4-H Clubs have always been a staple in rural communities with its roots in agriculture, this is no different for the Lethbridge Coaldale 4-H Beef Club as it celebrates 100 years.
The club has survived through two World Wars, The Great Depression, BSE, or Mad Cow Disease, in the early 2000’s and now COVID. Rebecca Tokariuk, Leader of the Lethbridge Coaldale 4-H Beef Club, says through all that, the core of what makes 4-H so great is the youth, agriculture, and the support of the surrounding communities.
“It always comes back to its roots in agriculture, which is something that isn’t going away and is always going to be important, and developing youth,” says Tokariuk.
“The cores of the program have stayed the same for a very long time, we focus on communications, the kids will do public speaking, livestock judging, community service, and although the times have changed a lot over 100 years, the core values of what makes 4-H so fantastic has stayed the same.”
4-H has grown of course in the last 100 years in general, there are projects outside of agriculture. There are multi-clubs where participants can do welding, woodworking, cake decorating, etc. Tokariuk says that as long as there is someone to lead it, the project can be done.
“4-H has expanded in the sense that yes, we are still rooted in agriculture and its what a lot of these clubs still focus on, but we’re expanding into the cities as well and providing more program opportunities for youth in town.”
To help celebrate 100 years, the Lethbridge Coaldale 4-H Beef Club is holding a Show and Sale at the new Exhibition on June 9th and 10th. The show, on June 9th, is where members will get to showcase the livestock projects they’ve been working on all year, while the Sale on June 10th is where they can sell their steers in a real market situation.
The club will also be holding a Gala on the evening of June 10th which will be a community celebration of the last 100 years and all the people, volunteers, alumni and community supporters that have made 100 years happen.
Tokariuk says the celebration is not just about the club, but about the community as a whole.