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4-H is a global network of youth organizations whose mission is "engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development". Its name is a reference to the occurrence of the initial letter H four times in the organization's original motto ‘head, heart, hands, and health’ which was later incorporated into the fuller pledge officially adopted in 1927. In the United States, the organization is administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 4-H Canada is an independent non-profit organization overseeing the operation of branches throughout Canada. Throughout the world, 4-H organizations exist in over 50 countries; the organization and administration varies from country to country. Each of these programs operates independently but cooperatively through international exchanges, global education programs, and communications.

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4-H is an organized youth group, based on animals and agriculture (as well as other topics), that teaches kids "learning by doing". This means that kids are not being lectured in a classroom, however, they are out in the real world learning what they want to learn. 4-H teaches things such as responsibility, how to work as a team, and how to be a leader. Although 4-H is still overseen by adults, a majority of decisions are made by the youth in the group. This lets the youth have a voice and a say in what happens. Another thing that you get to participate in when you are in 4-H is community service. This teaches the kides to be selfless and to always lend a helping hand when you can. That allows the youth to realize what "learning by doing" really means.

Contributed by Mekayla Lagerberg

Link to 4-H's main website

Contributed by Mekayla Lagerberg

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