“Voices of 4-H History” Opens Doors for Hawaii 4-H

4-HHPP_2015_02_Pg5In 2014, two Youth-Adult Partnership teams consisting of two teens and one adult participated in the “Voices of 4-H History” project for Hawaii.

According to Joan Chong, HI Extension service, the teams from Kona and Maui participated in a basic training that covered interview questions and techniques, project design and management, pre-production, filming, and camera techniques.

Because of training time constraints, the teams were also encouraged to connect with the local Community Access Television (CAT) to assist in editing and piecing the video together, and CAT was happy to help out. They offered classes in basic video production, camera operation, editing, lighting and studio production. Once the participants became certified producers at the CAT studios, the use of the television equipment and facilities were FREE! All the Youth-Adult Partnership teams needed to do was ask for help. When asked about the project, we found that youth participants not only learned video production but also gained knowledge about 4-H and the effect it has had on others.

 Here are a few quotes from the youth:

  • “I felt that this project allowed me to experience what it felt like to be a part of 4-H many years ago. Through their stories, I can see how 4-H shaped people’s lives and how it helped 4-H’ers to ‘make the best, better!’”
  • “The best part of participating in this project was being able to learn more about 4-H and its history. I also learned a new skill of how to edit videos on the computer. I enjoyed meeting new people and learned how much 4-H meant to them.”
  • “It opened my eyes and gave me a better understanding of 4-H. It was heart-warming to listen to their experiences. Times were so different, yet very similar in many ways.”
  • “It provided us with so many learning opportunities. Several of the people we interviewed told us how much it meant to them to have their story told.”

 One Adult participant shared observations as well:

“Participating in this project provided me with the opportunity to have a Youth-Adult partnership; it was a unique experience working side-by-side with the youth. It was not a top-down partnership where I needed to tell them what to do, but a collaboration of working together and equally contributing ideas. Although it was very interesting to hear how 4-H has changed (or not) over the years, it really was dependent on the perspective of the person being interviewed as their experiences and involvement in 4-H varied.”

History Preservation Newsletter
February 2015

Booker T Washington School on Wheels

This National Archive photo of Booker T Washington’s “School on Wheels” depicts one of the early innovations of the 1890 Institutions which took education to the rural areas.

February is National Black History Month, so what better lead than a feature on the 125th anniversary of the creation of the 1890 Universities, those educational institutions created to serve the country’s African-American population. Important 4-H programs were delivered from those schools before integration and continue today.
National 4-H Week was created in 1945 – but in March instead of October – with the theme “Head, Heart, Hands and Health for Victory!” It’s not too early to start contacting local media to feature 4-H (and 4-H history) this fall as well as any time during the year.

In 1930, Fort Worth 4-H girls featured “Secrets of Feminine Charm” in a stock show booth. Do you think they could convince women to use an apple as a skin softener, or milk as a vanishing cream?

The National 4-H History Preservation Website unveils its newest informative chapter: a Compendium of 4–H Promotion and Visibility stories which delight and educate. These are vignettes from history files of the myriad ways 4-H promoted itself from local communities up to the national and international levels. It’s pleasant reading.

“Voices of 4-H History” continues with Hawaii as its newest participant; the 2015 National 4-H FilmFest screens in June; University of Tennessee Collegiate 4-H joins the effort to preserve the history of campus 4-H clubs – and much more in this issue.

Whether you’re snowed in, being blown around by heavy winds, slogging through driving rain or basking in the warming sun (all of which are possible in February), we hope you enjoy this issue.

History Preservation Newsletter
July/August 2014

UGH! August in Washington, DC, is miserable. If it weren’t for our loyal readers (probably in air-conditioned offices), we’d be at the beach. Not totally true: 4-H is always “non-miserable” and there are some real success stories in this month’s Newsletter. Read on.

We often wonder, is the preservation of 4-H history taking hold at state and local levels, as much as we’d like to think it is at the national level? Two stories this month illustrate how national agendas and resources have been adapted and applied independently in a state and a county initiative:

  • How does a new Extension hire use the resources of the National 4-H History Preservation Program? So many resources to draw from; where to go first? A WV Extension staffer shares his personal experience; and
  • 4-H History is best preserved at the local level and Polk County Missouri 4-H’ers grab that challenge and run with it. They’re implementing “Voices of 4-H History” the way the program was envisioned: to celebrate local alumni and highlight county history!

During World War II, 40 US Liberty (cargo) ships were named by 4-H members who raised money through war bonds to commission the ships and stock them with food and supplies for our troops. Two ships were named after which Congressmen who had a significant impact on 4-H and Extension? Answer inside. Do you know if your state named a liberty ship or ships? If so, whose name did they carry. Let us know at: Info@4-HHistoryPreservation.com.

All too often in history, sadly, 4-H was portrayed as only a white kid’s activity; indeed, Extension struggled long and hard to make the program relevant to all ethnic groups. Programs for Native American 4-H’ers have, in many ways, served as models to tailor programming to fit cultural realities. The 1943 Oklahoma Indian story here documents such a success.

The 2014 FilmFest 4-H featured five youth developed films about 4-H History. Was your state represented this year? Read about some of the neat film-related workshops conducted this time.

You’ll note two articles above written by state/local Extension staff. We want to receive more! Tell us how you use the resources we represent, and let us know your local stories. You are, after all, the history of 4-H!

Contact info@4-HHistoryPreservation.com , and enjoy this issue.

History Preservation Newsletter
June 2014

4-H History Activities Accelerate in the Summer


2014 FilmFest 4-H, August 3-6 in St. Louis features a professional director who started making movies at age 12; she’ll share film-making from a youth perspective. A six-time Emmy-nominated make-up artist of Star Trek fame will share his creative artistry. Don’t miss the July 1 deadline if you’re entering a video/film.

“Voices of 4-H History” shares updates from Washington, DC and Virginia. The program to record and preserve family and community memories continues to expand across the country.

The 4-H History Website, already a wealth of valuable information on the program’s first 100 years, expands even further with a new section on “4-H Brands” for youth-raised farm products.

Our National 4-H Calendar Art Restoration program has completed phase one – the repair of 25 original paintings from the National 4-H Council’s collection; now phase two kicks in, to preserve the artwork under protective Plexiglas.

Last month we introduced Helen Bovbjerg and Wilbur Jensen, two 4-H’ers who dazzled National 4-H Congress delegates in the 1950s with their exceptional musical talents. This month, we bring you highlights of Wilbur’s musical story from 4-H in a small Oregon town to trumpet performances with Louis Armstrong and other greats.

We recognize those people who have shared their treasured memories and memorabilia, and offer them our most sincere appreciation. If you have something to donate; please e-mail the team at: info@4-HHistoryPreservation.com.

Ready for summer? Enjoy this issue.

Five Years Old and Growing Strong!

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the National 4-H History Preservation Program, and what an invigorating period it’s been! We look back at some of the program’s accomplishments during that time and marvel at the outstanding cooperation we’ve received from all organizations we’ve worked with, and the collaborative efforts of the nearly 100 volunteers whose dedication continues to inspire us.

History Flashbacks: 1919 and 1938 news articles document career moves of important 4-H pioneers, O. H. Benson and A. B. Graham. Another article in the Farm Boys’ and Girls’ Leader recognized a Montana club, as the first in the state to meet national requirements for a “Standard Club.” Did you know there was such a thing?

And a look to the future: since history is made every day, the future of the 4-H History Preservation Program is never-ending. What do we see ahead? What do you see ahead?

“Hands on History” raises the importance of 4-H record-keeping, and “Voices of 4-H History” brings us up-to-date on various state activities, as well as plans for the 2014 National 4-H FilmFest.

2014, a year of notable anniversaries, is off to a rousing start for the History Team; we hope it’s the same for you! Happy New Year and enjoy this issue.

One of the first known visual aids trucks that helped extension workers take farm and home science to the youth and adults in rural areas following the passage of the Smith-Lever act and for years to come. Note that the movie projector behind the truck ran off of the car’s generator to show educational movies in the darkened school buildings. This project combined the two wonders of automobiles and moving pictures to awed youngsters and adults alike. This pioneering venture in visual education was a success from the start!

History Preservation Newsletter
November 2013

November 2013 4-H History Newsletter

After the rush of fairs, summer activities and achievement programs, now is a good time to focus on 4-H History (contemporary and past), documenting memories and making plans for history-related activities for next year. This month we feature:

  • “Voices of 4-H History” activities in several states and examples of how others are preparing to start History Clubs and/or film alumni, leaders, staff and supporters to capture their stories for posterity.
  • “Hands-On History” focuses on early clothing project demonstrations and fashion reviews as far back as 1919; you can add a historical note to current clothing and fashion-related work by digging into the history of these projects in your area.
  • “VIP Support” introduces you to some of the thousands of noted personalities who have lent their name and prestige to 4-H over the past 100+ years. Celebrities of all sorts – entertainers, sports stars, Presidents and public officials, authors, astronauts and others – provided valuable public awareness to the relevance and impact of the 4-H educational program across the country.

Use the Thanksgiving and Holiday breaks to re-group and plan your history activities for 2014. Pumpkin pie and history planning go well together!