Six Iowa Counties Add History to 4-H Blog

AMES, Iowa – Clayton, Dickinson, Hamilton, Ringgold, Story and Worth counties have added to Iowa 4-H History by County, a blog detailing the history of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development. The history blog is a partnership of the Iowa 4-H program and the Iowa 4-H Foundation.

According to the 4-H online history:

  • Through the efforts of the Farm Bureau and Extension Service, the first Clayton County clubs were organized in 1920. The first two clubs were a Purebred Calf Club and a Purebred Gilt Club.
  • During the roaring ’20s, many 4-H programs and partnerships were established in Dickinson County. Boys Clubs, Girls Clubs, Pig Clubs, Dairy Clubs, Baby Beef Clubs and Clothing Clubs began emerging in the 4-H program. In 1925, every township in the county had a Home Management Club that provided five different training schools to the youth.
  • Boys 4-H in Hamilton County started out in 1919 as countywide livestock clubs. Girls 4-H started in 1923, and in 1924 there were four clubs with 60 members.
  • In 1918, youth education had a presence in the lives of children and families in Ringgold County. Children from Jefferson, Tingley, Union, Mount Ayr and Rice townships were involved in Boys and Girls Clubs, for a total of 215 youth. Many 4-H clubs began in 1923.
  • Story County records show that 78 youth were enrolled in boys and girls club work offered by Iowa State College and the superintendent of schools in 1910 when 4-H programming began in the county.
  • Worth County records began in 1924 with around 200 4-H members who gathered as clubs, such as beef, poultry, dairy, calf, colt, swine and girls clubs.

View the full history on the blog, at

Over the next two years, 4-H staff and volunteers will be reviewing additional county 4-H histories, with two to four being published on the blog each month, said Shelly Greving, marketing director for the Iowa 4-H Foundation.

“We hope 4-H alumni and current members alike use this site as a living history of 4-H. So far we have histories posted from 29 counties, with many more in progress. We encourage 4-H members, alumni, volunteers, leaders and staff to add their comments and continue the history of 4-H, sharing the many facets of each county’s 4-H program,” Greving said. “Individuals also may choose to continue the legacy of 4-H by making a donation to directly impact Iowa 4-H or their county 4-H program.”

Those who wish to support 4-H in their county may make a donation to their county 4-H endowment through the Iowa 4-H Foundation,