Introduction and Section 1

Land Acknowledgement

4-H Ontario recognizes that we live, learn and work on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of many Indigenous Nations and communities that have, and continue to call Ontario home. Our main office in Guelph/Eramosa, ON is located on the ancestral land and territory of the Anishinabewaki, Haudenosaunee, Attiwonderonk, Mississauga and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This territory is also covered by the Haldimand Treaty of 1784 and Treaty 3 of 1972. We recognize and commit to the work that follows this acknowledgement to ensure reconciliation and a bright future for Indigenous peoples and youth. We encourage all residents and visitors of Ontario to learn about the land you walk on, and do your part in supporting and preserving Indigenous traditions, cultures, languages, Ways of Knowing (knowledge) and spirituality.


Diversity. Inclusion. They are more than just words for us. They are the hard-and-fast principles guiding how we build our teams, cultivate leaders and create an organization thats the right fit for every person inside of it. We have a global, multicultural following we want to reflect that inside our walls.

Section 1

Indigenous: indigenous is a term used to encompass a variety of aboriginal groups. It is most frequently used in an international, transnational, or global context. This term came into wide usage during the 1970s when aboriginal groups organized transnationally and pushed for greater presence in the united nations (un). In the un, indigenous is used to refer broadly to peoples of long settlement and connection to specific lands who have been adversely affected by incursions by industrial economies, displacement, and settlement of their traditional territories by others. For more on how this term was developed, please see our section on global actions.

Peoples: the plural peoples recognizes that more than one distinct group comprises the aboriginal population of Canada. For example, aboriginal people (singular) might mean each aboriginal individual, whereas aboriginal peoples (plural) indicates a number of separate aboriginal populations.

Volunteers: an individual age 18 or over who has completed the required screening & training process and then gives freely of their time, unpaid to contribute to 4-H activities.

Association Representative: the elected or appointed governance role within each association, which in turn, comprises the Ontario 4-H Council.

Board: total of twelve (12) directors, ten (10) association representatives elected by their peers, a past president along with the roles of director-youth and director-community (as necessary).

Club: is a group of at least two (2) Volunteers in Good Standing and six (6) youth in accordance with 4-H Ontario policy.

Club volunteer: 4-H Ontario volunteer who leads a 4-H club.

Council: the composition of all association representatives from which board directors are elected.

Director in Good Standing
Directors with up-to-date volunteer screening requirements and have signed and agreed to adhere to the Code of Conduct included in the Volunteer Participant Form and signed Consent to Act shall receive “Director in Good Standing’ status.

Foundation: the Ontario 4-H Foundation, as a registered charity supports the long term financial sustainability of 4-H Ontario through a board of appointed trustees.

Inactive volunteer: person(s) who are no longer participating as a volunteer because their screening or training has expired.

Inactive volunteers no longer have website login access, or receive recognition for tenure of service.


4-H Youth: Any individual choosing to engage in a 4-H Ontario event / activity executed by 4-H Ontario. (i.e., Sen$e conference delegate, a friend of a member at a program).

4-H Youth Participant: An individual between the ages of 9–21 prior to January 1st of the current calendar year, who has paid the participant fee.
An individual must choose to be either a youth participant or a volunteer within a specific club(s); they cannot receive recognition for both. An individual may indeed be a youth participant in one project and a volunteer for another project within the same year.
Cloverbud: An individual between the ages of 6-8 prior to January 1st of the current calendar year who has paid the participant fee.
Only 4-H youth participants and Cloverbud participants will receive awards, participate in Achievement Programs and hold an executive position.

Youth in Good Standing: 4-H participants who have paid their current years membership fee and do not have any outstanding monies owing to 4-H Ontario and abide by the expectations outlined in the 4-H participant agreement form.

Name, logo & trademark: 4-H Ontario is the umbrella term for the organizations of the Ontario 4-H council and the Ontario 4-H foundation

The 4-H Ontario logo is :

The logo of the Ontario Foundation is :

Administration of logos and marks:
These logos are administered by the senior manager, communications

Participant: any individual choosing to engage in a 4-H Ontario event / activity executed by 4-H Ontario. (i. e. Dairy Sen$e conference delegate, a friend of a member at a program).

Pending volunteer: person(s) who have incomplete or expired screening or training.

Position of Trust: 4-H Ontario volunteers act as role models for youth. All staff and volunteers are responsible for the safety and care of youth in 4-H activities. Duty of care is the obligation to take reasonable care to avoid causing foreseeable harm to a person.

Project: consists of curriculum material / business which is completed by a club. The project must be either locally submitted and/or provincially approved or developed.

Trustee: volunteers who serve on the Board of the Ontario 4-H Foundation.

4-H Ontario volunteers:
An individual age 18 or over who has completed the required screening & training process and then gives freely of their time, unpaid to contribute to 4-H activities.

Volunteer-at-large: volunteers who support 4-H activities yet are not leading clubs, i. E. , association board directors, provincial program volunteer, event volunteer, etc.

Volunteer in good standing: (updated: march 15, 2016) a 4-H volunteer who continues to engage in the required screening and training for volunteers and abides by the expectations outlined in the code of conduct (housed in the 4-H participant agreement [form #6.8]).

Alumni: any past 4-H Ontario member and/or 4-H Ontario past volunteer.

Since April 1, 2000, the Ontario 4-H Council has been solely responsible for the development and delivery of 4-H in Ontario.

The Ontario 4-H Council is made up of association representatives. Fifty-four (54) local 4-H associations were established in 2000. Each active local association elects (or if no election is possible this person can be acclaimed) one (1) person to represent their association on the Ontario 4-H Council. This person is called the Association Representative. The council is composed of these representatives. Association representatives have voting rights at the Ontario 4-H Council Annual General Meeting.

Only Association Representatives are eligible to be elected as a director to the Ontario 4-H Council’s provincial Board of Directors. This board consists of twelve (12) directors, ten (10) association representatives elected by their peers, and past president, with the potential for two (2) appointments; one (1) a director-youth position, and one (1) a director-community. In any given year, at least five (5) provincial director positions are up for election / re-election as the length of term for these board directors is two (2) years, with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.

The positions of president, vice president and director at large are voted on by the newly elected provincial board of directors at their first meeting following the annual general meeting.In the event there is only one (1) nominee, the positions are awarded through acclamation. The retiring president automatically becomes the past president.

Directors provide vision, leadership and direction of the 4-H program in Ontario. The Ontario 4-H Council Board of Directors hires the Executive Director and works with this staff person to develop and monitor the strategic direction of 4-H Ontario.

The Executive Director works with the staff team to achieve the strategic initiatives of the Ontario 4-H Council. The staff of 4-H Ontario supports the volunteers who deliver 4-H programming locally. As well, staff and volunteers deliver provincial programs and activities for 4-H Ontario volunteers, members, youth and alumni.

Stakeholders in the 4-H program contribute to local, regional and provincial 4-h activities. These stakeholders include members, volunteers, alumni, parents, sponsors, donors and industry partners.

See diagram for visual representation

Prior to the formation of the Ontario 4-H Council, the Ontario 4-H leaders’ committee was established in 1982. It consisted of 20 leaders plus the provincial 4-H supervisor. The leaders were selected on the basis of their participation in a national award program. They were encouraged to be a liaison between the committee and local counties, districts, and regions to which they were assigned. In addition, the leaders’ committee advised the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food on the 4-H program.

Following the review of the 4-H program in 1988, the recommendation to establish a provincial 4-H Council with elected regional representatives was accepted. The name of the organization was to be “Ontario 4-H council” (council).

Then on April 1, 2000 the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs transferred the responsibility of the delivery of the 4-H program to the Ontario 4-H Council under a governance board structure. An executive director and provincial office staff were hired to provide support to volunteers of local 4-H associations and deliver provincial programs. The ministry continues to be a funding partner for the Ontario 4-H Council.

In September 2000 the name 4-H Ontario was officially registered to incorporate both the Ontario 4-H council and the Ontario 4-H foundation.