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4-H Films

Films documenting 4-H projects and events, and telling the personal stories of 4-H members, go back before the 1920s. Even at the earliest stages, these efforts provided a variety of purposes. Some simply were produced to promote the 4-H movement... to show the benefits of becoming a 4-H member. Others were educational or instructional, often centering in on a particular 4-H project area. And, still others were produced for sheer entertainment. Many of the films were produced on location. Some were even made by Hollywood! Regardless of its origin, nearly every film showed accomplishments of young people and how 4-H affected both the family and the community.

Films also often showed county, state and national 4-H events... the county fair, livestock expositions, the National 4-H Camp, National 4-H Conference and National 4-H Congress.

While the Extension Service, USDA and Extension in the states produced many films and audio recordings, the private sector was also heavily involved in 4-H audio-visual production from the very beginning. Some of these corporations which funded 4-H films included the International Harvester Company, John Deere, Eastman Kodak Company, Kraft, Quaker Oats Company, Ortho Division of Chevron Chemical Company, Funk's G Hybrids, Ford Motor Company, General Motors,


Robert Paige inducts child star Natalie Wood as a member of 4-H in "The Green Promise," a Glenn McCarthy production for R-K-O release in which Marguerite Chapman and Walter Brennan co-star.

International Mineral & Chemical Company, Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Allis Chalmers, Allied Mills Inc, J. I. Case Company, American Oil Company, Simplicity Pattern Co, Sears-Roebuck Foundation, United States Rubber Company, Armour and Company, The Chicago Mail Order Company, Eli Lilly and Company, Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation and still others.

The National 4-H History Preservation Team is diligently seeking copies of old films, videos and other A/V presentations to have digitized for placement in the A/V Directory on the National 4-H History Preservation website.

This directory provides the available information on the items that have been researched, although many have not yet been physically located. We know also that there are many additional films, tapes and other presentations that have not yet come to our attention.

The 4-H Audio-Visual Directory can be found at:

If you have additional information that would be helpful to the National 4-H History Preservation Program, please send it to:

Films or videos which are borrowed for digitization are then returned to their point of origination.

Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.

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