The year 2013 marks 100 years of California 4-H. Here in Half Moon Bay, that’s quite a milestone.
“4-H has always fostered innovation through our Coastal agriculture and farming and has taught kids valuable problem-solving skills,” said Half Moon Bay 4-H Club co-community leader Jill Iacopi.
Support for San Mateo and San Francisco County's 4-H Program is located in Half Moon Bay in the University of California Cooperative Extension office on Stone Pine Road. And over the years, dozens and dozens of 4-H members from the Coast have participated in the research-based youth development program, serving to strengthen agricultural technology and solve societal challenges such as obesity, poverty, depletion of natural resources, climate change, unemployment and food insecurity.
“The 4-H motto is ‘learning by doing,’” said Iacopi. “4-H is an organization for kids that was originally created to foster innovation and hands on learning as it applies to farming and agriculture. If you think about how it translates to our world today, 4-H is essentially hands on art, science, math, and engineering for kids.”
As early as 1912, the University of California had encouraged the formation of boys' and girls' agricultural clubs in rural areas and collaborated with school districts to organize them. In 1913, the forerunner of 4-H was founded — an agricultural club at the college of agriculture in Davis.
A birthday bash to celebrate the California 4-H centennial was hosted at the 4-H State Leadership Conference at the University of California, Davis, just this past July.
At this time, Half Moon Bay’s 4-H Club is not planning any special celebrations, said Jessica Guild, 4-H youth development representative for San Mateo and San Francisco counties.
However, "there will be upcoming meetings, and we may discuss at some point,” said Iacopi.
This year, 4-H members across the state are celebrating by using their head, heart, hands and health to create positive impacts in their local communities, just as 4-H has done for the past 100 years, explains Iacopia.
Coined the Revolution of Responsibility, the centennial initiative strives to engage youth in service learning projects to identify and address important issues right in their communities and to prepare them for the challenges of a complex and rapidly changing world.
"The kids who raise animals for market or for show are learning math by tracking expenses and calculating profit, they are learning animal science by feeding and caring for their animal and they are leaning a form of art when they prepare, rehearse and show their animal at the fair," said Iacopi.
"California is well known for innovation, and here on the Coast there’s
no place like 4-H.”