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organization for boys and girls, generally from 8 to 18 years of age; some states offer programs for younger children, and there are also collegiate programs. 4-H teaches young people leadership, citizenship, and life skills through practical educational programs in animal and plant sciences, family and consumer sciences, computers and technology, environment and earth sciences, communications, community service, and other areas. 4-H programs are offered through clubs, camps, afterschool groups, and other venues. Local groups are guided by Extension agents and volunteer leaders. Each club elects its officers and plans its activities and programs. The 4-H motto is "To make the best better"; its pledge is "My Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world." A national 4-H congress is held annually, and other national and state conferences and events are also held.

Developed between 1902 and 1919 to enable rural youth to "learn by doing," the American 4-H program is run by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension ServiceCooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service,
agency within the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, created (1995) as a result of the reorganization act passed (1994) by Congress.
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 of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, with the aid of state land-grant colleges and universities and the nonprofit National 4-H Council. Since World War II, 4-H has expanded its programs to include young people living in the nation's cities and suburbs, as well as military bases worldwide, and a third of all members now in live cities and suburbs with populations greater than 50,000. The 4-H movement also has grown to include cross-cultural exchange and training programs with similar groups in more than 80 countries. There are more than 6.5 million members in the United States.

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References in periodicals archive ?
Above, planting the millionth tree in the 4-H Million Trees Project, which was created by a 4-H member to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide.
There are many to thank for all they have done to make our Saline County 4-H Show Season a success.
In addition to the 16 local events, US Cellular will also join 4-H at their flagship event in New York City, on Oct.
To meet the needs of 4-H youth, UC Cooperative Extension needs to expand what counts as learning, according to Worker et al.
snapp was selected because ot his career of service to the 4-H Shooting Sports Project.
National 4-H Council selected Cornell as the partner for 4-H NYSD after a competition among land-grant institutions.
Francis showed his parents the money he had made from 4-H gardens, and that, rather than scattering seeds on the ground, he'd learned to plant the reddish-pink Pioneer ones a set distance apart from one another, with just one or two per hole so that the plants' roots didn't get too crowded.
The award, recognizing exemplary service to 4-H and the annual 4-H fair in particular, was bestowed on Isabella Suazo of Upton, 18, for whom this is the final year of 4-H eligibility.
All Around 4-H Award: Elisabeth Boomsma, Brandon SD
Funding remains the chief concern after Lane County deemed 4-H and other Extension Service programs too costly to maintain back in 2008.
I have a goal of trying as many new things as possible in 4-H and in life, so this past year, I tried robotics for the first time.