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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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Publications

Publication Number: P1456
Publication Number: P1991
Publication Number: P1205
Publication Number: P799

News

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.

White chickens gather at a feeder.
Filed Under: Youth Poultry, Poultry April 18, 2022

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Keeping buffalo wings on menus is a supply chain issue that goes all the way back to procedures farm workers follow to protect the health of commercially grown chickens.

A row of white or black animal skulls.
Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Plants and Wildlife April 13, 2022

Two conservation camps this summer offer students in grades six through 12 the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in wildlife science, outdoor recreation and conservation careers. Conservation Camp 2022 has a residential edition June 5-8 for rising eighth through 12th graders. The day camp edition is June 13-15 for rising sixth through eighth graders.

A woman stands at a kitchen counter.
Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Food, Nutrition April 12, 2022

Seeds are an excellent source of fiber, healthy fats, and many important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a great way to add some crunch with a nutritional punch!

Success Stories

A group of five men and women standing on the MSU football field during a game day.
4-H, Support 4-H, Community, Economic Development
Volume 8 Number 1

Assessing and Adjusting

MSU Extension prepares 4-H HomeGrown Scholarship campaign

A woman and a man standing in front of a mural and lamppost.
4-H, 4-H Livestock Program, Leadership
Volume 8 Number 1

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Former Simpson County 4-H’er highlights Extension agent’s legacy

Children notice everything, and they remember. When children watch a man use his personal resources and take extra time just for them, when they listen to his words of encouragement through disappointments and triumphs, and when they watch him demonstrate boundless patience whatever the circumstance, those children remember.

 

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4-H, Leadership, Ambassador Program, Wildlife Youth Education, Youth Projects, Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Farming, Dairy
Volume 8 Number 1

Mississippi 4-H Introduces New Youth Leadership Positions

Administrators with the Mississippi State University Extension Center for 4-H Youth Development recently announced two new offices for 4-H’ers: president-elect and past president. These new positions will allow the 4-H’ers more training and opportunities, state leaders agree.

A smiling woman wearing a white shirt sits behind a desk with her hands resting on the desk in front of her.
4-H
Volume 8 Number 1

Former Adams County 4-H’er Symone Thomas is living her dream as a meteorologist at FOX West Texas in San Angelo, Texas. When she started in 4-H, Thomas was looking for a fun hobby and a way to spend time with her friends. She found much more—a passion for service. During her college experience at Mississippi State University, Thomas accumulated more than 250 community service hours, earned multiple honors, and was recognized for her service to campus.

Listen

Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 7:00am
Thursday, January 2, 2020 - 7:00am
Thursday, December 26, 2019 - 7:00am
Friday, December 13, 2019 - 7:00am
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 7:00am

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