4-H Canada Recognizes 2022 National Volunteer Leader of the Year

Ottawa, Ontario – Nov. 23, 2022 – Alain Blanchette of New Brunswick’s Irishtown 4-H Club has been named the 2022 4-H National Volunteer Leader of the Year.

Proudly sponsored by Co-operators, the National Volunteer Leader of the Year Award recognizes a leader whose dedication and passion for engaging and empowering youth has made a lasting, positive impact on the lives of the 4-H members in their club.

A 4-H leader for over 30 years, Alain has an infectious enthusiasm for agriculture and the 4-H movement in Canada. He sits on several provincial 4-H committees, and volunteers as a dairy committee member for The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. In this capacity, he has been instrumental in bringing New Brunswick’s 4-H Dairy Team to take part in the Royal for 25 years. 

He is an exceptional leader who has not only enriched the lives of the members of his 4-H club, but the lives of youth in agriculture across the province. Alain was nominated by a fellow club leader in his Irishtown 4-H Club in New Brunswick, and will be honoured at the annual 4-H Canada Leadership Awards held virtually on Feb. 28, 2023.

“Volunteers are the backbone of 4-H,” said Shannon Benner, 4-H Canada Chief Executive Officer. “I am delighted to recognize Alain Blanchette as 4-H Canada’s National Volunteer Leader of the Year. Alain has showcased the lasting impact 4-H has on youth through leading by example. His hands-on involvement in the 4-H community has been key to empowering youth to become actively involved in agricultural programs.” 

For Co-operators, Alain embodies the values that have been part of the organization since it was founded to serve the unmet needs of farmers more than 76 years ago.

“We’re proud to continue our support of 4-H in its mission to empower youth across the country to create positive change in their communities,” says Greg Laidman, Associate Vice President of Farm Product at Co-operators. “We’re thrilled to congratulate Alain, as this year’s National Volunteer Leader of the Year award recipient. His intrepid leadership and dedication to building a thriving community are reflective of the co-operative values we champion, and we applaud his tireless effort.”

In addition to the National recipient, 4-H Canada is pleased to announce the following recipients of the Provincial Volunteer Leader of the Year Award:

  • Joyce KellyEdson 4-H Multi Club, Alberta
  • Dr. Kathy WilkinsNorthumberland 4-H Veterinary Club, Ontario
  • Amanda Hamilton-SewardWindygates 4-H Beef Club, Manitoba
  • Gillian MacDougallShawville 4-H Club, Quebec
  • Gail WallaceKensington 4-H Club, Prince Edward Island
  • Christine MoutrayVanderhoof 4-H District Council, British Columbia
  • Shawn BartelCarlton Trail 4-H Club, Saskatchewan

These volunteers will be recognized at the annual 4-H Canada Leadership Awards on Feb. 28, 2023. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit

For more information about the Volunteer Leader of the Year Award, visit