The first official 4-H club began in 1901 as a response to young people and their need for better agricultural education. To help meet this need, A.B. Graham, a school principal in Ohio, began to promote vocational agriculture in rural schools in out-of-school "clubs." In 1902, Graham formed a club of boys and girls with officers, projects, meetings, and record requirements. He sought assistance of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station and Ohio State University. At the same time the club concept was adopted in Iowa by O.H. Benson in Wright County and Jessie Field Shambaugh in Page county. These club models engaged youth in activities that put their knowledge to practical use, thus creating the "learn by doing" mantra.
4-H Mission: The University of Arizona 4-H Youth Development Program provides quality youth education by building positive relationships and life skills. We develop competent, caring and actively engaged citizens who strengthen Arizona communities.
4-H Vision: Arizona 4-H is the preferred choice for young people and parents who want the extra edge for life success provided through 4-H's research-based, hands-on learning experiences led by caring adult volunteers.
4-H Educational Philosophy: 4-H uses a positive youth development approach to put he phrase "Learning by Doing" into practice. Young people learn best when they are involved in their learning and are in partnership with caring adults.
4-H Pledge: The pledge tells what 4-H is about. The 4-H goal is the four-fold development of youth: Head, Heart, Hands and Health. The pledge was adopted by the delegates of the 1927 National 4-H Club Camp in Washington, D.C. State club leaders voted for and adopted the pledge for universal use. The phrase "and my world" was added in 1973. The saying of the pledge has a prominent place in 4-H activities, at regular 4-H meetings, achievement days and other club events.