Juggling parenting four children, managing their family farm, engaging in community events, and serving on various boards and committees, Bernie and Colleen Prefontaine decided to make an even greater impact by becoming 4-H volunteer leaders. They saw the potential to make a difference in the lives of Bon Accord 4-H Beef Club members and began their journey as leaders, with Colleen starting in 1995 and Bernie following a year later.
Best known for their annual “Bombers Blow-Out” event, Bernie and Colleen created this weekend-long clipping, grooming, leading, and showing clinic in 1995 for their beef club members. The event has become a highlight in many members’ 4-H careers. Bernie committed to monthly record book evaluations, providing valuable feedback on projects and techniques. Meanwhile, Colleen championed the 4-H motto, “learn to do by doing,” implementing a ‘No Parents in the Ring’ rule to empower club members through hands-on learning. By listening to their members’ needs, the Prefontaines have offered project-tailoring suggestions to ensure members remain engaged and benefit from their 4-H experience.
Promoting 4-H beyond their club, Bernie and Colleen have also made a difference on district and regional levels. Colleen helped organize the bi-annual Beef Leader Update seminar, while Bernie drove Bon Accord members to a judging competition in Vermillion, creating a fun and educational experience. The Prefontaines have organized and coordinated club, district, and regional-level judging competitions and opened their home to national and international 4-H member exchanges. Colleen served as a Key Leader in the Sturgeon district and president of both district and regional councils.
The Legal community greatly benefits from the Prefontaines’ dedication to various boards, groups, and committees. Colleen has been the Director of the Prime Limousin Club committee, participated in a Minor softball league, and served as the barn boss of the Limousin barn at Farmfair International. Bernie is a member of the St. Emile Parish Council Committee and the Board of Directors for several towns within their district. Both Bernie and Colleen are on the Sturgeon Agriplex Committee, volunteer for fundraising bingo, casino, and concession events, and jointly received the Northlands Park Farm Family Award (2000) and the Germaine Nault Award (1995) for their outstanding volunteer contributions to the Legal community.
Bernie and Colleen Prefontaine’s unwavering dedication to 4-H and their community has created lasting, positive change. Their passion for empowering young people and strengthening their community will inspire generations of future 4-H members and community leaders.