Photographic History

The Adams County 4-H program has been strong since the early 20's. The Gettysburg National Bank was the first donor to support 4-H club work.

The idea of an Extension Service in Armstrong County was born in 1916 during a discussion by rural county leaders. In 1917, the first Ag Agent, Claude Yerger began his work.

The earliest record of a youth club forming in Bedford County was in 1921. According to Mollenauer's annual report, "The purchase of a Babcock Milk Tester by the people of the New Paris community made possible the organization of a milk testing club which consisted of twelve pupils of the New Paris school.

Berks County 4-H Club work actually began in 1907, when Berks County Superintendent of Schools, Eli M. Rapp, encouraged boys and girls to exhibit farm and home products during Teachers Institute Week.

Due to the war effort boys' pig clubs were started to increase the production of pork in 1917. Seventy-six members from 12 clubs each fed a pig for 140 days.

Clarion County found its 4-H beginnings in 1916 with the establishment of boys and girls clubs in a collaborative effort with the superintendent of schools. These clubs were established under the guidance of J. A. Brenneman, the first county agent assigned to Clarion County.

“Learn by Doing” was the theme of the early youth work called boys and girls club work which later became the 4-H Club Program. The first such club that we are aware of was a Boys Corn Club conducted by Dr. W.T. Phillipy of Carlisle in 1905.

In 1917, Delaware County Cooperative Extension announced the organization of boys and girls into clubs for corn, potato, pig feeding and poultry.

Robert E. Engle served as the county's second agent from 1921 until 1928, and it was during his tenure that 4-H club work began in Erie County.

The first Boys and Girls Club Work was formed in 1921 through the local leadership of a Mr. Hillard of Clarington, PA. A potato and pig feeding club was formed.

The history of Huntingdon County 4-H Clubs cannot easily be found through the research of newspapers, books, or other historical writings. And so, this historical account was written through the memories of James Davis, Betty Grove, Sam Hayes Jr, and Harold Lockhoff.

Charles McBride started Pennsylvania's first 4-H Club in Mercer County with meetings in the fall of 1912 to organize a corn growing contest in 1913.

4-H got its start in Monroe County around 1916 as Rural Life Days, the forerunner of fairs and offered the opportunity to introduce 4-H projects to schools around the county.

It all began in 1916, when Bert Straw forever etched his name in Potter County 4-H history by becoming the very first Potter County Cooperative Extension Agent. Straw’s enthusiasm proved perfect for the position and by 1919, he had initiated a boys and girls poultry club.

On June 3, 1918, Walter L. Bollinger formed the county's first extension youth club-the Boys' and Girls' Pig Club. As Schuylkill was a predominantly rural county, its 4-H clubs initially offered agricultural and home economics-related projects-topics that young farm residents could apply to their daily lives.

The first agriculture agent, Paul Korb started in 1918 and the first mention of club work involved three school clubs in three high schools taking a pig feeding project in 1919. By 1920, Sullivan County youth were competing in Dairy and Livestock judging at State College.

Tioga County 4-H had its beginning in 1927 with an 18 member dairy club in the Liberty area. Lawrence Heyd and Romain Miller – Liberty area were the first 4-H club leaders.

Records show the first 4-H activities in Warren County were 4-H dairy members traveling to Penn State, Missouri and Wisconsin to study the best in dairy business.

The first 4-H Club was organized in 1924 with 4 members in Washington County under the influence of Ellwood Fulton who often said, "We believe boys and girls are our important product." Since its inception 4-H Club work has ranked high in importance in Extension projects in both Agriculture and Home Economics.