The current three-party system is moving to one entity with the name of 4-H Alberta
The three areas of 4-H in Alberta will soon come under a single structure.
Currently, 4-H in Alberta is run by three areas: the 4-H Council of Alberta, the 4-H Foundation of Alberta and the 4-H section under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in the Government of Alberta.
While all three areas worked together, each had certain responsibilities they handled. The foundation managed assets, endowments, investments, scholarships and some operational funding. The council took care of policy, member representation and insurance. And the section was responsible for the staffing that delivered the programming.
With the new structure, everything will eventually come under one name and organization: 4-H Alberta.
“We're going to a one operational board, one CEO model that is supported by a board of trustees from a foundation perspective, to modernize and make 4-H more efficient in Alberta,” said Lanny Anderson, president of the 4-H Council of Alberta.
The current system has worked off a letter of intent for the last few years. This letter stated who would make decisions and how the three areas would work together, Anderson said to Farms.com.
“So, you could say we've been naturally heading towards (a new structure), but gradually. This was the next step, but it was done with complete consultation with the 4-H community. At the board and operational level we felt like it was a good idea, but we still needed to hear from the grassroots,” he said.
The new structure will make operational pieces at all levels more efficient and make the organization more streamlined, Anderson said.
“At the end of the day, if we're not efficient, if we're not effective in our decision making, (then) we're not doing the best we can for the youth and the program. So, we want to make sure that we have positive youth development in our program and that the members are having fun,” said Anderson.
A big reason for the move to the new structure had to do with communication, which had become difficult despite best efforts.
“Communication can be clunky and when there are three different entities delivering the program together. It's hard to know who you are going to call when something comes up,” Anderson said. “From a communication standpoint, it's going to make things much more efficient. Both communicating to our membership and also for them to communicate back up to us so that we're working together within 4-H Alberta.”
During the transition period, the three entities want to be transparent with the members of the Alberta 4-H community.
“We want people to be comfortable to ask us questions as we go through this transition. We need to do this together and that's what will make the program great. We’ve got the right people doing the right work and for the right reasons,” said Anderson.
The Government of Alberta will still be involved in funding, said Adrienne South, press secretary with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
“We are continuing to support 4-H, and we have committed $1 million per year for ten years. This predictable, long-term funding is essential for 4-H to plan for the future and build on its rich history in our province,” she said to Farms.com.
Photo credit: Government of Alberta