4-H didn't really start in one time or place. It began around the start of the 20th century in the work of several people in different parts of the United States who were concerned about young people.
The seed of the 4-H idea of practical and “hands-on” learning came from the desire to make public school education more connected to country life. Early programs tied both public and private resources together for the purpose of helping rural youth.
During this time, researchers at experiment stations of the land-grant college system and USDA saw that adults in the farming community did not readily accept new agricultural discoveries. But, educators found that youth would "experiment" with these new ideas and then share their experiences and successes with the adults.
So rural youth programs became a way to introduce new agriculture technology to the adults. A.B. Graham started one such youth program in Ohio in 1902. It is considered the birth of the 4-H program in the U.S. When Congress created the Cooperative Extension Service at USDA in 1914, it included boys' and girls' club work. This soon became known as 4-H clubs - Head, Heart, Hands, and Health.
Nearing its 50th anniversary, 4-H began to undergo several changes. In 1948, a group of American young people went to Europe, and a group of Europeans came to the United States on the first International Farm Youth Exchange. Since then, thousands of young people have participated in 4-H out-of-state trips and international exchanges. 4-H began to extend into urban areas in the 1950's.
Later, the basic 4-H focus became the personal growth of the member. Life skills development was built into 4-H projects, activities and events to help youth become contributing, productive, self-directed members of society. The organization changed in the 1960's, combining 4-H groups divided by gender or race into a single integrated program.
The Noble County Community Fair is deeply grateful to the young and talented people, who bring so many activities to the Fair each year, and put in an extraordinary amount of their time to help out at the fair. We could not do it without them.
Noble County 4-H
Noble County Office
2090 N State Rd, Suite D
Albion, IN 46701
Phone (260) 636-2111 or 1-800-601-5826