Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on April 6, 2011 at 10:47 AM by Global Reach

Jessie Field ShambaughJessie Field Shambaugh - School Superintendent: Page County, Iowa (1906-1915)

4-H Efforts: Organized Boys Corn Clubs and Girls Home Clubs as school teacher in1901. Started clubs in every school in Page County (130 schools) as County Superintendent beginning 1906. Organized camps for boys and girls.

Honors: Author of Country Girl Creed; Designed 3-Leaf Clover Pin used as award medal for club work. "The motto for all our clubs was: TO MAKE OUR BEST BETTER. All the club activities were fine and were meant to enrich country living. I am sure that farm life took on a new meaning throughout the county because of them."

Jessie Field Shambaugh is called the "Mother of 4-H." She started after-school clubs in 1901 while teaching at Goldenrod School in Page County, Iowa. When she became County School Superintendent in 1906, she organized Boys Corn Clubs and Girls Home Clubs in all 130 country schools. Students developed their Head, Heart, and Hands in her 3-H Clubs that included camps, exhibitions and judging contests.

Her efforts gained national attention from educators and reporters. She hosted the U.S. Commissioner of Education and state superintendents as they toured Page County clubs in 1909. She designed the 3-leaf clover pin to reward 3-H project winners and wrote the Country Girls Creed. Jessie Field Shambaugh's vision and pioneer spirit led to 4-H clubs nationwide.

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