Guelph, ONT. (May 25, 2023) – Under bright spring skies at the annual 4-H Foundation golf tournament fundraiser, the Hon. Lisa M. Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), announced that provincial and federal governments will be investing more than $2.3 million over the next three years in 4-H Ontario to support programming and opportunities for youth involved in the agricultural sector.

The funding will be provided through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) and supports 4-H’s continued work in providing programming, learning and leadership development opportunities to youth aged 6-21 interested in the agricultural industry.

“We are very thankful for OMAFRA and their continued support of the 4-H program in Ontario,” says Christine Oldfield, Executive Director, 4-H Ontario. “Through this financial support, we are able to run our programming, which supports thousands of volunteers who provide thousands of Ontario youth with opportunities to grow and learn every day.”

The areas this funding will support include:

  • Support for local initiatives to increase awareness of careers in agriculture;
  • Provincial youth leadership development efforts;
  • Engaging diverse communities including underrepresented and Indigenous youth about 4-H Ontario programs;
  • Improving 4-H Ontario’s capacity to train and onboard volunteer workers;
  • And developing and distributing curriculum resources.

Historically, 4-H sees over 6,000 youth across Ontario annually participate in its various programs across its six regions, where the motto of “Learn to Do by Doing” is the key to the creation of programs.

“4-H Ontario is very appreciative of the governments’ announcement today to support the future growth of 4-H members in Ontario. This funding will help continue 4-H programming that builds and develops prized leaders in agriculture who are prepared to lead our communities into the future,” adds Laurie Farquharson, 4-H Ontario Council President.

“4-H Ontario is a valuable youth development, community-based program focusing on leadership and life skills that young people will benefit from their entire careers,” noted the Hon. Lisa M. Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs in a press release. “This investment will ensure 4-H Ontario can continue building future community and business owners, foster greater appreciation and pride of our rural communities and agriculture and food sectors, while creating a learning environment outside of the classroom where 4-H members can learn by doing.”

Rechie Valdez, Mississauga—Streetsville MP and Member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food noted in a press release: “Young Ontario farmers greatly benefit from the leadership and training activities that the 4-H offers thanks to funding under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Young people are the future of the sector, and this investment will give them the possibility to play an active role in agriculture.”

Pictured above, from left to right: Christine Oldfield, Executive Director, 4-H Ontario; Naomi Lutes, Chair, Ontario 4-H Foundation; Laurie Farquharson, President, 4-H Ontario Council; and the Hon. Lisa M. Thompson, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.


About 4-H Ontario

4-H Ontario is a non-profit positive youth development organization that builds youth as leaders within their communities and assets to the world. With roots in rural Ontario, today it is open to youth of all backgrounds across the province. 4-H youth ages 6–21 and screened, engaged volunteer leaders come together to learn about selected topics through fun hands-on activities and mentorship. There are also provincial camps, conferences, competitions and national and international travel opportunities available to further develop skills in leadership, business, self-confidence and more. 4-H provides youth with a place they can be involved, accepted, valued and heard while developing valuable skills for leadership and life. 

For more information please contact:

Mary Haurilak, Manager, Communications, 4-H Ontario