The story

             4-H clubs, with their motto “Learn To Do By Doing”, are active worldwide.  The idea of a youth-based club originated in United States in 1901, focusing on agriculture.  Over the years that focus has expanded until today it includes activities around food and the environment as well.  In 1913, the predecessor of 4-H clubs, known as Boys’ and Girls’ clubs, began in Canada, in Manitoba, and quickly spread to all provinces.  From 1913 to 2000 the provincial Departments of Agriculture managed the programs, developing requirements and setting guidelines for each club project and training club leaders.  The overall objective was to build leadership and life skills that would equip young people with the tools needed to reach their full potential as contributing citizens of their communities.

Homemaking clubs were introduced in 1935 to promote ‘domestic skills’.  They often ran gardening projects in spring and summer, with cooking and sewing programs the rest of the year.  One challenging club in the 1950s was “Cotton Accessories For The Club Girl`s Bedroom”; members sewed their own bedspreads and made Italian hem-stitched dresser scarves with mitred corners.  “A World Of Food In Canada” was designed for Canada`s Centennial in 1967.  Immigrants from many countries were introducing new foods to Canada, and this club acquainted our youth with these food trends.  At each meeting members prepared and sampled recipes from the food culture of a specific country. Hands-on learning at its best!

In 1952 the program name was changed to 4-H Canada, representing the 4 “H`s” in the pledge: “Head”, “Heart”, “Hands” and “Health”.  The logo added “Canada” beneath the four clover leaves used in the U.S.  More recently 4-H Canada updated the logo with a maple leaf in the middle of the clover. After year 2000, the provincial ministries of agriculture bowed out, but the 4-H movement in Ontario, now autonomous, adapted by including a broader range of projects relevant to today’s youth.  Members and leaders were free to choose projects to suit the interests of their own clubs, perhaps woodworking or photography and of course the many animal commodity clubs.  

Here in the Beechwood area, 4-H clubs have been meeting since the 1940s, often in members` homes, sometimes in Beechwood Hall and currently in the Beechwood Presbyterian Church.  In the early years Beechwood Women`s Institute sponsored and supported local 4-H clubs by assisting in the search for leaders and offering financial help to cover their supplies.  At one time the demand was so great that three clubs ran concurrently.  Two very dedicated women in this community have been leading 4-H clubs for the past 35 years and are still continuing this important community endeavour!

Name of sponsor of Barn Quilt :     Beechwood Agri Services Inc


“Middlesex 4-H 100th Anniversary”

9821 Petty St. Ailsa Craig   

Latitude : 43.06653 Longitude : -81.60742

See the barns on google maps