The 4-H Youth program strives to improve the quality of life for Mississippi 4-H'ers by developing the potential of young people and by providing "hands-on" (experiential) educational programs. Program priorities identified include leadership development, life skills training, developing positive self-esteem, and empowering volunteers. Programs are delivered through local county Extension offices to volunteer leaders. Learn more about how to join.
The 4-H Symbol
4-H is best identified by its green four-leaf clover with an H on each leaf. The four Hs on this emblem stand for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. These words emphasize the basis of the four-fold development of young people involved in 4-H.
Head: 4-H'ers focus on thinking, making decisions, and understanding and gaining knowledge.
Heart: 4-H'ers are concerned with the welfare of others and accept the responsibilities of citizenship and developing attitudes and values.
Hands: 4-H'ers use their hands to learn new skills and develop pride and respect for their own work.
Health: 4-H'ers develop and practice healthy living physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially.
The Four Essential Elements of 4-H
Mastery - By exploring 4-H projects and activities, 4-H'ers master skills to make positive career and life choices. 4-H provides a safe environment to make mistakes and receive feedback, and young people can discover their capabilities while meeting new challenges.
Generosity - By participating in 4-H community service and citizenship activities, 4-H'ers can connect to communities and learn to give back to others. These connections help young people find and fulfill their life's purpose.
Independence - By exercising independence through 4-H leadership opportunities, 4-H'ers mature in self-discipline and responsibility, learn to better understand themselves, and become independent thinkers.
Belonging - Through 4-H, young people can develop long-term consistent relationships with adults other than their parents and learn that they are cared about by and connected to others. 4-H gives young people the opportunity to feel physically and emotionally safe in a group setting.
4-H grew out of the progressive education movement in America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Rural school principals and superintendents wanted to teach their students about the material they would need to succeed in the business world.
At the same time, agricultural colleges and experiment stations were accumulating scientific knowledge that could improve productivity and the standard of living for farmers, but farmers showed little interest in these "book farming" methods. These professors thought that teaching farmers' children improved agricultural methods might allow the information to reach the farmers.
Rural school principals and superintendents teamed with agricultural college researchers to form corn clubs in most eastern and southern states at this time.
W. H. "Corn Club" Smith was instrumental in forming Mississippi's first corn clubs. In 1907, Smith received a franking privilege and a salary of $1 per year from the United States Department of Agriculture. This was the first time the USDA had been involved in a youth program and established a three-way partnership of county, state, and federal governments working together.
While other states had corn clubs before Mississippi, none had the federal partnership Mississippi had. This is the basis of Mississippi's claim to be the birthplace of 4-H.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Teens can learn how to become active role models for healthy lifestyle change in their communities at an April 22 summit at the Mill Conference Center in Starkville.
The Promoting Healthy Living Through Community Connections Summit, wihch is open to 14- to 18-year-olds from northern Mississippi, will offer interactive educational sessions on nutrition, mental health awareness, community and civic engagement, and health promotion, wellness and physical activity.
JACKSON, Miss. -- Since the age of 7, Smith County 4-H’er Chase Boone has been showing mostly Simmental cattle in the Dixie National Junior Round-Up each year.
He is now a high school senior who will soon be moving on to college but not before a final appearance in one of his favorite livestock show events. He ended up exhibiting two supreme champion livestock -- the supreme beef female and the supreme beef bull -- and was named one of six premier exhibitors.
It was a successful send-off, if not a bittersweet one.
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Flu hospitalizations in the U.S. have reached the highest level in a decade, but it is not too late to get protected during these peak months.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rated 34 U.S. states and the District of Columbia as having the highest levels of flu activity possible on its scale during the week ending November 26. Mississippi was one of the first states to reach that threshold early that month.
A man who spent his whole life helping others become their best selves is being honored this fall by induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. Harvey Lee Gordon, Sr., originally of Leland, Mississippi in Washington County, served as a 4-H state specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service from 1997 until he retired in 2014.
The holidays are coming up and we all know what that means. Food, food, and more food! During these festivities, it’s important to remember to eat your vegetables, too.
State 4-H Congress, held at Mississippi State University in June, hosted more than 300 Mississippi 4-H’ers from every county. Young people were inspired through networking and competing at Congress.
The Pearl River County 4-H Junior Master Gardeners have made some special additions to Poplarville City Park. A new pollinator garden planted in raised beds features a wildflower area, a native plant area, and an herb area.
Leaders at Walmart in Louisville had already noticed Facebook posts announcing the new Winston County 4-H Kayak and Fishing Club when front-end coach Nikki Marshall realized they had too many life jackets and paddles in stock.
At just 10 years old, Annalexa Moore is learning how to be a responsible pet owner, thanks to the 4-H Dog Club in Lauderdale County.
The annual Christmas Cactus Showcase in Brooksville each December features anywhere from 45 to 60 colorful cacti, most of which are under the year-round care of Pat Hill.