4-H History


  • Early 1900’s  Girls’ canning clubs and boys’ corn clubs began to develop
  • 1914  Smith-Lever Act was passed creating Cooperative Extension Service.
  • 1915  The first Wisconsin State Fair was organized in West Allis.
  • 1916  Wisconsin State 4-H Leader identified that green and white were the national colors
    and the four leaf clover was the emblem.
  • 1918  First State Club Week (State 4-H Congress) and the first county agent to  work with
  • 1920  The national motto was changed to “Make the Best Better.”
  • 1927  The 4-H pledge and motto were officially adopted nationally.
  • 1939  The 25th Anniversary of organized club work in Wisconsin.
  • 1941  Elizabeth Upham Davis and Caroline Upham Keene memorialized their parents by
    donating 310 acres near Wisconsin Dells to youth programs.
  • 1956  4-H bulletins now refer 4-H as a program for all youth, urban and suburban, village
    and farm.
  • 1962  Wisconsin’s 50th Anniversary of 4-H club work.
  • 1967  The 4-H program officially became known as the State 4-H Youth Development
  • 1969  Wisconsin 4-H initiated its involvement in the federally funded Expanded Food and
    Nutrition Education Program as a way to reach new groups.
  • 1983  Wisconsin 4-H reached over 100,000 young people.
  • 1991  A plan was introduced for integrating the experiential learning cycle into the 4-H
    Curriculum Handbook at a National 4-H Curriculum Conference.