Since 4‑H began more than 100 years ago, it has become the nation’s largest youth development organization. The 4‑H idea is simple: help young people and their families gain the skills needed to be proactive forces in their communities and develop ideas for a more innovative economy.
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.
The Cooperative Extension System is a partnership of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 100 land-grant universities and more than 3,000 county offices across the nation. Cooperative Extension combines the expertise and resources of federal, state, and local governments and is designed to meet the need for research, knowledge and educational programs.
The Rhode Island 4-H Program has been active since the early 1920’s teaching Rhode Island youth life skills and how to be productive citizens continually learning and leading the way!