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History of 4-H
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Louisiana 4-H Timeline


On February 8, 1908, the first Corn Club for Louisiana boys met at Moreauville High School in Moreauville, La., (Avoyelles Parish) to teach about 300 boys new ways to grow corn. By the end of the year, 15 other parishes also had formed Corn Clubs. Such agricultural clubs were part of a national movement to teach rural boys new research-based methods of farming. The movement was supported by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the land-grant colleges and state departments of education. Over time, other agricultural clubs for boys and domestic clubs for girls were developed and were modeled after the Corn Club demonstration methods. Eventually, all these clubs became collectively known as “4-H Clubs.”

The Louisiana State Fair awarded first prize to a 14-year-old Corn Club member who produced 27.5 bushels of corn on a half acre.


Victor Leander Roy was hired as the first State Club Leader. He was largely responsible for starting Louisiana’s first Corn Club in Moreauville, La., and is considered the “Father of Louisiana 4-H.”


Demonstration trains began to travel around the state showcasing Corn Club crop methods, improved agricultural implements, a carload of beef and dairy cattle each and a car loaded with purebred hogs. The first train covered more than 1,000 miles of railway line, stopped at 41 places and reached about 55,000 people who learned the importance of a diversified system of agriculture.

Louisiana started the first Swine Club in the nation in Caddo Parish with 59 boys under the direction of E. W. Jones.


Tomato canning clubs for girls began in Louisiana. Uniform jar labels and canning outfits were supplied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other domestic clubs for girls soon followed using demonstration methods.

The four-leaf clover was first used to brand the canned goods prepared by Tomato Canning Clubs nationwide.

Stephen G. Henry from Melrose (Natchitoches Parish) won a Bush automobile valued at about $500 at the National Corn Show in Columbus, Ohio, for his Louisiana State Fair-winning corn exhibit and report on yield and profits.


The four-leaf clover and the term “4-H” were adopted as the national emblem for boys’ and girls’ club work at the Conference for Education in the South held in Richmond, Va.


The Smith-Lever Act, signed by President Woodrow Wilson, established federal funding for the Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service at land-grant colleges nationwide. The funding included support for 4-H boys’ and girls’ club work.

The first Short Course was held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La.


Educational films were shown around state using power from a Model-T car.

Cotton clubs and poultry clubs were established.


The term “4-H Club” first appeared in a federal document to describe the activities of the various agricultural and domestic clubs formed nationwide and supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Short Course at LSU was canceled due to an influenza epidemic.

Parish Short Courses began. They were the precursors to rallies and Achievement Days.


4-H Clubs were organized nationwide according to a standard plan with minimum requirements.


The first youth State Executive Committee was formed at Short Course at LSU.


The first Louisiana 4-H camp was held on grounds of the future Camp Grant Walker.

The first Beef Calf Club in Louisiana was formed in Terrebonne Parish.

The first Dairy Club in Louisiana was formed in Rapides Parish.


Louisiana 4-H'ers participated in National Club Congress, which was established in 1922.

4-H camps were held in tents in several locations around Louisiana.


The 4-H Pledge and Motto were adopted at the first National 4-H Camp in Washington, D.C.


The Capper-Ketcham Act provided federal funding for Extension Services and 4-H Clubs during the Depression.

Short Course Daily newspaper was published to keep LSU Short Course attendees informed of activities.


The first Short Course was held at Southern University.


4-H Club work was publicized on radio for the first time as part of a National 4-H Achievement broadcast.


Camp Grant Walker was developed as a “state” 4-H camp as a W.P.A. project.


The first state 4-H livestock show was held with a showing of 43 calves; the grand champion was sold at $0.26 a pound, more than twice the market price.


The first wildlife and forestry camps were held at Camp Grant Walker.


The first 4-H agent camp was held at Camp Grant Walker where the first State 4-H Advisory Committee was established.


For World War II service projects, Louisiana 4-H'ers grew Victory Gardens, led the nation in an ambulance fund, collected scrap metal and raised $3.4 million to pay for a Liberty Ship, the Floyd W. Spencer.


The Louisiana Legislature allocated funds for livestock shows.

4-H Club membership was divided into two groups: Junior Clubs for elementary school students and Senior Clubs for high schoolers.


Short Course at LSU was canceled due to a polio epidemic.


The Chicago educational trip was started as an award to winners of livestock, crops and meat judging teams at Short Course.


The first black regional 4-H camp in the nation was held at Southern University.

The first Jr. Leadership Camp was held at Camp Grant Walker.


The first 4-H Adult Leader Training Camp was held at Camp Grant Walker.


Achievement Days were held in all 64 parishes for the first time.

Groundbreaking for Camp Jesse Harrison for black 4-H’ers was held  after Willard Rambo of Grant Parish proposed a bill passed by the Louisiana Legislature, which allocated funds for the camp’s construction.

The International Farm Youth Exchange Program started.


The 4-H Key Award Program was established to recognize outstanding 4-H'ers.


The First Junior Forestry Camp was held.

59.6% of Louisiana 4-H'ers lived in nonfarm or urban areas.


St. James Parish 4-H’ers won the National Safety Award given by the National Safety Council; they won this award from 1957-2002. The youth competition was eliminated after the September 11, 2001, tragedies due to concern about the risks of having youth travel by airplane to receive the award.


A national mandate to integrate schools began integration of 4-H Clubs.


Pointe Coupee Parish 4-H’ers were the first winners of the Nolan Reech Award at Short Course (1970).

New projects and programs extended 4-H to urban youth.

Junior Leadership Clubs were first organized in Lafayette Parish by A.J. Brackin.


“…and my world” was added to the 4-H pledge.


Statewide 4-H celebrations of America’s Bicentennial.

The Louisiana Extension Agent 4-H Association was established.


The Louisiana 4-H Foundation was created.


Collegiate 4-H took root.

Environmental awareness and concerns for youth-at-risk led to new projects and programs.

Marsh Maneuvers was first held in Vermilion Parish for Vermilion 4-H Junior Leaders (1986).


4-H was established as a co-curricular activity in public schools.


The first Wildwoods Wanderings Camp was held at Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge (Madison Parish) to focus on the diverse environmental factors affecting the economic and social growth of Louisiana (1993).

Recruitment of volunteers accelerated.

4-H Web sites developed as computer dependency increased.

Special-interest camps were organized.


Character Education pilot programs began with funding from the Louisiana Legislature after a bill proposed by Representative Beverly Bruce was passed.


The Louisiana 4-H shooting sports program began as part of the national outdoor skills program.


The First Annual 4-H Day at the Capitol was held.


The Volunteer Leader Association formed.


Short Course was restructured and renamed “4-H University.”


General Russel L. Honoré, a former 4-H’er from Lakeland, La., (Pointe Coupee Parish) commanded the Joint Task Force Katrina responsible for coordinating military relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina-affected areas across the Gulf Coast.

Camp Grant Walker served as an evacuation shelter for 600 people after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

4-H'ers across the state assisted with hurricane relief projects.

Afterschool 4-H programs were piloted in Louisiana.


Project portfolio became accessible to 4-H'ers through the Internet.


The first LOST (Louisiana Outdoor Science and Technology) Camp was held at Camp Grant Walker for seventh- and eighth-graders.

4-H Centennial Celebrations were held across the state.

The Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame was established with 100 inductees.

Last Updated: 10/27/2011 1:44:23 PM

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