Brunswick 4-H

Brunswick County
4-H Youth Development Program

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Brunswick County 4-H

The Brunswick County 4-H Youth Development Program is an educational program of the Cooperative Extension Service for boys and girls ages 5-19. In addition to providing excellent opportunities to young people, the 4-H program is also structured to allow adults an opportunity to share leadership skills and to learn and develop additional skills.

For more information about the Brunswick County 4-H Youth Development Program and the many opportunities offered, Katie McKee, 4-H Extension Agent, or Angie Lawrence, angie_lawrence@ncsu.edu Program Assistant, with the Brunswick County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, at 253-2610.  Visit our website for calendar updates and to see what we are doing in Brunswick County.

4-H History

In the late 1800s, the idea of 4-H was born when one-acre corn contests were organized for boys in various parts of the nation. The first 4-H program as we know it today, began in Holmes County, Mississippi, in 1907. A school superintendent organized 120 boys in a corn contest through sponsorship of the Mississippi State College of Agriculture. From this first venture of youth and university, the 4-H youth program has become an important part of the nationwide land-grant college Extension program.

In North Carolina, the beginnings of 4-H trace back to a Boys Corn Club organized in 1909 in Hertford County. North Carolina became the first state to sign an agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture to sponsor Boys’ Club work. In 1910, there were some 4,000 boys in club work in North Carolina. Girls’ Clubs, based on tomato production, quickly followed. Canning foods was also a major learning activity for the girls.

In 1914, the Federal Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act, establishing the Extension Services of the Land-Grant Colleges of the nation. Extension and club work was thus placed on a firm foundation nationally.

North Carolina’s first county 4-H agent was appointed in Buncombe County in 1922. In 1925, the position of State 4-H Leader was established at North Carolina State University. During the 1920s, the 4-H program grew to include all counties in the state, building on the base of the former Boys’ Clubs and Girls’ Clubs. Four-H, however, involved a broader concept of youth development.

For several decades, 4-H in North Carolina worked in conjunction with the public school systems. However, major changes for 4-H came in the 1960s across the nation as well as in North Carolina. The final links to the overall school system were dissolved and strong community sponsoring bases were established. What traditionally had been a program for rural youth was expanded to offer the same opportunities to urban youth that proved successful for decades in rural areas.

4-H Emblem and Name

The 4-H emblem is a green four-leaf clover with the white letter “H” placed parallel to the mid-rib of each leaf. The H’s stand for head, heart, hands and health. The four-leaf clover symbolizes good luck and achievement. The emblem is protected by copyright held by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

The State 4-H Program, County 4-H Programs and Clubs that have been authorized by the county 4-H agents may use the 4-H emblem and name within the national guidelines. The national guidelines state how the 4-H name and emblem may be used.

4-H Pledge

The 4-H pledge is used in every meeting. This is the pledge and what you do when you say the pledge:

I pledge my head to clearer thinking, (raise your right hand to the side of your head)
my heart to greater loyalty, (put your right hand over the left side of your chest)
my hands to larger service, (stretch out your hands in front of you, palms upward)
and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world. (stand with your hands at your sides)

4-H Motto

The 4-H motto, “To Make the Best Better,” should be the aim of every 4-H member and club leader.

4-H Colors

The 4-H colors are green and white. White symbolizes purity, and green represents life, springtime, and youth.


For further information:

  • Katie McKee katie_McKee@ncsu.edu Extension Agent–4-H Youth Development, Call the Cooperative Extension Service (910) 253-2610
  • Angie Lawrence, angie_lawrence@ncsu.edu, Program Assistant 4-H Youth Development
  • Visit the Cooperative Extension Service, Brunswick County Government Center (Building N), 25 Referendum Drive, Bolivia, NC

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