4-H is the youth program administered in Oregon by the Extension Service with the goal of developing citizenship, leadership, and life skills through experential learning programs in agriculture, home economics, natural science, engineering, and art. Oregon 4-H developed from industrial clubs established by individual schools in the early 1900s. F.L. Griffin was hired by the Oregon Agricultural College Extension Service as the first state leader in 1914. He was followed by H.C. Seymour who served as State Leader from 1916 until his retirement in 1947. Helen Cowgill and L.J. "Doc" Allen were instrumental, with Seymour, in the develpment of 4-H in Oregon.
Oregon was the first state to offer 4-H work in a metropolitan area when it established victory gardens on Portland school grounds during World War I. 4-H Summer Week on the Oregon State campus began in 1916 and brought youth from throughout Oregon to the campus in Corvallis. Oregon 4-H began participating in the International Farm Youth Exchange Program in 1951 and the 4-H Japanese Exchange Program was initiated in 1972.
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