CALS-Led Arizona 4-H Celebrates 100 Years

Monday, November 4, 2013

Since its origin in the early 20th century, 4-H has offered important lessons in leadership, responsibility and service through hands-on activities designed to help young people reach their personal potential.

The youth development program started as a way to connect new agricultural technologies and higher education with country life by engaging children. Teaching children ages 5 to 19 skills from raising livestock to photography to building robots, the program has evolved and grown with the changing times and continues to provide valuable opportunities for youth from all backgrounds.

In Arizona, 4-H has been going strong for 100 years, and has reached millions of children since it began in 1913 under the direction of the University of Arizona.

As Arizona's land-grant institution, the UA is charged with the stewardship of 4-H as well as other Cooperative Extension services run by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

"Four-H is part of the Cooperative Extension Service, created by Congress to be the outreach arm of the land-grant university," explained Kirk Astroth, director of the Arizona 4-H Youth Development program. "Every state's land-grant university runs that state's 4-H program. Our program reaches 115,000 kids per year across the state."

"The land grant was not only given land to be able to create a university," Astroth said. "It has a specific mission and duty to provide education to all the people of the state regardless of where they live."

"Four-H is housed at the University and we say 4-H is your first class from the University of Arizona," Astroth said. "We always say the whole state is our campus."

The four H's of the youth development program stand for head, heart, hands and health. Members pledge their head to greater service, heart to greater loyalty, hands to larger service and health for better living.

Read more from this October 10 UANews article at the link below.

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