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4-H Canada’s 2022 Volunteer Leader of the Year

4-H Canada’s 2022 Volunteer Leader of the Year

Alain Blanchette of Irishtown 4-H Club in New Brunswick wins the award. 

By Andrew Joseph,

Alain Blanchette of New Brunswick’s Irishtown 4-H Club has been named the 2022 4-H National Volunteer Leader of the Year.

For over 100 years, 4-H Canada has been one of the most highly respected positive youth development organizations in Canada. 4-H in Canada has close to 23,500 members and more than 8,700 volunteer leaders.

Sponsored by Co-operators, the award recognizes a person whose dedication and passion for engaging and empowering youth has made a lasting, positive impact on the lives of the 4-H members in their club.

A 4-H leader for over 30 years, Blanchette has great enthusiasm for agriculture and the 4-H movement in Canada. He sits on several provincial 4-H committees and volunteers as a dairy committee member for The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. In this capacity, he has been instrumental in bringing New Brunswick’s 4-H Dairy Team to take part in the Royal for 25 years.

4-H called him an exceptional leader, not only enriching the lives of the members of his 4-H club, but also the lives of youth in agriculture across the province.

He was nominated by a fellow club leader in his Irishtown 4-H Club in New Brunswick and will be honoured at the annual 4-H Canada Leadership Awards held virtually on February 28, 2023.

“Volunteers are the backbone of 4-H,” stated Shannon Benner, the Chief Executive Officer for 4-H Canada. “I am delighted to recognize Alain Blanchette as 4-H Canada’s National Volunteer Leader of the Year.  Alain has showcased the lasting impact 4-H has on youth by leading by example. His hands-on involvement in the 4-H community has been key to empowering youth to become actively involved in agricultural programs.”

Co-operators said that Blanchette embodies the values that have been part of the organization since it was founded to serve the unmet needs of farmers more than 76 years ago.

“We’re proud to continue our support of 4-H in its mission to empower youth across the country to create positive change in their communities,” extolled Greg Laidman, the Associate Vice President of Farm Product at Co-operators. “We’re thrilled to congratulate Alain, as this year’s National Volunteer Leader of the Year award recipient. His intrepid leadership and dedication to building a thriving community are reflective of the cooperative values we champion, and we applaud his tireless effort.”

In addition to the National recipient, 4-H Canada announced the recipients of the Provincial Volunteer Leader of the Year Award:

  • Joyce Kelly, Edson 4-H Multi Club, Alberta;
  • Dr. Kathy Wilkins, Northumberland 4-H Veterinary Club, Ontario;
  • Amanda Hamilton-Seward, Windygates 4-H Beef Club, Manitoba;
  • Gillian MacDougall, Shawville 4-H Club, Quebec;
  • Gail Wallace, Kensington 4-H Club, Prince Edward Island;
  • Christine Moutray, Vanderhoof 4-H District Council, British Columbia, and;
  • Shawn Bartel, Carlton Trail 4-H Club, Saskatchewan.

These provincial award-winning volunteers will be recognized at the upcoming awards.

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For more information about the Volunteer Leader of the Year Award, visit


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