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4-H Promotion Compendium: 4-H Peace Corps Project

A National Compendium of 4-H Promotion and Visibility over the Past Century

4-H Peace Corps Project

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The Peace Corps Program was created in 1961, one of the first priorities in President Kennedy's administration.

"The Peace Corps is a 'new approach in our international policy' which can make substantial progress toward greater economic and social development," according to the testimony made by Grant A. Shrum, executive director of the National 4-H Club Foundation, at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

Shrum noted that the Peace Corps could strengthen the bonds of friendship between the people of the United States and the people in other lands. He pointed out that great risks are involved if the project is not properly handled, supporting this advice by the Foundation's extensive experience with the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE).

By the end of that year 55 potential Peace Corps volunteers were in training at the National 4-H Center for the 4-H Peace Corps project in Brazil. The 4-H Peace Corps project volunteers would work with Brazilian Extension Service workers to expand the country's 4-S Club program, which is similar to 4-H in the United States. By spring of 1962 the Peace Corps trainees were in Brazil with Francis Pressly being named Country Project Coordinator for the Brazil project. Additionally, recruitment was progressing on the 4-H Peace Corps project in Venezuela where volunteers would work to expand and strengthen the country's 5-V Club program, also similar to 4-H in th U.S.

With 4-H being one of the leaders in this new federal program, there was much promotion and visibility connected to it.

Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.

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