PUSLINCH – The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $2.3 million over three years through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to support 4-H Ontario programming. This funding will allow 4-H Ontario to continue to engage youth interested in a career in the agriculture and agri-food industries.
“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,” said Rechie Valdez, Member of Parliament for Mississauga—Streetsville and Member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
4-H Ontario provides youth across the province with opportunities to participate in local and provincial initiatives that contribute to their growth and professional development, as well as teach transferrable leadership skills. This funding will continue the delivery of 4-H programming, create further learning opportunities for youth and seek to expand the program’s engagement with Indigenous and marginalized communities.
“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,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. “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.”
Under the funding agreement, investments will be made in a variety of 4-H programming areas. These will 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 the capacity to train and onboard volunteer workers for the organization;
And developing and distributing curriculum resources.
This initiative continues a long-running tradition of government support for the organization. Approximately 6,000 currently enrolled youth will benefit from the funding.
Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal‐provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.
The funding agreement with 4-H Ontario will run through 2026.
4-H is a non-profit youth development organization that spans 10 provinces and 70 countries. 4-H Ontario has operated in Ontario for more than 100 years.
Sustainable CAP will help us reach the goals outlined in Ontario’s Grow Ontario Strategy, which include increasing total employment in the agri-food sector by 10 per cent over the next 10 years.
Building sector competitiveness in Canada’s agri-food sector and fostering the next generation of its farmers were among the top priorities set for Sustainable CAP by the federal-provincial-territorial agricultural ministers in The Guelph Statement.