Alabama 4-H and Youth Development is celebrating its 100th Anniversary!
We invite you to join in the fun, share with us your favorite 4-H memory, learn about Alabama 4-H’s rich history and celebrate with us as we move into the future.
Youth have always been and will continue to be Alabama’s future. How we strive to develop and encourage hard work and dedication in our youth will determine the leaders and citizens of the future, not only for Alabama, but for the nation and the world.
Alabama’s 4-H Centennial celebration was established to honor our past and secure our future. We hope that you will join us in these two goals by participating in a local, county or statewide activity, consider mentoring a 4-H member by becoming a volunteer and supporting the efforts of the more than 58,000 Alabama 4-Hers.
4-H in Alabama began in 1908 with boy’s corn clubs in Calhoun and Tuscaloosa counties and, three years later, girl’s tomato canning clubs.
Youth programs in Alabama can be traced back to the early 1900s boll weevil crop devastation. Seaman Knapp, who would later serve as president of Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) came to Alabama in 1902. He began work as a U.S. Department of Agriculture farm agent, demonstrating improved agriculture methods around the South. By 1904, Knapp was studying the work of legendary scientists Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver.
In 1906, Thomas M. Campbell was appointed the first Alabama-based extension agent. He was hired by the USDA Office of Cooperative Demonstration to assist black farmers, and used the Jesup Wagon, a movable school of agriculture, to spread the knowledge of better farming and home life to Alabama farmers.
Agents quickly learned that adults were resistant to changes in farming practices, but children were more eager. The idea of teaching children, who in turn teach others, was born and is still in existence today as 4-H.
To learn more about the history of Alabama 4-H, click here.
ALABAMA 4-H TODAY
More than 58,000 Alabama youth statewide participate in a variety of educational programs to learn belonging, independence, generosity and mastery. The focus of 4-H is using educational programs to encourage youth to become productive citizens with positive character and leadership skills.
The mission of 4-H is to serve all youth, especially those in urban and rural areas who are at a disadvantage because of life’s circumstances. At the heart of Alabama 4-H’s curricula is the belief that programs must instill life-development skills. No matter the subject, 4-H instructs youth in character values needed to be productive citizens. Alabama 4-H also teaches leadership skills through its commitment to positive youth development.
To learn more about Alabama 4-H, click here.
- Submit a Tribute about a special Agent, volunteer or someone who made your
4-H time special. Tell others about someone you want to thank for all their hard work.
- Alabama 4-H Commendation
For 100 years now, Alabama’s 4-H program has offered our youth a wholesome and enriching opportunity in which to learn important leadership and teamwork skills,” said Senator Richard Shelby. “I congratulate Alabama’s 4-H on reaching their centennial. This is certainly a monumental achievement and I wish them the best of luck in the next 100 years.
Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame
- Kick-Off Celebration Friday, August 29, 2008
- Alabama 4-H Day at AU Football 2008, August 30, 2008
- AL 4-H Centennial with Discover Auburn Lecture Series, September 11, 2008
Join the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama 4-H, Auburn University’s Ralph B. Draughon Library and the Caroline Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities for guest lecturer Gabriel Rosenberg, a doctoral student at Brown University. Rosenberg is completing his thesis on 4-H and its impact on youth, and he will speak at 3 p.m. in the Special Collection Room, ground floor, Draughon Library. The title of his talk is "The Seeds of Democracy: Nationalism, Citizenship, and Democratic Practice in the Alabama 4-H, 1940-1948.” A reception for Mr. Rosenberg will follow.
Faces of Alabama 4-H Limited Edition Print
Alabama 4-H Legacy Terrace at the Alabama 4-H Center
Have your name or personal message engraved on a piece of quarry-cut flagstone that will be permanently displayed at the Alabama 4-H Center’s Legacy Terrace in front of Guthrie Lodge.
Purchase a stone for yourself or your business or in honor or memory of family or friends who have made a difference in your life. These stones are a lasting way to commemorate special occasions, honor a current or former 4-H’er, or say thank you to a volunteer who has influenced the life of a youth.
Sign up early to become part of this project, which will be a lasting heritage to the thousands of Alabamians who love 4-H. The Legacy Terrace Campaign is a wonderful way to honor a loved one, pay tribute to a family member or colleague, or commemorate your own experience in Alabama 4-H.
Stone by stone, we join together to support Alabama 4-H with the Legacy Terrace Campaign. Your generous donation will allow continued support for Alabama 4-H'ers.
Join Alabama 4-H and the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, Inc., as we help Alabama youth develop citizenship, leadership, and life skills. 4-H teaches positive youth development, which builds competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring.