Does 4-H Matter Now More Than Ever?

A few years back, a friend from Washington D.C. visited my farm for the first time. Right off the bat, he noticed the bumper sticker on my pickup truck, a green four-leaf clover emblazoned with large, white H’s. “Forrest,” he said, without the slightest trace of humor, “you never told me you were Irish!” Suffice to say, he had never heard of 4-H, a youth program every bit as venerable as the Boy or Girl Scouts. But he’s not alone. Even with 6 million current members, 30 million alumni, and a 110 year track record, 4-H continues to fly beneath our cultural radar. Unless you happened to be raised in rural America, chances are you might not have crossed paths with this program yourself. But 4-H remains a vital—if habitually unassuming—thread in our national tapestry, and it’s a program that deserves more positive press than it commonly receives. Traditionally linked arm-in-arm with agriculture, over the years 4-H has increasingly veered towards mainstream American life. In fact, according to their website, 4-H now teaches topics ranging “from agricultural and animal sciences to rocketry, robotics, environmental protection and computer

All the grazing management tips you need

Subscribe to read this article and over 2,500 more!

Subscribe today!

If you're already a subscriber, log in here.

5 thoughts on “Does 4-H Matter Now More Than Ever?

  1. Wonderful article! I was a very active and proud 4 H member in my county for 10 years and then helped to start a Collegiate group at the University of Arizona. I currently work for the University of Arizona Yavapai County Cooperative Extension as an Administrative Assistant, but prior to that I was the Program Coordinator for the 4H program. My blood runs green!

  2. Proud 10 year 4Her, married to a 10 year 4Her and parents of 2 10 year 4Hers! From the Busy Workers Club in southern Indiana

  3. Not just rural America! I grew up in Yonkers, NY, just north of the Bronx, and we created a community garden at a nearby undeveloped plot of land. My first taste of a homegrown carrot blew me and my parents away! As an adult, I have kept migrating to smaller and smaller towns, and now advocate for family farmers through the Farmers Union and live in rural western Massachusetts. I give 4-H and Girl Scouts a lot of credit for giving me skills and pointing me toward my eventual trajectory.

  4. And…the curriculum has room to advance as techniques and methods advance. Check out the Facebook page of the Loudoun County 4-H Forage Club’s project from 2015–pastured poultry. 4-H is a great organization.

Comments are closed.

Translate »