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About 4-H

The grouped 4-H icons - head, heart, hands, health

The 4-H Youth program strives to improve the quality of life for Mississippi 4-H'ers by developing the potential of young people and by providing "hands-on" (experiential) educational programs. Program priorities identified include leadership development, life skills training, developing positive self-esteem, and empowering volunteers. Programs are delivered through local county Extension offices to volunteer leaders. Learn more about how to join. 

The 4-H Symbol

4-H is best identified by its green four-leaf clover with an H on each leaf. The four Hs on this emblem stand for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. These words emphasize the basis of the four-fold development of young people involved in 4-H.

Head: 4-H'ers focus on thinking, making decisions, and understanding and gaining knowledge.

Heart: 4-H'ers are concerned with the welfare of others and accept the responsibilities of citizenship and developing attitudes and values.

Hands: 4-H'ers use their hands to learn new skills and develop pride and respect for their own work.

Health: 4-H'ers develop and practice healthy living physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially.

The Four Essential Elements of 4-H

Mastery - By exploring 4-H projects and activities, 4-H'ers master skills to make positive career and life choices. 4-H provides a safe environment to make mistakes and receive feedback, and young people can discover their capabilities while meeting new challenges.

Generosity - By participating in 4-H community service and citizenship activities, 4-H'ers can connect to communities and learn to give back to others. These connections help young people find and fulfill their life's purpose.

Independence - By exercising independence through 4-H leadership opportunities, 4-H'ers mature in self-discipline and responsibility, learn to better understand themselves, and become independent thinkers.

Belonging - Through 4-H, young people can develop long-term consistent relationships with adults other than their parents and learn that they are cared about by and connected to others. 4-H gives young people the opportunity to feel physically and emotionally safe in a group setting.

4-H History

An image of 4-H'ers in a corn field.
This image shows young people holding a 4-H banner.
This image shows a man and child in a field.

4-H grew out of the progressive education movement in America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Rural school principals and superintendents wanted to teach their students about the material they would need to succeed in the business world.

At the same time, agricultural colleges and experiment stations were accumulating scientific knowledge that could improve productivity and the standard of living for farmers, but farmers showed little interest in these "book farming" methods. These professors thought that teaching farmers' children improved agricultural methods might allow the information to reach the farmers.

Rural school principals and superintendents teamed with agricultural college researchers to form corn clubs in most eastern and southern states at this time.

W. H. "Corn Club" Smith was instrumental in forming Mississippi's first corn clubs. In 1907, Smith received a franking privilege and a salary of $1 per year from the United States Department of Agriculture. This was the first time the USDA had been involved in a youth program and established a three-way partnership of county, state, and federal governments working together.

While other states had corn clubs before Mississippi, none had the federal partnership Mississippi had. This is the basis of Mississippi's claim to be the birthplace of 4-H. 

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News

Filed Under: Leadership, Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden August 1, 2022

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dates for the fall 2022 session of the Master Gardener course have been set.

Registration for the asynchronous online seminars will be open from August 15 to September 12. The sessions will be available from October 3 to December 2. Once registration opens, it can be accessed at http://msuext.ms/mg.

Vial of monkeypox vaccine ready to be injected
Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Diseases, Health July 27, 2022

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Though monkeypox is not as easily spread as COVID-19, it has become a public health concern as documented case counts approach 4,000 nationwide.

The monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder. Infections in this outbreak are from the West African type, which has an infection fatality rate of 1% and is considered the milder of the two types of the virus.

A woman stands in front of a tennis court
Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Food and Health, Health June 14, 2022

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. No matter your age, you can gain many long-term benefits from being active, like improving your strength, supporting emotional and mental health, and helping manage or prevent illnesses.

A group holding sports gear gathers around a monument.
Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Projects May 4, 2022

Fourteen Choctaw Central and Neshoba Central high school students got a look at college life April 26 when a 4-H career prep program took them to preview day at Mississippi State University. The young people met with MSU students who are fellow members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, or MBCI. They also examined one of the EcoCAR club’s hybrid vehicles, heard about the admissions process and were given an idea of what the academic experience will be like.

Chickens feed inside a fenced enclosure.
Filed Under: Youth Poultry, Poultry April 20, 2022

Farm supply stores are full of cute chicks in the spring, and the sight of the fluffy baby birds, combined with future dreams of fresh eggs, prompts many people to impulsively start a backyard flock.

Success Stories

Five people, including two teens in green 4-H blazers, smile for a group photo.
4-H, Leadership, Ambassador Program
Volume 8 Number 2

As Mississippi 4-H prepares to launch its HomeGrown Scholarship campaign to generate endowed scholarships for 4-H’ers from every county in the state, 33 4-H’ers on the Mississippi 4-H Leadership Team, representing 19 counties, visited the Capitol in Jackson for 4-H Legislative Day 2022. 

Two older women wearing blue MHV t-shirts sitting at a table overspread with papers.
Leadership, Community, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers
Volume 8 Number 2

Lillian Clark Edney and Bonita Davenport Reed have been teammates since they were teachers in the Natchez-Adams School District.

A woman crouches, holding a plaque, with a girl on her left and a boy and steer on her right.
4-H, 4-H Livestock Program, Family, Children and Parenting, MSU Extension Head Start
Volume 8 Number 2

The 2022 Sale of Champions generated a preliminary total of $448,500, approximately $40,000 more than last year and the highest ever. 

A smiling young man stands in a room with a hand on a small table.
4-H
Volume 8 Number 2

Deciding to get involved in 4-H was one of the best decisions Samuel Brown says he ever made.

“Without 4-H, I probably wouldn’t be in this chair right now,” Brown, 18, answers during his interview. “I wouldn’t be talking to you right now.”

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