helped them raise their children to be respected and contributing adults. The clubs are, for the most part, run by the kids with competent adult volunteers standing by to offer a guiding hand. Members are encouraged to find their passion, and are taught valuable skills – including teamwork.
4-H Canada is not about trying to keep kids on the farm – it’s about bringing out the confidence and strength youth need to face the world head on in whatever profession or career they choose. It provides them with the ability and skills necessary to contribute to their career, their community and their own families in a meaningful way. This isn’t just a philosophy of 4-H Canada, it’s a goal. And for the most part, for the last 100 years, this goal has been exceeded in communities all across Canada.
Two year old Ryan Trefiak comes from several generations of 4H Club members - today he was at Farmfair while his family competed in the cattle show.
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,
my country, and my world.
 Canadian 4-H Council Website