Posted on July 12, 2021 at 10:01 AM by Emily Saveraid
The History of 4-H in Jones County, 1920 - 2009
4-H clubs began as project clubs to teach agriculture and home economics. Projects for girls were food and nutrition, clothing and home furnishings. Boys belonged to 4-H project clubs that included beef, swine, dairy, crops and gardens.
- In 1922 there were seven 4-H clubs with 63 members. By 1925, there were twenty-one clubs with 191 members.
- A boy and girl were selected to go the State Fair Health Contest
- In 1927 the first annual 4-H club banquet was held for boys and girls
- Livestock workouts were started, beginning with beef and later with swine
- Girls 4-H clubs were organized by communities and townships A girls 4-H committee was formed to give direction to girls in 4-H. Girls county 4-H officers were elected
- Livestock was exhibited at both the Anamosa Fair and the Monticello Fair
- Organized beef club tours were started to provided teaching and recognition. In later years, there tours included all boy's projects.
- Boys 4-H project clubs were organized into communities or township clubs. Some parts of the county had concerns.
- A county wide picnic for boys brought about the first election of boys county 4-H officers.
- Girls 4-H clubs had exhibit booths at the Jones County Fair
- Teaching was conducted in how to give a 4-H demonstration.
- 4-H camps were held at the Monticello fairgrounds
- Livestock is now noted as 4-H projects not livestock clubs.
- World War II brought about emphasis on purchase of war bonds, victory gardens etc
- A Farm Bureau group, Rural Young People, provided leadership to 4-H. They held a basketball tournament,
- 4-H held steady during the war years
- 4-H members increased to more than 600 girls and boys.
- 4-H structure became more highly organized with terms for committee members, club expectation and more county-wide events
- More youth became involved in state 4-H experiences
- Extension Service moved into a new Farm Bureau building which provided meeting rooms and Extension Staff offices
- The 4-H exchange program to other states began. The first exchange was with Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Exchanges (one year visit, next year host) continued with counties throughout the United States
- The county-wide older youth club, 4-H Builders began. This group served banquets, did community service and experienced large cities - St Louis, Minneapolis and Chicago
- 4-H camps tried several sites - Scotch Grove Boy Scout cabin, county fairgrounds etc
- Boys 4-H club tours, girls 4-H achievement shows, garden tours became annual events
- Countywide education emphasis for all 4-H clubs took place each winter
- Girls 4-H and Boys 4-H were organized into a total structure
- Girls and Boys 4-H Committees were combined to form a total 4-H Committee
- Girls and Boys 4-H officers were united to be a 4-H Youth Council
- more project leaders gave special training projects included horses, dogs, gardens, photography etc
- Camping experiences grew into Junior and Senior camps as well as winter camp. Camp Wyoming was used.
The Great Jones County Fair
- 4-H volunteers carried out the complete operation of the youth department at the county fair.
- Exhibits had quotas as to the space available
- A beef and dairy parade as well as a calf, pig and chicken scramble were grandstand events
- The 4-H food stand expanded from a tent to a permanent shelter manned by 4-H'ers. The profit was the major source of income for programs and activities.
- Extra projects became the science, mechanics and fine arts department
- Cold watermelon feeds were big county fair treats
- Outstanding livestock exhibits advanced to State Fair, AK-SAR-BEN, International Livestock show or Waterloo Meat Animal show
- 4-H member participation exceeded more than 850 youth
- College students were employed as summer aides to conduct summer youth outreach programs
- 4-H'ers started taking part in Washington DC Citizenship experience
- Summer 4-H club tours, achievement show, county camps, presentation days, Rally-Roundup and county fair involved hundreds of youth, parents and adult volunteers
- Many activities like banquets and awards, county council elections, basketball tournaments, Share-the-Fun became annual events
- A new show ring and a swine barn were constructed at the Great Jones County fairgrounds
- Hogs from the fair began to be marketed on grade-and-yield with tours to plants for carcass evaluation
- Jones county was the first Iowa county to begin nose printing beef animals for project identification
- 4-H programs and philosophy evolved to youth development and life-skills
- More short-term youth programs beyond the traditional 4-H club experience were carried out
- There was increased competition for young people's time by sports, school activities, part-time work etc
- A beef/dairy barn and a horse arena were constructed at the fairgrounds
- 4-H programming becomes more flexible and changeable
- A three year cycle of foods, clothing and home improvement ends
- 4-H girls and boys clubs start combining into a single community club
- Specialized clubs begin with topics like shooting sports, horses, etc
- Clover Kids, (k to 3rd grade) Summer Discovery day camps (k - 5th) and after-school programs begin
- Camping experiences become more multi-county programs
- More youth are involved in non-traditional 4-H clubs
- Non-traditional youth programs such as shooting sports, the 5th quarter and summer community programs are developed
- 4-H now covers a wider age range, k - 12 grades