4-H is the nation’s largest youth leadership development organization empowering nearly six million young people across the U.S. with the skills to lead for a lifetime and Georgia is proud to be one of the largest state programs in the country with more than 240,000 active 4-H’ers across the state.
The four H’s symbolize the development of the HEAD (to think, plan and reason), the HEART (to be concerned with the welfare of others, accept the responsibility of citizenship and develop positive attitudes), the HANDS (to be useful, helpful and skillful) and HEALTH (to practice healthy living, enjoy life and use time wisely). 4-H is a major partner in education. Lessons taught, experiences shared and information presented in 4-H is based on the research of the University of Georgia and Fort Valley State University.
The mission of Georgia 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.
Exploring and discovering, encouraging and challenging, that’s what Georgia 4-H is all about. As a program of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension System, 4-H is part of the nationwide Extension network.
4-H’ers are known for sharing their research-based knowledge and technology to people where they live and work. 4-H combines federal, state, and local expertise and resources.
“I pledge 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.”
Otis Hall, State Leader of Kansas, was responsible for the original wording of the 4-H pledge, officially adopted by the State 4-H Leaders at the first National 4-H camp in 1927. The pledge remained unchanged until 1973, when it was revised to include “and my world.”
Click this video to hear the 4-H pledge in Spanish!
Click this video to view the 4-H pledge in American Sign Language!
Georgia 4-H began in 1904 when Newton County school superintendent, G.C. Adams, organized an agricultural corn club for boys in Covington, Ga. While Georgia is one of several states that claims to be the birthplace of 4-H, the reality is 4-H didn’t start at any one time or place. Many movements were happening just after the turn of the century. The organization that emerged was the result of the work of many people in different parts of the United States who were concerned about young people. The concepts of youth and adults working together to learn and grow, of providing young people with hands-on learning experiences, of taking research and making it useful, practical and accessible and of creating an environment where students are safe and supported were all part of the early years of 4-H. Those characteristics of 4-H marked our beginning, and they still provide the basis for all we do today.
Annual Reports - Georgia 4-H Cloverleaf
National 4-H Week
October 4-10, 2020
In Georgia, Extension faculty members based on the campus of the University of Georgia and in most Georgia counties work directly with adult and teen volunteer leaders to implement the 4-H program at the local level. For more information about Georgia 4-H, contact your local county Extension Office or the Georgia State 4-H Office.