Why a National 4-H Film Festival?

The following story is from the January 2016 issue of the 4-H History Preservation Newsletter

As we think about harnessing “Voices of 4-H History,” we know that today’s young people must be prepared to live and work in a world that no one completely envisions. They must be prepared for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, and solving problems that haven’t been identified. FilmFest 4-H helps youth become producers – and not just consumers – of digital media.

Creating something real from one’s imagination is a powerful experience. It motivates many creative young people to develop their talents, and drives them to master skills with technologies old and new.

When a young person finds that interest that drives them, and explores it in an enriching environment that supports further growth, great things happen. Research shows that these young people tend to become more optimistic, have a larger sense of purpose in life, and develop stronger self-esteem.


If that passion is film making, however, the options for teens are very limited. Opportunities to nurture their talents are usually priced out of reach, if they can be found at all. While all will face the future, these teens will approach it on a different trajectory than those who found enriching environments that helped them develop their “sparks.”

It’s not too early for 4-H staff to start preparing youth to prepare entries and or prepare to attend the 2016 National FilmFest 4-H in Kansas City, Missouri, July 31 – August 3. Learn more about the idea and the program and watch top finishers from the past few years at: http://4h.missouri.edu/go/events/filmfest/

Bradd L. Anderson – Missouri State 4-H Youth Development Specialist


Please help us preserve 4-H History . . .

“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.”

“Voices of 4-H History” will be a major Feature of Filmfest 4-H 2014

FilmFest_Logo_SmallMissouri is pleased to announce that FilmFest 4-H, the national 4-H film festival, has been GREENLIGHTED for 2014! This year’s FilmFest will take place at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac in St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis is home to countless film productions, one of the nation’s top zoos, amazing museums, and of course the world famous Gateway Arch.

Now is the time to get started! The Film Submission form has been posted, and films will be accepted until July 1, 2014. As with last year, there is a 10-minute time limit on films, so that we can screen as many as possible in the most interesting ways. We continue to request that filmmakers avoid scenes that involve youth pointing guns at each other! This will help us give your films the widest possible exposure through 4-H channels, without creating unnecessary complications.

This year’s confirmed categories are:

  • Narrative
  • Animation
  • Documentary
  • 4-H Promotional
  • “Voices of 4-H History”

This special event connects young filmmaking enthusiasts with film industry professionals and with other youth who share those same interests. Like any national film festival, FilmFest 4-H is a “commuter event.” Festival-goers are free to make the arrangements for travel, lodging, and meals that best fit their needs. Your $129 “All access Pass” is your ticket to the entire event. This includes film screenings, field trips, festivities, meetings, exciting workshops with film industry professionals, and other special opportunities. Registration will be online at the FilmFest 4-H website in the weeks ahead. For more information about the event click on: http://is.gd/9Aeb92.

Youth filmmakers from across the nation will present the products of their film making labor on August 3, 2014, in St. Louis. In 2013, youth filmmakers from more than a dozen states exhibited 38 films that they had produced. Finalists’ films from the 2013 FilmFest 4-H can be seen at: http://4h.missouri.edu/go/events/filmfest/2013/films/ror-wy.htm/.

During 2014, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Smith-Lever Act, we are hopeful that youth film makers will assist Cooperative Extension in celebrating this centennial by helping capture 4-H history in their state and counties. Youth filmmakers that complete their productions in time to submit them prior to the July 1 judging deadline, will be considered for FilmFest 2014. Films not submitted by July 1, will be considered for FilmFest 2015.

We hope that 4-H alumni, staff, volunteers, club leaders and supporters will reach out, get involved and encourage 4-H’ers to start up “Voices of 4-H History” media projects for sharing at FilmFest 2014.

History Preservation Newsletter
February 2014

WOW, What an Issue!


Report card of the father of a former National 4-H Foundation (now 4-H Council) staff member demonstrates the close tie between 4-H and One-Room schools.

National History Day this year offers 4-H’ers and leaders the opportunity to highlight different aspects of 4-H History under the theme of “Rights and Responsibilities.”

“Voices of 4-H History” captures memories of alumni, leaders, donors and others in audio/video records. That’s the oral “History Preservation” part. At the same time, having “Voices” as part of FilmFest 4-H 2014 is very current, so it’s the “Contemporary History” part. In the “Voices” bit, there’s a rather detailed explanation of how two MD counties are approaching the project; just consider it a “how-to” example if you’re not already involved. In the “FilmFest 4-H” part, you’ll find necessary details for this year’s national 4-H film festival and how you can participate.

Four-H Repositories, History of 4-H Radio, 4-H and One-Room Schools: all of these and more lead to new and ever growing sections of the National 4-H History Preservation Program website:

“Hands-On History” highlights 4-H Electricity projects and how you can bring awareness into your 4-H club meetings.

A very special Happy Birthday wish to National 4-H Hall of Fame Laureate and Centenarian C. J. Gauger; send him a card!

And a Happy Centennial year to all Smith-Lever Act beneficiaries.

Enjoy this issue.

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!


Training Session for Voices of 4-H History Volunteers

Ocean City, Maryland – November 22-24, 2013. The Voices of 4-H History Team will be sharing poster displays and workshops for the 2013 Volunteer and Teen Leadership Forum targeted to all faculty, staff, volunteers, and 4-H youth. Th conference focus will be  on the 4-H Core Program Components; developing volunteers, strengthening and expanding the 4-H club program.

Youth and adult leaders in attendance will be able to launch a Voices of 4-H History initiative or club after attending the workshop. Key components will include: viewing good examples of audio/visual products produced by pilot county sites, recruiting youth and adults, selecting good interviewing questions, good sources of editing software and hardware.

Tom Tate.

Smith-Lever Act Centennial

Voice of 4-H History Poster2014 is the Centennial of the Smith-Lever Act, which provided federal funding for the Cooperative Extension Service and, thereby, 4-H programs nationwide.  To mark this significant milestone, the National 4-H History Preservation Program is debuting “Voices of Extension History,” drawing on the success of “Voices of 4-H History.”  The program is rolling out at the GALAXY IV Conference in Pittsburgh, September 15-19.  With all Extension professional associations meeting together, it’s a perfect place to illustrate how 4-H’ers, rapidly learning to document 4-H History through our own “Voices” project, can record and broadcast the vitally important impact made on America’s development by the Cooperative Extension Service.  4-H members are now producing “4-H History” films; from here, they can extend their reach to “Extension History” and document that meaningful impact.Besides news about our participation n GALAXY IV, this month’s Newsletter encourages linking the myriad 4-H History websites, records the dedication of Danforth Court’s “American Girl” statue, includes fun activities to honor the historic legacy of 4-H songs, and seeks help with the Report to the Nation Team.  How can you not click to enter?

4-H National History Preservation Newsletter…

Hot August Summer – “Cool” 4-H Happenings!

Hot August Summer – “Cool” 4-H Happenings!
One of the “coolest” happenings this hot August was the National 4-H FilmFest in Branson, MO; something we can legitimately call “Contemporary 4-H History.” For the first time, this year’s line-up of 38 “youth-made” films from eight states included a category of “4-H History.” Four states (MO, SC, UT, and VT) submitted in the History category. Jordon Bolinger of SC, the only history winner able to attend 4-H Filmfest this year, won third place in the 4-H History category with her “4-H Camp Sew” film. Read further for the first and second place winners.
VT and UT took slightly different approaches to document “Voices of 4-H History.” In VT, the Champlain Shamrocks 4-H Club used http://FrontPorchForum.com to identify people they wanted to interview, and used Windows Movie Maker for the editing. Their film, “Voices of VT 4-H History” took second place in the National 4-H FilmFest. UT members dug into their personal family histories for stories and used iMovie to edit. Amanda Jones’s “4-H History Preservation – LaRee Jones” (her grandmother) won first place at Branson. Are you thinking of entering a 4-H History film in the 2014 FilmFest? Contact Info@4-HistoryPreservation.com