SALEM - Oregon 4-H members, leaders and supporters - past and present - joined together at the Oregon State Fair to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the national 4-H program.
To commemorate the centennial, the Oregon State University Extension Service 4-H Youth Program organized a weeklong observance centered in the 4-H Exhibit Building on the state fairgrounds. It included historical 4-H displays and the creation of a giant sand sculpture, featuring the 4-H clover, set up near the building.
These activities led up to a reception and special recognition ceremony on Aug. 31 in which several long-time supporters of Oregon 4-H were honored.
"The 100th anniversary is an important time for all 4-Hers, whether currently active in the program or not, to congratulate each other on a job well done," said Jim Rutledge, head of the OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program.
"4-H programs have changed over time to meet new needs but the basic focus has remained the same - to help youth develop life skills that make them productive members of society," Rutledge added.
Last year participation in Oregon 4-H programs reached an all-time high of 62,326, and half of these 4-H members came from urban areas. Fourteen percent came from farms and 36 percent from towns of fewer that 10,000.
In another new 4-H trend, environmental education has become the largest project area, involving 30 percent of Oregon 4-H members in 2001. Animal science is the second largest area with 22 percent of the projects; science and technology is third with 15 p ercent.
Rutledge added that the OSU Extension 4-H program is looking forward to celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2004. According to records, the first official 4-H activity in Oregon took place in 1904 when a 4-H industrial club was organized in Dayton.
During the reception, several individuals and organizations were recognized for their long-term leadership and financial support of 4-H programs in Oregon. Presenting the awards were Rutledge; Paul Risser, OSU president; Lyla Houglum, dean and director of the OSU Extension Service, and Sam Stern, dean of the OSU School of Education. Those honored were:
- Individual financial donors
Corvallis Jean Starker Roth
Dallas John and Ruth Hansen
Drain Mildred Whipple
Imbler Clayton Fox
Oakland Gene Fisher
Portland Chester and Hannah Schink
- Donor businesses and organizations
Corvallis Starker Forests
Portland Meier and Frank Company
Redmond Samuel S. Johnson Foundation
Salem Capital Press; Farm Credit Services
- Leadership awards
Corvallis Alberta Johnston; Duane Johnson; H. Joe Myers
Eugene Ed Zollner
Newberg Ken and Joan Austin
Portland Bill Woodard
Salem Robert Ohling