Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. Those are the Hs that 4-H is all about. The 4-H program began some time around the beginning of the 20th century as an effort to connect public school education to country life, but today 4-H’s “learning by doing” model encompasses much more than animal agriculture. Joe Brown has more I this week’s From The Ground Up.
"We have some of the old programs which a lot of people associate with 4-H with cows, sows, and plows. Well, being one of those myself, I don’t apologize for that, but that’s kind of what people come to believe 4-H is, and that’s only our animal projects."
Jim Reeves is director of the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation, and says that while an appreciation for agriculture is still at the core of 4-H, many new programs are offered.
"We have photography, we’ve got fashion design, we’ve got sports nutrition, we have tech teams that are heavily involved in computer science. We got a canine program that’s really, really growing, and probably one of the things that’s the fastest growing right now is our Texas 4-H shooting sports program."
4-H is the largest youth organization in the United States, the largest by far in Texas, and still growing.
"I want every one of those 658,000 to have a love for the land, a love for those people that are out there day after day producing the best, safest food source in the world."
And Reeves understands that today’s 4-H students are part of tomorrow’s voters.
"When there is legislation that comes down that negatively affects the farmers and ranchers capability of producing that bountiful supply of food, I want them to know which lever to pull."
I’m Joe Brown, tracing the journey our food and fiber makes from the farm and ranch to our homes, From The Ground Up.