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               About Lewis & Clark County 4-H

4-H-1960s

History of 4-H

The foundations of 4-H began in 1902 through the work of several people in different parts of the United States. Educators at land grant universities discovered that the best way to introduce improved farming and farm-homemaking practices was through young people who were more open to new ideas and would share these ideas with adults. The idea of practical and “hands-on” learning came from the desire to connect public school education to agricultural life.

The passage of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 created the Cooperative Extension System at USDA and nationalized 4-H. By 1924, 4-H clubs were formed and the clover emblem was adopted. 

4-H Today

Today, 4-H is America's largest youth development organization, empowering young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime. These include:

  • Decision making
  • Inquiry
  • Communication
  • Building positive relationships
  • Leadership
  • Sportsmanship
  • Responsibility

These skills are aquired through service learning, club work, and a variety of hands-on projects.  

  • Aerospace
  • Swine
  • Woodworking
  • Robotics
  • Photography
  • Rabbit

And so much more!

4-H involves the entire family and offers something for everyone. The program is administered through Montana State University Extension. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Montana State University and the Montana State University Extension Service prohibit discrimination in all of their programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status. Issued in furtherance of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Director of Extension, Extension Service, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717