Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It All Began With Agriculture

4-H has always taught life skills to youth, and it all began with agriculture.

Florida 4-H began as a program to teach farming methods to rural youth and became a community-based program that taught millions of young Floridians how to “Learn By Doing”. 

“Agriculture is firmly cemented in the foundation of Florida 4-H and thanks to the resources of the University of Florida IFAS Extension and a nationwide network of extension professionals, agriculture remains an important part of Florida 4-H programming.” Shaumond Scott, State 4-H Communications Coordinator.

In 1909, UF Dean of Agriculture J.J. Vernon organized corn clubs for boys in Alachua, Bradford and Marion counties.  Clubs for girls followed in 1912.  After 1915, Florida A&M University directed a program for African American youth.  The clubs were part of a national movement that became known as 4-H and is now one of the largest youth organizations in the country. 

4-H offers a diverse set of program and activity options for its members, yet teaching life skills is a constant. 

4-H Members can choose from more than 50 projects that focus on science, engineering and technology, animals and agriculture, food & nutrition, outdoor adventures, marine science, public speaking, art and wildlife.  4-H learning is experiential- where youth learn life skills and use their skills to give back to their communities.

Since 1965, all Florida 4-H programs have been administered at the University of Florida where they are led by faculty and supported by volunteers.

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