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 Exhibitions Associaton of Nova Scotia is supported by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture

Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture

2017 Report

The Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture is pleased to work closely with EANS to provide agriculture and 4-H-based events to provincial exhibitions and community fair programs. Agriculture education events give the general public the experience of interacting with producers first hand, teaching children the importance of where their food comes from and encouraging consumers to buy local and in season.

The success of many large and small 4-H county days, livestock shows, life skills displays, workshops and fundraising events rely on being able to use exhibition facilities. Approximately 850 4-H leaders and 2400 4-H members across the province, contributed to exhibition and fair agendas with lie skills competitions, livestock classes, tug-of-war, 4H deminstrations and displays offering an interactive look into the life skills program.

Being able to use the exhibition facilities as a venue for these events continues to keep agriculture and 4-H in the forefront of many Nova Scotians' minds and they are able to see what 4-H has to offer to youth as a premier leadership development program. Through 4-H, enthusiastic youth and dedicated adult volunteers contribute to strong and viable rural communities. While at the exhibitions and fairs, 4-H members don't just display wither livestock and life skills projects, they demonstrate skills in sportsmanship, teamwork, communications, safe animal handling, food and tractor safety; promote 4-H and local agriculture while spreading the spirit of cooperation with every competition that takes place. The first level of competition for a 4-H member begins at an exhibition of community fair before they qualify to move on to the Nova Scotia 4-H show.

Following are a variety of agricultural education and 4-H activities that were part of the Nova Scotia exhibitions and community fairs program throughout 2017:

Cape Breton Region:

  • The Inverness/Victoria Federation of Agriculture and the Inverness 4-H Leaders Council partnered to make the Inverness County 4-H Show a success. It was a showcase for local 4-H clubs and promoted agriculture with livestock, interactive displays and activities for children. These include butter-making and agriculture trivia scavenger hunt. Department of Agriculture staff assisted with various components of the agenda and this event drew rural youth and families from Port Hawkesbury to Margaree. A local fruit pie and tallest cornstalk contests were great community engagement activities which were open to the public. This traditional county 4-H day has something for everyone, from tug-of-war to a top-notch dairy show and numerous life skills displays and competitions.

  • The Cape Breton County Exhibition is a great opportunity for rural youth to showcase agriculture in action with various 4-H livestock and life skills projects. There were less agriculture awareness activities this year, but many great open exhibits to capture the excitement of exhibition week including hatching chicks, baby calves, and much more.

  • The Victoria County Community Fair provided a great venue for the public to see agriculture and 4-H youth in action. The day began with a poultry, waterfowl, and rabbit showmanship workshop. The public was encouraged to handle and show 4-H small livestock in an open showmanship class. Rural youth took part in various livestock and life skills projects With staff assistance in programming. A popular display is the turkey showmanship and community woodsmens' water boil challenge. General feedback was very positive.

Eastern Region:

  • ​4-H Day at the Eastern NS Exhibition continues to be a crowd pleaser, with the Antigonish and Guysborough 4-H Day program drawing large crowds, as it takes place on the opening day of the exhibition. This year, 4-H members were in the ring for the ENSE Officlal Opening, and the annual Miss 7* Master Competition, as well the Tug of War drew crowds to the late afternoon and evening part of the day. An agriculture awareness display was set up in the 4-H barn for the week. The Antigonish 4-H Leaders Council operated a canteen on the grounds for the week as a fundraiser. The well-designed club displays were a draw for exhibition goers throughout the week. As well, many 4-H members are involved in other competition at the ENSE throughout the week including events such as the open horse classes, holstein show, sheep show and Tug of War, to name a few. The Eastern Regional team coordinated an Ag Awareness display for this exhibition.

  • At the Pictou North Colchester Exhibition, the 4-H crowds and entries were excellent with great participation. The life skills club displays were housed in the Mezzanine this year as a new 4-H building is being constructed. The local council was still able to operate a successful scaled down version of their 4-H canteen during the week in a new location for this year. In conjunction with Canada 150, the Pictou County 4H Leaders Council agriculture awareness committee worked to create an exceptional program for students on the Friday of the exhibition. This is always a highlight of the week with students and teachers enjoying many agriculture-related stations around the grounds. The members and leaders o the Pictou County 4-H program are looking forward to completing their new 4-H building and providing continued programs and displays to the PNCE in the future.

Central Region:

  • At the Halifax County Exhibition, the public was introduced to agriculture and to 4-H through interactive displays and activities; life skills and livestock competitions, and the five Halifax East Hants 4-H clubs in action. Also, the annual penny auction fundraiser for the county 4-H council was held during the exhibition. 

  • At the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in late August, there was a large interactive agriculture awareness booth/display and 4-H was promoted during the week. Colchester County 4-H members had a busy but exciting two-day event. On the first day light horse, dog, calf and rabbit classes and life skills competitions were held. On the following day the rest of the livestock was judged and tug of war competitions drew a big crowd. The Truro-North River 4-H Club organized a petting farm fore the week of the exhibition. 

  • 4-H members took part in the Cumberland County Exhibition. On the Monday of the exhibition light horse, dog classes and life skills projects were judged. On the official first day of the exhibition, the rest of the livestock classes were held including life skills competition and tug of war. At the end of the 4-H program on Tuesday, members held their annual barrow auction, raising money for 4-H member scholarships.

Valley Region:

  • Hants County 4-H members and leaders assisted in the annual agriculture awareness event Future Farmers Friday at the Hants County Exhibition. School-aged children are provided an opportunity for hands-on learning while celebrating the local harvest and community on the first Friday of the exhibition.

  • Each year, 4-H in Hants County is showcased for a weekend at the exhibition where 4H clubs displayed their life skills projects and fill the barns with their livestock. Hants County 4-H receives excellent cooperation from the management and staff of the Hants County Agricultural Society in the preparation and hosting of their 4-H program at the oldest agricultural fair in Canada.

  • Several 4-H clubs in Hants County rent a portion of the exhibition grounds for their Achievement Days, county judging days and a week-long 4-H light horse clinic.

Western Region:

  • Annapolis County 4-H is pleased to call the Annapolis Valley Exhibition grounds home to the annual Fluff n' Buff, Light Horse Boot Camp, and county judging night. In 2017 the Clarence 4-H Club decided to host their Achievement Day at the grounds, given the size of their growing club. Annapolis County, in partnership with 4-H Nova Scotia, were thrilled to hold the 40th Annual 4-H Nova Scotia Provincial Show at the Annapolis Valley Exhibition grounds on September 29 - October 2, 2017. The show was a huge success, and the grounds made an exceptional venue for this event.

  • Annapolis County 4H Days take place during the first two days of the Annapolis Valley Exhibition and they leave their life skills and livestock at the grounds for public viewing throughout the exhibition week. Livestock members proudly show their animals in the main show ring, while life skills projects and competitions are displayed in the 4H Life Skills Building.

  • Digby County 4-H Days take place during Wednesday of the Digby County Exhibition. County members are proud to be able to showcase their life skills and livestock projects for the public throughout the week. The Digby County 4-H Leaders' Council is working closely with the Exhibition Board of Directors to construct a 4-H barn at the exhibition grounds and looks forward to having a structure on the grounds to call their own. Maple Belle, the Ag Awareness cow was part of the agricultural awareness display.

  • 2017 was the third year that Yarmouth County 4-H participated in the Western Nova Scotia Exhibition. 4-H leaders and members are excited to now be a part of the exhibition planning committee. 4-H life skills projects were on display for the duration of the exhibition. 4-H members were permitted to enter one of their projects into the exhibition open classes and the Champion Hobby Craft was awarded to a Yarmouth County 4-H member. This year the Kiddie Farm welcomed 4-H animals, including rabbit, poultry, sheep, and dairy, while the livestock barn housed 4-H horses, beef and dairy animals. 

  • Members learned to do by doing by taking on barn chores, and participating in fun/optional classes in projects including photogaphy, crafts, rabbit, poultry, sheep, dairy, horse, and beef as well as having tug-of war competitions, dunk-tank and a demonstration from the woodsmen team. Yarmouth County 4-H also operates a canteen all week.

  • 4-H Clubs in Lunenburg County used the South Shore Exhibition grounds for a very successful judging workshop, judging day, a Light Horse Clinic, and their 4-H county days. The Lunenburg County 4-H Council offers two full days of programming at the South Shore Exhibition. During the exhibition, approximately 190 members displayed about 550 life skills and livestock projects. A week-long canteen is hosted by the Lunenburg County 4-H Leaders Council, and this is partially staffed by leaders, parents and members. 4-H members and leaders are always willing to help with the work and painting nights prior to the exhibition. NSDA staff members educated the public at an Agricultural Awareness booth about agriculture-related occupations.

  • The Shelburne County Exhibition offered a good place for the energetic 4-H members to demonstrate their accomplishments to the public. During the exhibition week, members and leaders participated in a parade, 4-H projects were on display, members fundraised for their 4-H clubs, participated in competitions, and gave public demonstrations and speeches, throughout the week on the main stage. As part of Canada 150 they had a 4-H photo booth with free polaroid photos. NSDA staff members educated the public an Agricultural Awareness booth. In the fall, the Shelburne County 4-H leaders Council launched a Light Horse Clinic at the Shelburne Exhibition grounds. This event was so successful that they will be hosting another one in the spring. Maple Belle, the Ag Awareness cow was part of the agricultural awareness display.

  • At the Queens County Fair the county 4-H Day offered spectators a glimpse of the 4-H program and it was a good place to hold their annual 4-H fundraiser. Livestock classes were held on the day prior to the beginning of the fair. Life Skills competitions and the county 4-H awards presentation were held on the first day of the fair.

Notable Events:

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