Posted on October 27, 2011 at 7:07 AM by Global Reach
Many of the ideals that developed and strengthened the Webster County 4-H Program in the early years are just as important today. Evidence abounds that communication, citizenship and leadership skills were taught to early 4-H members. Today, these same skills are the backbone of helping 4-H members become successful adults in our communities.
In 1917, public meetings were held to stir up interest in Webster County for Boys and Girls Club work. Nineteen meetings were held in one month that reached 1,727 people. These meetings resulted in signing up 162 boys and girls 14 to 20 years of age. Each club was organized, set goals and worked on a project until the goal was met. The club would then disband until another need was identified, and then reorganize to pursue a new goal. The Iowa State Extension Agent and Farm Bureau leaders selected a Boys Club Committee to organize a Pig Club. Similarly, a Girls Club Committee was chosen to organize and set goals for girls Canning and Garden Clubs. This was the beginning of the community clubs that we know today. In 1921 membership was expanded to include girls and boys 10 to 21 years of age.
Soon girls were learning to can fruits and vegetables under the supervision of club leaders trained by the Home Demonstration Agent. Several members from each club were also trained in the ‘cold pack’ method of canning. In 1918 these teams gave 10 public demonstrations of cold pack canning with an attendance of 144. The canning team from the Lanyon club was judged the county winner and represented Webster County at the Iowa State Fair. In the 1942 Extension Narrative it was noted by a mother of a 4-H girl that “I just wanted to go to town yesterday, but Marilyn wouldn’t listen to it. She just wanted to can and can and can all the time.” Marilyn was a girl with an outstanding 4-H record that year.
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