Saskatoon, Sask.- The 2021 Annual General Meeting was held on March 20. This year, due to gathering size limits, it was a hybrid in-person and virtual event. Four locations – North Battleford, Melfort, Regina and Swift Current – joined together the 107 attendees through Zoom.
It was an exciting challenge to figure out how to safely put on an in-person event during a global pandemic. Each location was not allowed more than 30 people in the room, with each attendee having to go through screening questions and be signed in and out for contact tracing. In addition, there were sanitation stations available, all participants were required to wear masks and no food and drink was allowed in the meeting space. To help participants sit through a full day of meetings without food under these restrictions, there was an extended lunch period, to give them enough time to leave the facility to eat.
The theme of this year's meeting “STEMming to the Beyond”, under the Science & Technology development pillar. The leaders and members were given a sealed pulse snack (which they could not open) from Three Farmers. They used the code on the package to participate in a game, learning more about pulses and where their product was grown, before answering a few questions through Mentimeter about agriculture.
During the day, member and leader voting delegates were asked to vote for the Board of Directors, Advisory Council and Ambassador Representatives, as well as to vote on one resolution which would require clubs that do not reorganize to put their funds in trust with 4-H Saskatchewan for two years. If the club does not reorganize in two years, the funds would support either the district the club belongs to or a club start up fund, which would supply a grant to new clubs. After a few amendments, the resolution was carried.
Since the event was mostly virtual, members were encouraged to have some fun through an online trivia game and watched a “Parade of Regions” video, with appearances from some staff, board, advisory council and ambassadors. There was a special Clover Draw, where participants put a toonie into a tin to have their name put on a numbered clover. There was then draws throughout the day, where if your number was pulled, you would be able to pick up a prize when you left the meeting. Between the Clover Draw and donations from district 4-H councils, $1,500 for the Saskatchewan 4-H Foundation was raised.
After the business portion of the meeting concluded, there were a few special announcements. The most impactful announcement was the $250,000 gift from Mr. Brian Hesje to 4-H Saskatchewan. His gift will go towards improving technology and to the creation of an alumni program. The attendees enjoyed a short video, where Mr. Hesje explained his donation in his own words.
Another exciting announcement was the creation of the Exploring 4-H At Home Kits, which were made possible through the Emergency Community Support Fund. These kits will help clubs in rural areas, who may not have advanced technology, connect with their members through fun activities. There are nine kits available and each fits under at least one of the 4-H Canada Leadership Development pillars. They include worksheets, some supplies and instructions for each kit.
The business meeting was adjourned and everyone was free to go home. Overall, it was a very successful AGM!
Our Board of Directors for the 2021-22 year are Cameron Choquette, Becky Huber and Louise Sroka for the North West; Mike Kirzinger, Michell Heidecker, Trena Hoffus-Preston representing the North East; Alvin Pawlitza, Kylie Mackie and Stan Figley as South West leaders; Glenn Gress, Brittany Stepp and Jason Frey rounding out the South East; Dylan Watt and Brooklyn Trask as the Member Delegates, and Leah Clark as our Ag Representative.
The Board of Directors held their first reorganizational meeting a few days after AGM, where they elected the 2021-22 Executive and special positions. Congratulations to:
Our 2021-22 Advisory Council members are Grace Christensen (SE), Shayla Preston (NE), Kennedy MacNeil (SW) and Amanda Kaminski (NW). The AC will be completing online training within the next couple months and planning their first in-person meeting.
The 2021-22 Ambassadors are:
4-H Saskatchewan is looking forward to the 2021-22 year and is excited to welcome the new Board, Advisory Council and Ambassadors to their roles within the organization.
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Program and Communications Specialist