Published on 09/27/18

Georgia 4-H celebrates National 4-H Week Oct. 7-13

By Sharon Dowdy

Georgia 4-H inspires kids to do — to do community service, go to new places and to learn new skills. Georgians across the state are celebrating everything 4-H’ers do during National 4-H Week on Oct. 7-13. What started as a club for farm kids has grown into the nation’s largest youth leadership organization — a place where school-aged children learn to become successful and confident adults.

Georgia is home to one of the largest state programs in the country, with about 170,000 active 4-H members. Georgia 4-H began in 1904 when Newton County school superintendent, G.C. Adams organized a corn club for boys. Today, Georgia 4-H attracts students from all areas of the state, not just those who live on farms. Only 3.1 percent of Georgia 4-H members now live on a farm.

Active 4-H members become successful adults, like Grammy-award winning singer and songwriter Jennifer Nettles of Coffee County, Georgia. She says Georgia 4-H gave her a platform to share her voice and her passion.

Award-winning country singer Trisha Yearwood, a native of Jasper County, Georgia, credits 4-H for teaching her that her talents would take her far, but her heart would make her a star.

TV and radio host and legal commentator Nancy Grace, a native of Bibb County, Georgia, says 4-H taught her that leaders follow their dreams, but working hard makes dreams a reality.

Georgia 4-H is available to children in all of Georgia’s 159 counties.The four ‘H’s stand for head, heart, hands and health and are represented by the four-leaf clover. Participating youths develop life skills through hands-on projects involving volunteer work, health, science, engineering, technology, leadership, agriculture and communication.

Georgia 4-H programs, under the umbrella of UGA Extension, are based on research from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and other UGA colleges. Georgia 4-H agents supplement teachers’ efforts by creating materials based on after-school lessons and in-school curricula designed to meet Georgia Performance Standards.

“The idea of bringing UGA research and resources to Georgia students through the use of county agents throughout the state was a cutting-edge idea in 1904 and remains so even today,” said Arch Smith, state 4-H leader. “The most important work of 4-H is to help young people become better citizens and enable them to grow into responsible, active adults.”

Georgia 4-H youth perform community service, conduct research, compile portfolios of their accomplishments and learn public speaking skills through oral presentations at 4-H Project Achievement. During the 2016-17 school year, 43,067 Georgia 4-H members participated in Project Achievement on the local level.

Georgia 4-H members also learn responsibility through livestock projects, programs and judging. Georgia 4-H partners with Georgia FFA and the UGA Department of Animal and Dairy Science to provide these programs. Every year, close to 2,500 students complete a year-long process to prepare more than 4,500 animals for exhibition at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show and other competitions.

To learn more about Georgia 4-H, go to To find out more about Georgia 4-H in your county, contact your local UGA Extension office at 1800-ASK-UGA1 or visit

Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.
Download Image