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4-H Clubs of Connecticut Records

 Collection
Identifier: 1987-0027

Scope and Content Note

The 4-H Clubs of Connecticut originated in 1913 with the establishment of the first club in Mansfield, Connecticut. A part of the United States Department of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension System, 4-H clubs have aimed to educate Connecticut's youth in agriculture, home economics, and new technologies. The 4-H Clubs of Connecticut also strives to imbue its members with important life skills, building character through the teaching of a variety of practical skills. The records consist of the papers of Connecticut 4-H club leader Augustus Jackson Brundage, who helped expand the clubs in the state following World War I, as well as numerous club publications, photographs, scrapbooks, slides, film, and administrative records.

Dates

  • undated, [1906]-1977

Access

The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.

History

The 4-H clubs of Connecticut are a part of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Cooperative Extension System. The Cooperative Extension System is a nationwide, non-credit educational network with an office at each state's land-grant university. The program's goals are to provide useful, practical, and research-based information to agricultural producers, small business owners, youth, consumers, and others is rural areas and communities of all sizes throughout the United States.

The U.S. extension program began in the early nineteenth century as informal organizations and associations were formed by American farmers. The early organizations came together to improve upon farming practices, doing so initially through publications such as the American Farmer, which allowed farmers to share new ideas and techniques. In 1862 the federal governement passed the Morrill Act, establishing land-grant universities to educate American citizens in agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts, and other practical professions. The cooperative extension system was formed through the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, linking the United States Department of Agriculture with land-grant agricultural colleges. The act mandated that the federal government allocate population based funds to each state in order to further research and instruction.

The extensions first practical application test came during World War I, as the war necessitated that the USDA use its authority to increase agricultural production and labor. The extension's role during the war helped expand the program and secure its educational reputation. During the Great Depression the extension emphasized farm management and household production, helping many Americans through difficult times and ensuring the survival of individual farms. With American entry into the Second World War the extension once again advocated for increased agricultural production. Through programs such as Victory Gardens the extension was able to increase domestic food production and contribute desperately needed food stuffs to the war effort.

While the number of farms in America has decreased dramatically between 1950 and 1997 the average farm size has actually increased, and due in large part to the work of the extension agricultural production has become more effiecent than ever. Providing education about new technologies, fertilizers, and seeds, the extension has proven to be at the vanguard of this increased productivity in American agriculture.

The 4-H program of the extension has focused on youth education in agriculture, home economics, and new technologies. The 4-H program also aims to cultivate important life skills in youth that builds character and assists in teaching a variety of practical skills. The first 4-H club in Connecticut was founded in 1913 in Mansfield, Connecticut and began as a way to educate youth in the different aspects of agriculture. By 1915 there were more than three thousand youths enrolled in various 4-H clubs throughout the state, and by 1918 there was a club in every county of the state.

Connecticut's 4-H clubs grew rapidly following World War I, especially in relation to the poulty industry. By 1930 the state was holding regional and national competitions, with Connecticut clubs participating in all of them. By 1958 Connecticut had more than six hundred seperate clubs throughout the state, with enrollment surpassing seventy-five hundred youths. By the late 1960s 4-H clubs had been introduced into the urban areas of the state with clubs being formed in Waterbury, Hartford, and New Haven. 4-H club enrollment reached its peak in Connecticut in 1975, when there were 122,158 youths active in the organization.

As of 2000 participation in 4-H clubs is down to approximately 25,000 youths throughout the state, with the majority of participation located in rural areas. The organization continues to promote the education of youths in agricultural practices through hands on activity, as well as the teaching of important life skills.

Extent

84 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The 4-H Clubs of Connecticut originated in 1913 with the establishment of the first club in Mansfield, Connecticut. A part of the United States Department of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension System, 4-H clubs have aimed to educate Connecticut's youth in agriculture, home economics, and new technologies. The 4-H Clubs of Connecticut also strives to imbue its members with important life skills, building character through the teaching of a variety of practical skills. The records consist of the papers of Connecticut 4-H club leader Augustus Jackson Brundage, who helped expand the clubs in the state following World War I, as well as numerous club publications, photographs, scrapbooks, slides, film, and administrative records.

Arrangement

The collection is comprised of seven series, and spans the period circa. 1906 to 1977.

Series I is comprised of materials relating to Augustus Jackson Brundage, the founder of the 4-H Clubs in Connecticut. The records consists of materials from 1910-1949.

Series II consists of the administrative records of the clubs in Connecticut. The records span the period 1911 to 1977.

Series III is comprised of short courses from 1919 to 1956.

Series IV is comprised of materials relating to the activities and events of 4-H Clubs. The series runs from 1916 to 1966.

Series V consists of subject files from 1914 to 1962.

Series VI is comprised of publications produced by the 4-H Clubs of Connecticut from 1910 to 1969.

Series VII contains photographs, scrapbooks, slides, and films related to the 4-H Clubs of Connecticut from ca. 1906 to 1975.

Provenance and Acquisition

Unknown.
Title
4-H Clubs of Connecticut Records
Status
Published
Author
Archives & Special Collections staff
Date
2010 November
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

Contact:
University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US