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.

Pig breeding clubs, the first 4-H beef club in the state with 54 members, and clothing clubs were what 4-H was all about. Francis Murren exhibited the 1st Grand Champion Steer at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Junior Com Clubs, Foods & Health Clubs, Girls County Council, Club Camps, County Picnic, and a monthly newsletter started in the 30's. 4-Her's did radio programs and a market pig club got started.

In the 40's the 4-H program participation was affected by the infantile paralysis epidemic, the 5 week ban on travel, and girls unable to participate because mothers were working away from home and the girls needed to do duties at home. Additional challenges included the tire and gasoline rationing and war.

4-H met the challenges with community involvement. 4-H did its part by collecting 2,160 pounds of paper, 555 pounds of rubber, 470 pounds of metal, 100 pounds of silk hose, 138 pounds of fat, and purchased $956 in war bonds. Members collected milk weed pods to use as insulation in coats. Home Economics members struggled to locate cotton fabrics for projects and the feed bag came to the rescue. A dairy club got started, Officer's Training was developed, 4-H participated in Memorial Day festivities in green and white uniforms, and Tom Murren attended National 4-H Club Camp in Washington D.C. Tom was selected in the areas of leadership and achievement.

Senior Extension officially started in June of 1945. Chauncey Lang, state supervisor of extension club work visited Adams County and the group decided on the following objectives of work; vocational guidance, recreation, and education.

In the 50's 4-H age was for 10-18 year old youth. County Council organized for teens. 4-H was growing with clubs located throughout the county. A horse club formed, Achievement Banquet was held, County 4-H Banquet to honor leaders was hosted at CH Musselman's Cafeteria and the fund raising campaign reached its $300 goal. Regional 4-H planning began with Adams and York County doing an overnight camp.

Adams County got involved in the International Farm Youth Exchange program. Myles Stamer traveled to Mexico and families hosted guests from India and Switzerland as a way to promote world peace through understanding.

The interstate exchange, camp counselor training, young adults, Town and Country Business Clubs, and the 4-H cookie sale highlighted the 60's. Senior Extension stepped in to support the County Fair with a talent show. The young adults formed with the common goal of members being able to get into college, enrollment was all boys. Richard Funt was the first state public speaking winner.

Changes were rapid and frequent in the 70's. 4-H age was identified for youth 8-18 years of age. The Extension office moved to a new location making way for a new County Courthouse. 4-H got involved in TV membership, judging experiences, EFNEP, leader training, presentations, and a new newsletter for members was developed. Resource development was to add new programs so 4-H Clubs of Adams County Inc. formed.

Interstate, intrastate, and international exchange programs continued to promote cross-cultural awareness in the 80's. 4-H and FFA joined forces for the first combined show and sale of market sheep and swine animals. The 4-H school enrichment program began with embryology. Potato judging, rocketry, clowning, riflery, capons, and arts and crafts were the popular 4-H projects. County leader training opportunities provided leaders with skills to use in 4-H projects and clubs.

Meats judging, potato judging, township government, the Mexico exchange, chicken bar-b-que's, Meet the Plants, Space Camp, SERlES, After School programming, farm safety training, fitness and health, local government day, and a regional benefit concert topped off programming efforts in the 90's. Adams County supported the Pennsylvania Suite at the National 4-H Center with a financial contribution of $200. Korie Livelsberger, designed the logo for the Winross truck fund raiser to celebrate 75 years of 4-H.

The millennium brought Extension and 4-H to new office digs, the Agriculture and Natural Resource Center. A 4-H pavilion was built with support of the Robert C. Hoffman Foundation. Adams County celebrated the 100th birthday of 4-H with a grand open house for future, present, and past families connected to 4-H.

Contributed by Jared Tyson, Helen Rex, Evelyn Waybright, Darlene Resh, and friends of Adams County 4-H.