A great organization



There is a wonderful organization in our country that I can support. If you don’t support them already, I want to encourage you to support them as well. This organization doesn’t have a lot of fanfare, it doesn’t have beauty pageants, doesn’t have TV specials, and as far as I know it doesn’t have any celebrities promoting it. On the contrary, they just go their way very quietly, trying to forge character and good citizenship in the young people of our nation.

Now, before I tell you the name of this organization, could you guess? Assuming you made a guess, you probably said Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, or maybe even some other valid organization that I’m not familiar with. Okay, enough suspense. I’m talking about an organization called the 4-H Clubs.

If you are not familiar with 4-H, let me tell you a bit about it. My first experience came over 65 years ago when I was in high school. This was an extracurricular activity and was not part of the official school curriculum or curriculum. You were given the opportunity to participate, but it was strictly voluntary.

In a sense, the young people who volunteered to participate became the 4-H Club. I don’t know why, but at the time the leaders were from the county extension office. I lost track of 4-H clubs for over 50 years after leaving school. Then, due to my work in the motivational arena, I got in touch with them again, this time through their state office. I guess every state has a similar project.

Several months ago, I got a call from a lady in the State 4-H office, asking me to speak to about 115 young people at their State Youth Leadership Conference. The topic she asked for was “The Importance of Learning and Understanding Economic Concepts and Principles”. I had a great time with the young people there that day and came out inspired. Today I have a good feeling about the 4-H organization. If we provide good seeds like these young people that I have met, our nation will be well in the future.

The reason I wanted you to know about this great organization is to help you know what to say to a son, daughter or grandchild who comes to you and says, “I’m thinking of joining the 4-H Club. Of course, they will have fun and also learn something valuable.

When I decided to write this column, I did some research and found that my intuition was really on the right track. The symbol for 4-H is a four-leaf clover. Each leaf represents an important word in their commitment. Here is the 4-H Commitment: “My head for clearer thinking, my heart for greater loyalty, my hands for wider service, my health for a better life, for my club, my community, my country and my world. “

I also learned that AB Graham started a youth program in Clark County, Ohio, in 1902 which is considered the birth of 4-H in the United States. The first club was called “The Tomato Club” or “Corn Growing Club”. TA Erickson of Douglas County, Minnesota, started after-school farm clubs and fairs that same year. Jessie Field Schambaugh developed the trefoil pin with an H on each leaf in 1910, and by 1912 they were called 4-H clubs. The passage of the Smith-Lever Act by Congress in 1914 created the Cooperative Extension System at the USDA and nationalized 4-H. In 1924, the shamrock emblem was adopted. And, as Paul Harvey would say, “Now you know the rest of the story,” and what a wonderful story it is. 4-H has positively helped millions of our precious young people.


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