DeSoto County 4-H History
4-H Youth Development has been in DeSoto county as early as 1911, according to Cherri Hollingsworth in Florida 4-H: A Century of Youth Success. In the 1900s, 4-H Youth participated in learning activities to help improve life on the farm. Later, land would be cleared to bring alive the farmland and groves in DeSoto County. It is believed that Extension Agents visited families on their farms to instruct adults and youth topics related to farming practices, sewing techniques, and food preservation methods.
The county fair also provided youth and adults a place to exhibit home grown produce and “wears.” 4-H youth would soon bring their livestock projects to the fair, as they do today. Agents and volunteers led youth to learn about their project before exhibiting it at the DeSoto County Fair.
The first 4-H Community Club was in Pine Level and was the longest standing community club in DeSoto County that served the youth in one area with various project interests. Following the formation of the Pine Level Community Club, the Arcadia Livestock Club was formed and focused on beef cattle. 4-H leaders, Diane and Jerry Mullins and Jim Self, set the standards for the livestock show at the DeSoto County Fair and 4-H members found their way to top honors at livestock shows in the area.
Agents, volunteers, and generous community members supported 4-H youth. Memorial scholarships were created to honor Mary Rutter and Susie Brewer, longtime 4-H leaders, and supporters. With the continued support of county extension agents, volunteers, and community members; DeSoto County 4-H has seen substantial growth over the years and continues to reach youth through 4-H clubs and School enrichment programs.
To learn more about the history of DeSoto County 4-H, read the full story (page 63-67) in the Florida 4-H: Century of Youth Success, written by Julie S. Wilson and Laura C. Lok. Copies are available to view at the UF/IFAS DeSoto Extension Office.
National 4-H Week
National 4-H Week was celebrated following the WWII and focused on raising awareness of the impact 4-H makes, encourage more youth to join 4-H, and to encourage men and women to volunteer with the organization.
Today, National 4-H Week is still celebrated in the first week of October. National 4-H week is implemented through themed days to highlight individual 4-H stories and to promote involvement in the largest youth development organization.
Join the over 6 million youth who have been impacted by 4-H in a week of celebrations beginning on October 1, 2023.
National 4-H Week Themed Days
Monday, October 2, 2023
Theme: “I love 4-H because…”
Use this day to not only share why you love 4-H but to also encourage others to share their feelings towards 4-H. Post on social media why you love 4-H and use the hash tags: #ILove4H, #4HWeek, #Florida4H.
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Use this day to share how you found your spark with 4-H. Wear your new DeSoto County 4-H t-Shirt and share a photo with the hash tags: #4HWeek, #FindYourSpark, #Florida4H.
Wednesday, October 3, 2023
Theme: SPIRIT DAY
ON WEDNESDAYS WE WEAR GREEN!!! Share you 4-H spirit with the hashtags: #ILove4H, #4HWeek, #Florida4H.
Thursday, October 5, 2023
Theme: 4-H Throwback Thursday
Use this day to share your favorite 4-H memory/photo! Share throwback photos of yourself and/or 4-H involvement and use the hashtags: #4HTBT, #4HWeek, #Florida4H.
Friday, October 6, 2023
Theme: Friendship Friday
Use this day to celebrate the friends you have made in 4-H. We want to see and hear your appreciation of that friendship, using the hash tags: #ILove4H, #4HWeek, #Florida4H.
Katelyn- 4-H Agent
Jodi- 4-H Program Assistant