Town & Country

April 2019

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Editor: Pat St. Germain – Country Town M A N I T O B A & WESTMAN EDITION Saturday, April 20, 2019 Left: George Meggison learning Shodo (Japanese calligraphy), joining his host brother, Hakuri, in the cafeteria and with his homeroom class, during a 4-H trip to Japan in the summer of 2017. Back in Canada, he joined his 4-H curling team on the ice. Below: Taron Topham at last year's 4-H show and sale. The 4 H's are Head, Heart, Hands and Health and are part of the 4-H pledge: My HEAD to clear thinking My HEART to greater loyalty My HANDS to larger service My HEALTH to better living For my club, my community and my country 4-H MANITOBA BROADENS HORIZONS Members develop skills, character and leadership qualities BY JIM BENDER T he benefits of 4-H mem- bership can last a lifetime. 4-H Manitoba is for youth and young adults between the ages of 6 and 25, who build character and leader- ship skills, make lasting friend- ships and enjoy unique life experiences. "Just the way they develop makes changes to their lives," says Dawn Krinke, 4-H Council office manager. "Children who haven't been anywhere get a chance to travel and they just blossom." The 4-H mantra is Learn to Do by Do- ing, and members tackle hands-on projects in four key areas: Sustainable agriculture and food safety; environment and healthy living; science and technology, and commu- nity engagement and communication. "It's not all cows and cooking," says Krinke, adding that some activities in- volve photography, rocketry and archery, as well as curling in bonspiels. Grandview's Taron Topham believes his 10 years of experience with 4-H Manito- ba helped him to earn a prestigious Loran Scholarship. Topham, who grew up on a cattle and grain farm, was among 5,089 applicants for one of only 35 Loran Scholarships awarded to students from across Canada, based on character, commitment to ser- vice and leadership potential — all quali- ties 4-H cultivates. "One of the things I love about 4-H is how, when you begin 4-H, the more experienced members take time to help you with your projects and answer any questions that you may have," Topham wrote in an email. "As you get older, you continue honing the skills that you were taught, but now it is your turn to help out the younger members." Now 17, he recalls that being a 4-H member helped him through an emotional time as a 10-year-old, when he had to say goodbye to a steer that had become a pet to him when the animal was sent to market. "4-H has helped me a lot in life. I have learned so many valuable skills, but I have also made friendships that will last a lifetime." Topham, who played defence for the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's Dau- phin Kings, plans to earn a Bachelor of Science at the University of Saskatchewan as a possible precursor to medical school. Another 4-H member in Westman, George Meggison of Goodlands, landed a 4-H Council scholarship and plans to study agriculture at the University of Manitoba this fall. His application included an assigned essay on how his 4-H experiences and the character traits developed by the 4-H pro- gram will help him in the future. "4-H has been full of great opportuni- ties for me to do all sorts of fun and inter- esting projects, learning many new skills, and has given me the chance to go to various trips, conferences, and events that connect me with people from all across Canada and the world," wrote Meggison, who is both the president of his local 4-H club and the chairperson of the Southwest Area 4-H Council. "It is something that helps youth and young adults to get involved in their com- munity, as well as giving them a chance to explore many different skills and projects that can help them to decide what they would like to do in their future." Those skills include public speaking, time management, business-meeting management and doing interviews. Meggison travelled to Ottawa, Wash- ington and Edmonton — all before he turned 17 — thanks to his involvement with 4-H. In 2017, he took one of his most memorable trips, to Japan, where he learned Shodo — a form of calligraphy — saw the sights and picked up some of the language. His family has also hosted Japanese exchange students. Currently, 4-H Manitoba has 1,856 members, about half of whom live in five Westman areas. An Intermediate Camp (ages 12-14) fo- cusing on sustainable agriculture and food security will be held at Asessippi and Inglis, May 3-5, with 50 Manitoba and 25 Sas- katchewan 4-H members expected to at- tend. Activities will include fishing, learning about invasive species, and visiting both the Inglis Elevator and Habitat Farms. Learn more at "It's not all cows and cooking," says Krinke, adding that some activities involve photography, rocketry and archery, as well as curling in bonspiels. Major investments stimulate more growth in Portage P O R TA G E L A P R A I R I E New energy revitalizing Brandon's core neighbourhood B R A N D O N M I N N E D O S A Young entrepreneurs transform Minnedosa's Main Street PG 2 PG 3 PG 4

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