Ask Your 4-H Agent: The 4-1-1 on 4-H
By Kelly Zern, Coweta County 4-H Agent, UGA Extention-Coweta
Question: What is 4-H and how is it still relevant to youth today?
4-H Agent: The history of Georgia 4-H goes back to 1904 when G.C. Adams, school superintendent of Newton County, started an agricultural corn club for boys. Soon after, the Girls Tomato Canning Club began in Hancock County. By 1914, the Cooperative Extension Service was formed across the nation at land grant universities and the Smith-Lever Act had the idea to hire a new “teacher” or agent for every county. The money for this came from the United States Department of Agriculture. When the agent started working with youth in counties across the nation, 4-H was born.
Today in Georgia there are approximately 170,000 4-H participants and it is the largest young leadership development organization in the United States. The mission of 4-H is to assist youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills, and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. This mission is accomplished, through “hands on” learning experiences focused on agricultural and environmental issues, agriculture awareness, leadership, communication skills, foods and nutrition, health, energy conservation, and citizenship.
In Coweta County we achieve the mission of 4-H with programming presented in all of the county 5th grade classrooms one time per month. The lessons follow state standards in Science and English Language Arts. In addition, Coweta County offers many specialty clubs including Veterinary Science Student Organization, Agriculture Discovery Club, Dairy Heifer Show Team, Equine Mounted Drill Team, Horse and Pony Club, K-9 Club, Cloverbuds (K-3 club), Sigma Lambda Chi (High School Club), Trailblazers (Middle School Club), and Poultry Club. Students interested in Target Sports participate in Coweta 4-H Archery, BB Team, Shotgun Team, and 22 Rimfire. Students can also be part of teams that compete in dairy judging, dairy quiz bowl, hippology, horse quiz bowl, forestry judging, land judging, and poultry judging.
One of the largest state core programs is Project Achievement. Project Achievement encourages youth to explore interest and plan demonstrations across 50+ project areas. Participation in Project Achievement promotes public speaking, independent thinking, and creativity.
In grades 7-12 students develop an additional portfolio of project work aiding in college and workforce preparation. STEM, robotics, coding, summer camp, and environmental education are all part of 4-H programming right here in Coweta County.
To learn more about any of these programs, contact the UGA Extension Office at 770-254-2620 or email [email protected].
Facts About 4-H
Motto To make the best better
Slogan: Learn by Doing
My head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
And my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.
What is 4-H? (2018). Retrieved March 12, 2020, from https://georgia4h.org/about-us/what-is-4-h/
This is GA 4-H Staff Development Book and Training
Kelly Zern is the Coweta County 4-H Agent. Her role includes overseeing all 4-H programming in the county including specialty clubs, S.A.F.E. teams, volunteers and other 4-H programming and events. In addition, she collaborates with community leaders to provide and implement needed programming in the community.