ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia 4-H empowers youth become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society by establishing personal and sincere relationships, learning life and leadership skills and enhancing community awareness. During National 4-H Week, Oct. 4-10, Georgians will celebrate all the exceptional things these 4-H’ers accomplish.
Georgia 4-H programming, part of University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, is based on research from UGA’s colleges and other land-grant universities. Georgia has one of the largest state 4-H programs in the country, consisting of more than 242,000 active 4-H participants this year.
Georgia 4-H traces its roots to 1904, when Newton County school superintendent G.C. Adams organized a corn club for boys. Today, Georgia 4-H attracts students from all areas of interest, not just those interested in agriculture. The majority of participants currently come from small cities, towns and rural non-farms.
The theme for this year’s National 4-H Week, Opportunity4All, is a campaign created by the National 4-H Council to rally support for Extension’s 4-H program and identify solutions to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million kids across America.
With so many children struggling to reach their full potential, 4-H believes that young people, in partnership with adults, can play a key role in creating a more promising and equitable future for youth, families and communities across the country. In 4-H, organizers believe that every child should have an equal opportunity to succeed along with the skills they need to make a difference in the world.
“The idea of bringing UGA research and resources to Georgia students through the use of county Extension agents throughout the state was a cutting-edge idea over a century ago and remains a vital system today,” said Arch Smith, state 4-H leader. “The most important work of 4-H is to help young people become better citizens and enable them to grow into responsible, active adults.”
Georgia 4-H youth perform community service, conduct research, compile portfolios of their accomplishments, and learn public speaking skills through oral presentations during 4-H Project Achievement. During the 2019-20 school year, more than 16,000 Georgia 4-H’ers participated in Project Achievement on the local level. Some Project Achievement winners received Master 4-H status and/or continue on to represent Georgia on a national level.
–Cristina deRevere, Georgia 4-H