Duane Bristow was named a lifetime honourary member of the organization
By Diego Flammini
A lifelong Saskatchewan 4-Her has received recognition from the national organization.
Duane Bristow received one of two honourary lifetime memberships during a virtual ceremony on Monday. Nancy Orr, a provincial court judge from Prince Edward Island, received the other.
“I didn’t even know I was up for it, so I was a bit surprised and certainly honoured,” Bristow, 83, told Farms.com.
4-H has given out these special memberships since 1950 to people “who have embodied 4-H Canada values through their life and have delivered outstanding services to one or more levels of the organization,” the organization’s website says.
It was around 1950 at the age of 12 that Bristow started his 4-H journey.
He joined the local club in Hawarden, Sask. and got involved with the beef and grain clubs there.
“Those were the only two clubs at the time,” he said. “But being in 4-H gave me the opportunity to meet new people and travel to other clubs.”
He remained involved with local 4-H clubs until he received an appointment to the Saskatchewan 4-H Foundation in 1976.
After he retired from the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool in 1993, Bristow became an individual member of the national 4-H council. He’s still an individual member today.
His 4-H involvement through the years also includes serving as a director and char to the 4-H Canada board of directors and as a trustee and chair of the Canadian 4-H Foundation.
Being a part of 4-H as a kid taught Bristow important skills.
Public speaking is one that comes to mind, he said.
“We would have to grade our grain or cattle and then make a presentation as to why we graded them the way we did,” he said. “At the time it was a group of parents at these events, so it was challenging but very rewarding.”
Bristow encourages today’s youth to get involved with 4-H.
Exposure to 4-H will provide them with skills and knowledge they can use in the future, he said.
“I can tell you that when I was at the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, we’d have people apply for jobs, and if we saw that they had 4-H training, we would consider them heavily for the position because we know the kind of programming 4-H can provide.”