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Posts tagged: 4-H

Mar 06 2017

4-H Publications in “Better Living in North Carolina”

Recently made available online as part of the “Better Living in North Carolina” collection, a collaborative project between NCSU Libraries and the F.D. Bluford Library at North Carolina A&T State University, are over 300 4-H Club publications dating from the 1930s through to the 1980s. These publications cover a wide array of topics and formats, from monthly newsletters highlighting the activities of the state 4-H office to leaflets and pamphlets instructing readers on how to iron their clothes, efficiently arrange their bedroom, or prepare their cattle to be exhibited at events like the National Dairy Show. The objective of the “Better Living” project is to make digitally accessible the annual reports and publications of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, the body that administers 4-H club work and is itself based at both NC State and NC A&T.  While this collection does not represent the entirety of 4-H club publications from this time period, it does show the wide array of areas of instruction that were offered to youth throughout the state. Prior to the internet, these publications may have been the only way young North Carolinians could get the latest information about topics that could improve their agricultural and domestic activities or learn when the annual 4-H summer camps were taking place. Here we have selected a few items which cover the different types of 4-H publications in our collection.

4-H News, vol. X, no. 1 - 1972-01-18

4-H News, vol. X, no. 1 - 1972-01-18

This newsletter from 1972 was used to keep 4-H club agents up-to-date on the latest news from the state’s head office, which they were then to disseminate to club leaders and members. This issue includes a reminder about a scholarship deadline, a request for slides to be used in a collage highlighting efforts to improve the environment, and the advertisement of a 4-H member summer exchange with Dubois County, Indiana.

Communicating 4-H, vol. 4, no. 4 - 1988-04

Communicating 4-H, vol. 4, no. 4 - 1988-04

In 1985, the Cooperative Extension Service (then known as the Agricultural Extension Service) rebooted its 4-H newsletter. The result of this was Communicating 4-H, which was similar in appearance and content to 4-H News. The target audience remained extension agents, but the newsletters were longer, opening with short essays from different individuals linked to 4-H and containing more news bulletins and advertisements, reflective of the organization’s expanded programming. This example from April 1988 offers a rumination on the importance of developing good citizenship traits, an advertisement for space camp, and a list of leaders recently certified as “Master Volunteers.”

4-Hward Special Camp Issue 1954

4-Hward Special Camp Issue 1954

4-Hward preceded both of these publications, beginning in the 1940s. While it did act as a newsletter for 4-H agents, it was primarily filled with programming content for their meetings, such as songs, poems, and exercises and activities. Each year, a special camp issue was published, which would guide counselors through the camp program, including the daily schedule, their responsibilities, and how meetings and ceremonies were to be conducted. This issue from 1954 even contains instructions on square dancing.

4-H Club Series 99 - 1962-09

4-H Club Series 99 - 1962-09

4-H Club Series 80 - 1961-09

4-H Club Series 80 - 1961-09

4-H Club Series 55 - 1947-03

4-H Club Series 55 - 1947-03

The 4-H Club Series began publication in the 1930s. Its purpose was to instruct 4-H youth on various aspects of agricultural and domestic life, and over its approximate 30 year history, covered myriad topics. The ones shown here, the “Fat Steer Manual,” “Tree Identification Manual,” and “Canning,” are a fraction of what is now available online.

These photos and lots more related to 4-H club publications are available as part of the NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of imagesvideoaudio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history and other topics. While you’re at it, check out the Historical State timeline on the Cooperative Extension Service. The history of 4-H in North Carolina was further documented as part of the SCRC’s “Green ‘N’ Growing” project, and can be found here. Finally, 4-H is still going strong in North Carolina. More details about their current programing and resources can be found on their website.

Jul 15 2016

From the Archives: Summer Fun at 4-H Camps

We here at NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections and Research Center want to help you beat the heat with these images taken of kids at 4-H summer camps. Our Rare and Unique Digital Collections has a great amount of materials related to the history and activities of the NC Cooperative Extension, an organization which includes the Department of 4-H Youth Development. The images below were taken at North Carolina summer camps established through the Cooperative Extension, where 4-H children could find education and recreation during their vacation months.

You can find more images related to 4-H camps here. If you would like to learn more about the Special Collections Research Center and our digitized materials, please visit the Rare and Unique Digital Collections for access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history and other topics.

May 02 2016

4-H Plans of Work in the “Better Living” Digital Collection

District map from the 1961 4-H Plan of Work

To date the “Better Living In North Carolina” project has posted over 300 Cooperative Extension Annual Reports and Plans of Work online. Researchers can explore historic qualitative and quantitative data about home demonstration, animal husbandry, plant pathology and other divisions of the extension service. For this post we will highlight the 4-H Youth Development Plans of Work, ranging in date from 1929 to 1981.

A page of upcoming goals in the 1940 4-H Plan of Work

The plan of work was a statement of intended goals and objectives for the coming year. The plans display the fascinating work that went into organizing annual camps, club weeks, radio broadcast, and new camp locations, and demonstrate the research of extension leaders and staff working at NC State University and North Carolina A&T State University. The remainder of this post introduces several of these documents and some of the men and women who put them together up until the early 1960s.

It was a little over 90 years ago when, on January 1st, 1926, L. R. (Lera Rhinehart) Harrill (1897-1978) became the first State 4-H Club Leader, a position he would hold until 1963. Harrill was an outstanding 4-H leader and a pioneer in agricultural education and youth development far beyond North Carolina. His devotion to the 4-H rural and urban youth of North Carolina and abroad earned him the title “Mr. 4-H.”

A fun image of (left to right) L. R. Harrill (biting the watermelon), Frances MacGregor and Ruth Current, State Leader of Home Demonstration at a 4-H Club Week event in 1939.

Some of the statewide 4-H reports are co-authored by Frances MacGregor Wall (1909-1949), a home demonstration agent who served as Assistant State Leader of 4-H from 1937 to 1946. Following MacGregor, contributors to the Plans of Work included assistant club leaders and district agents Jesse James, Eleanor Barber, Mary Sue Moser, Ruby Pearsons, and O. H. Philips.

Sample of Plans of Work from the N. C. State Extension Office by L. R. Harrill and various Assistant State Club Leaders.

While Harrill and MacGregor were the state leaders, the services for African-Americans in 4-H were directed out of the N.C A&T Extension Office beginning in the mid 1930s and until the program was integrated in the mid 1960s. During this time, information about African-Americans in 4-H was included in the statewide reports from NC State as well as the Plan of Work or Annual Reports for Negroes in 4-H.

Robert Earle (R. E.) Jones (1908-1991) became State 4-H specialist for African-Americans 80 years ago in 1936, overseeing 28 counties and 10,000 children. In this role he completed the State Plan of Work for Negroes beginning in 1937.

Map from the 1950 Negro 4-H Plan of Work, W. C. Cooper and Idell Jones.

William C. Cooper was the state 4-H leader of the A&T extension office, beginning in 1947. Cooper was previously an extension agent in Anson County, NC. Assisting Cooper for several years as Assistant State Agent was Mrs. Idell Jones Randall.

Idell Jones Randell, State Assistant of 4-H for African Americans, July 6, 1950.

Sample Annual Reports and Plans of Work from North Carolina A&T Extension Office by Jones and Cooper.

For more about the history of 4-H in North Carolina search Historical State and our previous Extension-related digital project “Green ‘N’ Growing: The History of Home Demonstration and 4-H Youth Development in North Carolina”. The 4-H Youth Development Annual Reports were digitized under this project.

North Carolina delegates attending the National 4-H Club conference in Washington, D.C. Assistant State Club Leader Jesse James on the right.

Mar 23 2016

Special Collections Celebrates Agricultural Awareness Week 2016

In honor of Agricultural Awareness Week at NC State, the NCSU Libraries is presenting an exhibit in the Ask Us lobby area of the D. H. Hill Library to give a glimpse into the past of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service (previously named the Agricultural Extension Service).

Our Agricultural Heritage: A Look Back Into the Past of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service” will showcase extraordinary figures and scenes from different departments from the last 100 years of the Extension Service. This exhibit will be up until Friday, March 25.

All patrons are welcome to rediscover the lives of Ruth Current, former state home demonstration agent; John W. Mitchell, N.C. A&T extension agent and eventual National Extension Leader; L. R. Harrill, “Mr. 4-H”; Dazelle Foster Lowe, one of the first African-American Home Demonstration leaders, Frank H. Jeter, director of agricultural publications; and R. W. Graeber an early pioneer of our state’s farm forestry program.

A look into the exhibit case will also show farmers, students, professors and extension agents at work in 4-H clubs, test farms, and many other Cooperative extension settings throughout NC.

Students and faculty browse materials from Special Collections before the screening of "The Last Barn Dance".

On Tuesday March 15, National Agricultural Day, the D. H. Hill Library held a screening of The Last Barn Dance, a 30 minute documentary which chronicles dairy farmer Randy Lewis’ fight to save his business within an economy that decimated most other family farms in Alamance County. Outside of the auditorium prior to the film screening a selection of materials from the Special Collections Research Center highlighting small farming and agricultural extension in North Carolina were on display. Many faculty, staff, students and guest enjoyed browsing these rare items on NC agriculture before the film.

The Special Collections Research Center has far more to offer on the history of NC agriculture and the NC Cooperative Extension Service. Please browse through our Rare and Unique Digital Collections and the Historical State search portal. Also visit the landing pages for our past digital collections on Cooperative Extension history: Green and Growing, Cultivating A Revolution, and Living Off The Land.

The current SCRC digital project is “Better Living In North Carolina” a joint venture between the NCSU Libraries and the F. D. Bluford Library at North Carolina A&T State University. In “Better Living” hundreds of Cooperative Extension materials will be made available online to show the impact of economic change and technology on NC agriculture. The project is still growing with 148 reports online to date.

SCRC news articles from previous Ag Awareness Week events.

Growth from the Grassroots : Agricultural Awareness Week

100 years of extension – Celebrating the Past, Looking To The Future.

Looking to the Future – Farm Machinery Research

Filming the Agriculture Experience

Jul 28 2015

A Visit from April McGreger

April McGreger, owner of Farmer’s Daughter brand pickles and preserves, paid a visit to the NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center this week for a special viewing of collection materials showing foodways, agriculture, and canning practices in North Carolina.  We brought out some highlights from the Oversize Photographs of the Agricultural Extension Service, 4-H Youth Development Photographs, Home Demonstration Records, and the Jane McKimmon Papers, among others.

April McGreger examines Agricultural Extension and 4-H photographs.

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service Publications featured canning instructions and recipes from as early as 1916. McGreger found that many of the methods and recipes that she uses in her business today are the same as those taught in these earliest extension circulars.  She also found a menu in the Oliver Max Gardner Papers that featured sauerkraut produced by the North State Canning Company in Boone, NC, in 1932, showing that kraut has long been produced and enjoyed by southerners.

Preserves from various North Carolina county girls canning clubs on display at North Carolina State Fair, 1918.

The work of the Cooperative Extension Service, Home Demonstration, and 4-H Clubs set an important foundation for developing and teaching the canning practices that McGreger celebrates and carries on in her own work. The Farmer’s Daughter brand seeks to “revive, popularize, and promote old Southern recipes, fruits, and forgotten flavors; to celebrate regionalism; and to create our own bold and inspired flavors that capture the taste and the spirit of this place that we call home.”  Having early documentation of these traditional regional flavors and practices in our collections helps us to understand and enjoy these flavors in enriching new ways.  We look forward to seeing (and tasting!) how her visit to the archives may inspire McGreger’s next batches of preserves in our local farmer’s markets and beyond.

To view any of these collections in person, check out our online collection guides and submit an online request form.