8 Active Guests
Getting the attention of the President of the United States is no small feat... and, getting the President to attend or address your event is even more difficult. But 4-H over the years has been fortunate to have most of the Presidents fully aware, and involved in various 4-H activities.
While it is believed that no President has ever been a 4-H member, all of them seem to be keenly aware of 4-H and what it does. Perhaps some of them learned about 4-H from their wives. Jacqueline Kennedy had a calf as a 4-H project while growing up, and Pat Nixon had a 4-H pig project... she won a red ribbon.
For many years the President traditionally sent a special message to the 4-H audience relating to National 4-H Week. These messages appeared in the annual 4-H Week kits.
Undoubtedly, the longest continuing string of Presidential involvement is the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work (later National 4-H Service Committee and National 4-H Council) which had the President of the United States as the Honorary Chairman of their Board for nearly eight decades - from President Calvin Coolidge in 1923 through President William Jefferson Clinton in 2001.
This history section documents many of the occasions where the Presidents have addressed 4-H groups, or when they have mentioned the merits of 4-H while speaking to other groups.
President Theodore Roosevelt
TR's Country Life Commission sets the Stage
President Theodore Roosevelt's Country Life Commission, a group of educational leaders who made a thorough study of rural life in 1908 related that the country was not related closely enough to boys' and girls' environment. It pointed out the need for practical education in farming and homemaking and called for increased extension activity on the part of the colleges and gave high encouragement to those county school superintendents and teachers who were already pioneering in this area of farming and homemaking skills. This helped set the stage for the formation of the Cooperative Extension Service, created by the passage of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914.
Theodore Roosevelt Quote
"If you are going to do anything permanent for the average man, you must begin before he is a man. The chance of success lies in working with the boy, and not with the man."
- Theodore Roosevelt
The above quote was used in documents to potential donors and sponsors by the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work in 1922 and 1923.
President William Howard Taft
Taft Meets with Ohio Corn Club Champions
In 1912 President William Howard Taft met with Ohio Corn Club champions when they visited him at the White House.
Ex-President Taft Quoted
Ex-President William Howard Taft is quoted in the December 1924 issue of the National Boys and Girls Club News as saying "If I were advising young men as to their future profession I would say that there are greater opportunities in agriculture than in any other profession in our country."
President Woodrow Wilson
President Wilson Signs Smith-Lever Act
On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Lever Act, authorizing the establishment of the Cooperative Extension Service as a partnership of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the land-grant universities for providing cooperative extension at the county, state and national levels. The act stated cooperative agriculture extension should consist of practical applications of research, and should give instruction and practical demonstrations of existing or improved practices and technologies in agriculture. While the Act did not specifically mention 4-H by name, it laid the groundwork for the Cooperative Extension System which is nearing its centennial year.
The President's Comments on Bread-making
Fifteen-year-old Margaret Lofgren of the village of Ulen, Clay County, Minnesota, was thrilled to be in Washington, D.C. on June 20, 1914, as the first state champion bread-maker in the history of the 4-H clubs.
Margaret met President Wilson on her visit to the White House. He grasped her hand and said, "Margaret, what have you done to be entitled to represent the great State of Minnesota at the nation's capital?"
Embarrassed to be thus addressed by the President, Margaret bravely suppressed the tears she felt coming.
"Mr. President, I have only learned to bake good bread," she said.
"Margaret," President Wilson replied, "the girl who has learned to make good bread has learned one of the greatest accomplishments of an American woman. In America we have only one title to nobility and that is achievement. You 4-H'ers have won that title."
(The above story was related by T. A. "Dad" Erickson, State 4-H Leader, Minnesota.)
President Warren G. Harding
The lucky Texas boys who won the International judging honors at the Southeastern Fair in Atlanta Georgia in 1920 - Gilbert Wieting from Falls County, Jack Turner of Hill County and Alva Debnam, Dawson County, Texas - as their prize, received eight weeks of touring England in the summer of 1921, including participating in the Royal Livestock Show. They stopped in Washington, D.C. on their way to England where they met their Texas Senators and Congressmen and were greeted by Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace and President Warren G. Harding.
President Calvin Coolidge
President Accepts Honorary 4-H Chairmanship
President Calvin Coolidge accepted the honorary chairmanship of the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work in 1923, a precedent followed by each succeeding president for nearly eight decades. In his letter of acceptance, Coolidge wrote, "Probably no activity is of more importance to the future standing, prosperity and social position of agriculture, than the Boys' and Girls' Farm Clubs. Their activities warrant the belief that they will greatly aid in the solution of many of the problems of farm life and it gives me very great pleasure to accept the honorary chairmanship of the National Committee of Boys' and Girls Club Work."
President Coolidge also sent a personal telegram of congratulations to delegates assembled at the 1923 Club Congress.
New Club Greeting Song and a Night to Remember
When the young people arrived in December 1924 for the National Club Congress, there were nearly 1,800 of them. The new 4-H building at the International Live Stock Exposition was being dedicated and even though everyone thought that all the "firsts" of the 1923 4-H Congress couldn't be out done, 1924 did it again! One of the most remembered features of that Congress was how the boys and girls trooped into the largest banquet hall available in the city, overflowed the hall, stood in line up the stairway, through the lobby and onto the street outside the hotel. (Beginning in 1925 state delegations were placed on a quota system... no more than 50 delegates per state.)
That fall of 1924 M. S. Parkhurst of the Stock Yard Co. suggested a parade of 4-H boys and girls in the arena of the International Live Stock Exposition. The deal was made. Signs were built and painted telling about club work and its enrollment, what it meant and how it was administered. There were signs showing names of every project and every state.
The night the parade was to be staged the boys, girls and leaders, were being entertained by Thomas E. Wilson at his packing plant a mile from the Amphitheatre where the Live Stock Exposition was going on. When they emerged from the packing plant auditorium it was drizzling and cold. There was no means of transportation to the International. Guy Noble, Paul Taff, Ray Turner, L. I. Frisbie and a few others agreed to hold the club members in line and march to the Exposition. They did, with only one State group getting lost. As they stood shivering outside waiting for the horse show that was going on to come to a close, the signs were quickly passed out, and as the doors opened, Noble led the group into the arena.
All was quiet for a minute or so, then the band struck up a march. The group went around the arena once, but still members were coming in, so they went around a second and a third time until the entire arena was filled. By then delegations had taken things into their own hands and were singing and giving State yells. The 8,000 spectators from many states responded by yelling and cheering, and soon the Amphitheatre rocked with noise. The spectacle was climaxed by the paraders and audience standing to sing The Star-Spangled Banner. It happened to be the Silver Jubilee Anniversary of the International Live Stock Exposition and President Calvin Coolidge was in the audience. It was reported that the President was seen to enjoy one of his few hearty laughs in public as the Club members were parading carrying a sign reading "We like Coolidge 'cause Coolidge likes us."
Frank Ridgway, agricultural editor of the Chicago Tribune, reported that "Barney" Heide, manager of the Exposition, came into the press box with unashamed tears streaming down his cheeks and said, "Gentlemen, this is the greatest thing that has happened at the International since I have been general manager for the past 30 years." The next morning 4-H got its first headlines--the front page of the conservative Tribune. It told about the march in the rain and waiting to get in--and never again were the reporters to look blank when they heard "4-H." Likewise, the tradition of the 4-H Congress delegates parading in the Arena during the International Live Stock Exposition continued the following year and for half a century more. (from the December 1951 National 4-H News)
The December 20, 1924 issue of the National Boys and Girls Club News, which came out only a few days after the big event at the International Live Stock Exposition reported that there was a new club song... undoubtedly generated from the 4-H Congress parade earlier that month. It goes like this:
New Club Greeting Song
President Coolidge, how are you? We're glad you're with us-- We're glad you're with us-- We'll try to show you what our clubs are doing, President Coolidge, we're for you.
President Coolidge's 1925 Christmas Address to Boys and Girls
"As you are representative of the organizations of the boys and girls of America who live in or are interested in the open country, with which I continue into an official relation. I want to extend to all of you a Christmas greeting. It seems a very short time ago that I was a boy and in the midst of farm life, myself, helping to do the chores at the barn, working in the corn and potato fields, getting in the hay and in the springtime doing what most of you have never had an opportunity to do - making maple sugar.
"I did not have any chance to profit by joining a scout organization or a 4-H Club. That chance ought to be a great help to the boys and girls of the present day. It brings them into association with each other in a way where they learn to think not only of themselves, but of other people. It teaches them to be unselfish. It trains them to obedience and gives them self-control. A very wise man gave us this motto - "Do the duty that lies nearest you." It seems to me that this is the plan of all your organizations. We need never feel that we shall not be called on to do great things in the future, if we do small things well at present. It is the boys and girls who work hard at home that are sure to make the best record when they go away from home. It is the boys and girls who stand well up towards the head of the class at school that will be called on to hold the important places in political and business life when they go out into the world.
"There is a time for play as well as a time for work. But even in play it is possible to cultivate the art of well-doing. Games are useful to train the eye, the hand and the muscles, and bring the body more completely under control of the mind. When this is done, instead of being a waste of time play becomes a means of education.
"It is in all these ways that boys and girls are learning to be men and women, to be respectful to their parents, to be patriotic to their country, and to be reverent to God. It is because of the great chance that American boys and girls have in all these directions that to them, more than to the youth of any other country, there should be a Merry Christmas."
December 17, 1925 Calvin Coolidge
President Sends New Years Greetings
President Coolidge in a New Year's message from the White House to members of the 4-H Clubs and other junior organizations of the nation, extended his greetings and best wishes for their health and happiness during 1927. The text was as follows:
"In my holiday message a year ago I pointed out the many advantages of membership in associations such as yours. If we should try to express their principles in a single word, that word, it seems to me, would be `Helpfulness'. You help others and you help yourself by helping others. I congratulate you on the accomplishments of 1926 and know you will have abundant opportunities for usefulness in 1927. We get happiness from doing our duty, further happiness from doing a little more than is necessary, and from doing things as near right as we can. Our communities and our country are the better because of what you boys and girls are, what you do, and what you will mean to our social and economic life as the men and women of the future."
(from January 1927 National Boys and Girls Club News)
Coolidge Views Baby Beeves
Seven of the best baby beeves and their proud owners, all from Dawes County, Nebraska attracted the attention of President Coolidge at the Farmers Fair and Picnic, held at Ardmore, South Dakota recently. The President, who is also honorary chairman of the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work, judged and handled the calves complimenting the owners upon their fine products. The 4-H Clubbers told him that their animals were representative of seven hundred baby beeves being fitted in the Cornhusker State this year, and that all of the owners would come together at the Nebraska State Fair the first week of September to show their animals in competition for state-wide honors. (from August 15, 1927 National Boys and Girls Club News)
Dawes Co., Nebraska, 4-H Baby Beef Club calves being exhibited before President and Mrs. Coolidge at Ardmore Field Station. Standing on platform: Mrs. Coolidge, President Coolidge and Chairman Pease.
President Herbert Hoover
President Hoover is Honorary Chairman Accepts Invitation to Head National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work Succeeding Calvin Coolidge
President Herbert Hoover has accepted the Honorary Chairmanship of the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work succeeding Calvin Coolidge who has been Honorary Chairman since 1923. The letter of acceptance addressed to Mr. Thos. E. Wilson, Chairman of the Committee, under date of March 27 is as follows:
"The work of the 4-H Clubs is fundamental. It is bringing about a more economic production of all agricultural crops; it is improving rural homes; it is developing rural leadership, molding character and building citizenship.
"Therefore I accept with pleasure the Honorary Chairmanship of the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work which has for its purpose the extension of the membership of the Clubs so that additional thousands of farm boys and girls may be given greater opportunities for development and achievement." (from April 1929 issue of National Boys and Girls Club News)
Radio Address to Members of the 4-H Clubs
On December 1, 1930 at 8:00 p.m. President Herbert Hoover spoke by radio from the White House to the 4-H delegates assembled in Chicago for the National 4-H Congress and International Live Stock Exposition. The address was carried over the National Broadcasting Company network (NBC).
"I cordially congratulate the boys and girls of the 4-H Clubs whose outstanding club work in their communities has earned for them this trip to Chicago. It is not possible to greet you personally, but I am glad to send you this direct greeting by radio.
"The club work which you share with almost a million other boys and girls in 4-H Clubs in every part of the Nation is one of real accomplishment. You are the future leaders in the oldest art of organized human society--farming. In many ways it is the best of all callings. Your program and your future leadership is its great promise.
"I am especially interested in that newer part of your club work which is identified with the fourth H in your club name, the H that stands for health. The investigations made by the Conference on Child Health and Protection, recently held here in Washington, showed that one boy and girl in every four is enjoying less than the full measure of health which is the inherent right of every human being. Most of their physical deficiencies could be prevented or remedied or compensated for if knowledge of the best ways of everyday living was spread to every family, every school, and every community.
"You know from personal experiment how much more flourishing is that row of corn to which the results of scientific investigation have been applied through your industry and skill. Imagine how much more flourishing would be to 10 million young human beings if equal industry should apply equally exact scientific knowledge to making them as strong and vigorous and perfect as a prize-winning row of corn. Not only would the world be materially enriched by their greater possibilities of usefulness when they grow up, but much more important than that, their own lives would be enriched by untold additions of joy and happiness.
"Millions of these children waiting to br set free from physical disabilities are children of the farms. They must look in part to you for the way out of their difficulties for you are proving yourselves to be the men and women of tomorrow to whom your communities will look for leadership--and our Nation will succeed only with the widening vision of each new generation of leaders."
Mrs. Hoover Used Radio, too
As First Lady, Lou Hoover continued her belief in the equality of women and men. She used the radio several times during the Hoover Administration to make broadcast addresses - twice these were directed at the 4-H Clubs. In her 1929 remarks to the 4-H Club, broadcast on NBC on June 22, Mrs. Hoover emphasized that housework was for men too, and that boys should learn to clean the hous and wash the dishes along with the girls, because they were "just as great factors in the home-making of the family as are the girls." Mrs. Hoover's other national radio address to 4-H was on November 7, 1931.
President Hoover Meets with 4-H Camp Delegates in 1932
President Herbert Hoover met with National 4-H Camp delegates in 1932 during their visit to the White House.
Former President Herbert Hoover Presents 4-H Prizes
An unexpected visitor at the California State Fair was none other than former President Herbert Hoover, where he viewed many exhibits, and presented trophies to 4-H Club members. In his remarks he said, "I look upon the 4-H Club as the most helpful movement in agriculture. Certainly the next generation can do a better job than we have."
(from August/September 1934 issue of National Boys and Girls Club News)
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
In 1940 President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the National 4-H Camp on the Mall in Washington to speak with camp delegates.
President Roosevelt Sends 1945 4-H Club Week Message
The White House
February 15, 1945
TO ALL 4-h CLUB MEMBERS IN THE UNITED STATES:
This year the Nation again reviews with pride the war services of its 1,700,000 4-H Club members. Wherever you 4-H members live and work and share responsibilities, there is convincing evidence of your efforts in achieving your seven wartime goals. No where are these services more appreciated than among our fighting forces.
Final victory of our armed forces is still to be attained. Your efforts must be carried forward with even more momentum in 1945. To this end may National 4-H Club Week, March 3 to 11, result in a rededication by all 4-H Club members of their heads, hearts, hands, and healthto fullhearted endeavor in all that makes for victory. Such rededication is significant, especially in this crucial war year 1945.
Heere, in a free country, you are accustomed to tkae your inspiring pledge, of your own choosing, knowing that it stands for ideals that have made you and your country strong. In great contrast stands the blind vow of allegiance which youth in enemy countries are forced to give to a way of life that leads only to human suffering and death.
The degree to which we can make victory last and build an enduring peace will depend upon our loyalty to the ideals we hold. We proudly believe that when the cause of democracy finally wins history will record that American youth played a decisive role.
Signed. Franklin Roosevelt
President Harry S. Truman
Addressing Goals for Victory Breakfast
In 1945 Truman, as Vice President, addressed a National 4-H Goals for Victory breakfast in Washington, D.C.
In March 1945, the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work sponsored a National 4-H Goals for Victory breakfast in Washington, D.C., in connection with National 4-H Club Week. Present were representatives of Congress, the Army, War Food Administration, War Production Board, the FBI... and Vice President Harry Truman.
It was a fortunate meeting. Mr. Truman recalled his early experiences with 4-H. During breakfast he laid claim to organizing the first 4-H Club in Western Missouri and to leading a fund-raising venture to send 4-H'ers to state round-up. Three months later when long-awaited legislation for 4-H expansion came to the White House for signature, Mr. Truman, who had then succeeded Roosevelt as President, signed it into law.
The Bankhead-Flanagan Act, as it was called, authorized nearly $8 million of a total appropriation of over $12 million, for furthering 4-H Club work.
Truman Congratulates 4-H'ers on 1949 National 4-H Week
The White House
January 26, 1949
To the 4-H Clubs of the United States
World peace is the main goal and the most cherished hope of this Nation. Peace is something as intangible as the minds and souls of men and women. When you mold and develop your minds and souls for good citizenship and useful living, as you are doing in 4-H Club work, you are makers of the peace.
As one who helped organize one of the first 4-H Clubs in my state, I congratulate you on your theme for this year, "Better Living for a Better World." May that theme become increasingly significant during your 4-H Club Week, March 5-13, and throughout the year.
The things your grow and the jobs you do in "learning by doing" all add up to more skilled farmers, better homemakers, more useful citizens, and more able leaders. These, in brief, are what make for better living and a better world.
Signed: Harry S. Truman
Remarks to the National 4-H Club Camp Delegates - 1949
On June 16, 1949 President Truman addressed the delegates to 4-H Camp in the Rose Garden of the White House at 12 noon.
"Thank you very much for this pin. It is a beautiful thing, and I know one thing certain, that it won't remain in my possession long when my daughter sees it.
It was my privilege many, many years ago--when most of you were babes in arms, and long before that--to be helpful in organizing the 4-H Club in my part of the world. I am from Jackson County, Missouri, named for Andrew Jackson, who set out that magnolia tree over there in 1838.
"I am vitally interested in what you are doing in your programs for the betterment of farm conditions in the United States. We have had some very able Secretaries of Agriculture who have been vitally interested in what you are doing. We have one now who is as able as any we have ever had, and he is vitally interested in the programs for which you are working.
I am more than happy to have you here. I hope you noticed that we fixed the weather up for you, so that you could stand here in time for the photographers to be here. I am charged, sometimes, with being in control of the weather, but I am not. I am just lucky.
"I am glad to see you, and hope you will come back again next year. I hope also that you will have a very successful meeting this year while you are here.
"Thank you very much."
(The delegation presented a 4-H club pin to the President.)
Truman Meets with Rural Life Contest Winners
In the 1948-49 Rural Life Contest open to boys and girls attending rural high schools in the South, Blevyn Hathcock, center, Oakboro, North Carolina and Buster McLain, right, Cragford, Alabama, were second and first place winners respectively. Here they visit with President Truman as part of their prize trip to Washington and New York City. Mrs. Milbrey Covert, youth editor of Southern Agriculturist, the magazine sponsoring the contest, accompanied the two 4-H members. (from August 1949 National 4-H News)
"Promise for Future" Says Truman of 4-H
In a statement on the eve of the 1950 National 4-H Club Week President Truman said:
To the boys and girls in 4-H Clubs:
You two million boys and girls and local leaders now in 4-H Clubs are living symbols of the betterment in American farm living during the first half of this century. You are also a promise for the future.
Today we are a free and prosperous Nation with greater possibilities for the future than any people have ever had before. You in 4-H Clubs can have a special part in making these possibilities come true.
I trust that every one of you, during National 4-H Week, March 4-12, and throughout the year, will set high goals and do your best to reach them.
Signed: Harry S Truman
President Truman Awards Grand Champion 4-H Lamb
At the Spokane Junior Livestock Show in May, 1950, President Truman presented a ribbon to Margie Siller of Hayden Lake, Idaho, for her grand champion 4-H lamb.
Truman Addresses United Nations' Citizen's Committee
On September 7, 1950, in the Rose Garden at the White House, the President spoke to the National Citizen's Committee for United Nations Day:
"Mrs. Roosevelt, and members of this United Nations Committee:
"It is a very great pleasure for me to have you here today, and it is also a very great pleasure to me to have received that first flag presented by these lovely 4-H girls. That pledge they made is a wonderful one, and I wish every citizen of the United States would take it. I am sure they will, in the long run, because the United Nations is our one hope to which we can look for a peaceful world. We must see that the United Nations itself is a successful and going organization.
"The Government of the United States is trying by every means at its command to support the United Nations with all it has - men, arms, and efforts for peace.
"We are carrying on this action in Korea for a peaceful world, not for conquest. We have no ambition in Asia except for a peaceful Asia. We have no ambition in Europe except for a peaceful Europe, and we have no ambition in South America except for a peaceful South America. That is our only ambition.
"I hope that you will see that everybody in your community understands that our only interest in this whole situation is a peaceful world, where our children and our grandchildren - if we have any - may grow up and become citizens of the world, as well as citizens of this great Republic of ours.
"You are doing a great work, I appreciate it. And I am very happy that Mrs. Roosevelt was here to make the presentation and to state what your ambitions are, and ours are. I thank you very much, Mrs. Roosevelt."
(In his opening words the President referred to Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, chairman of the National Citizens' Committee for United Nations Day. Mrs. Roosevelt had introduced two 4-H Club members, Charlotte Ingrain and Mary Anne Long, who presented the President with a specially made Unitd Nations flag. The Committee, appointed by the Secretary of State to coordinate plans for the observance of United Nations Day (October 24) consisted of the heads of some 60 prominent national organizations.)
Historically, 4-H had a tremendous involvement in this 1950 United Nations Day. The fifties had barely begun when hopes for world peace were shattered. North Korea attacked South Korea on June 25, 1950. The decisive action taken by the United Nations aroused the interest and support of many Americans who had previously been unfamiliar with the fledgling world organization or who had felt it to be unworkable. Suddenly, communities wanted to fly the United Nations flag in observation of the fifth Annual UN Day.
The National Citizens' Committee for United Nations Day, chaired by Mrs. Roosevelt, was overwhelmed with requests for flags. Hampered by an adequate supply and by authorization of only two flag manufacturers, the UN committee and Extension turned for help to the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work. Would the National Committee make available materials and patterns for sewing the UN flag through their 4-H Supply Service? Would the Committee encourage women and girls to make and display the flag as an expression of hope for the world? The Committee would and it did!
The flag kits were available on September 1. And by October 12, 35,000 orders had been received. Eighty patriotic, civic, religious, farm and youth organizations sponsored this modern-day Betsy Ross project and as the report above indicates, two 4-H girls presented to President Truman the first UN flag made by farm women and girls.
In its report on UN Day 1950, the National UN Citizens' Committee commented on... "the extraordinary job of organization performed by the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work"... which produced the flag-making kit. All other work of the Committee had been postponed for a period of six weeks so that all staff could help to fill the orders that poured in at a peak rate of over 1,000 orders per day.
Remarks to the National 4-H Club Camp Delegates - 1951
On June 14, 1951 President Truman addressed the delegates to 4-H Camp in the Rose Garden of the White House at 12:05 p.m.
"Mr. Secretary, Mrs. Warren, members of this great organization, the 4-H Clubs of America:
"I am more than happy to welcome you again to the White House. I was very much afraid that we were going to be rained out, but the weather cleared up just especially for you. Some of my people around the house thought it wouldn't be possible to use the Rose Garden, for the simple reason that they were afraid it would be too wet, but I believe it has dried off so it's all right, and the weather is with us.
"I want to congratulate you on what you have been doing and congratulate you on improving the life and ways of the farm. When I was on the farm--and I hope to go back to the farm someday; some people are in a hurry for me to go back, but I'm in no hurry--but when I do go back, I want to find things still further improved. And I think you are going to contribute to that improvement.
"As I started to say, when I was running the farm, where my brother is now and my two nephews, we had to have from 5 to 15 people all the time to help operate that farm.
"Now, these two young men--my nephews--operate it by themselves. I tell them they have never done a day's work in their lives, for they ride for everything. They go out and get a wagon load of corn in an hour and a half, that used to take me two days. They can go out and plant a field in a third of the time that it took me to plant it.
"That is the mechanized farm age that has reduced the drudgery, and reduced the number of men that are necessary to produce the food that keeps this country and the world going.
"We must continue to improve the production of food, for food is the fundamental basis of a high standard of living.
"If we have plenty to eat and plenty to wear--and those things come from the farm--you can usually be in a pretty happy frame of mind. Whereas if you are hungry, or you don't have the clothing necessary to make a proper appearance, you are in a bad way.
"I hope you will continue just what you are doing now, to contribute to that improvement of the welfare of the people who produce the food and clothing for the United States and a large part of the world.
"It is certainly a pleasure to have had you here. [At this point the President was presented a gold key. He then resumed speaking.]
"I certainly appreciate the presentation of this key. I had an honorary Phi Beta Kappa key presented to me by the University of Missouri, and I don't think a bit more of that than I do of this; and I thank you for it."
(In his opening remarks President Truman referred to Charles F. Brannan, Secretary of Agriculture and Gertrude L. Warren, 4-H, USDA. The gold key was presented to the President by Marjorie Nold of Savannah, Missouri and Richard Golob of Sunnyside, Washington.)
Remarks to the National 4-H Club Camp Delegates - 1952
On June 19, 1952 President Truman addressed the delegates to 4-H Camp in the Rose Garden of the White House at 11:50 p.m.
"This has become an annual affair, and one to which I look forward.
"There is only one thing I overlooked this morning. I forgot to put on my 4-H button, for which I apologize.
"I think you young people, as I told you last year, are making a very great contribution to the welfare of--and the citizenship of--this great Republic of outs.
"And you are also making a contribution to the good understanding between countries when you have young people from other parts of the world to come and cooperate with you, and learn what you are doing, so they can do the same thing for their countries back home.
"I hope you enjoy your visit in Washington, and that you will come back again next year. In all probability I won't be here to meet you, but I understand exactly what you are trying to do, and I know the next President will be just as happy to receive you as I have been as long as I have been here.
President Truman is shown receiving a copy of The 4-H Story, recently published history of 4-H Club work, from 4-H'ers Carl Baldus, Charles County, Maryland and Elizabeth Ann Mason of Westmoreland County, Virginia. The presentation was telecast, reports the Washington 4-H office. (from May 1952 National 4-H News)
President Truman's Whistle-Stop Campaigns
Harry Truman loved to talk to the people, and his famous whistle-stop train trips where he would appear on the rear platform of the caboose and talk to people in small towns along the way to wherever he was going, often making targeted references to the lives of the people standing before him... and, sometimes those references included 4-H.
One example is on October 7, 1952 during brief remarks at Limon, Colorado when the train stopped. Truman said, "...now this city is the center of an agricultural area. You people have taken your dryland area that has little rainfall, and you have made it into one of the richest grain and cattle raising sections in the great State of Colorado. Bank deposits are the largest in the history of this area. Better times have brought better herds and lots of registered cattle. You have some wonderful 4-H programs. Your children are proud of what they are doing. And I expect they steal the show when they take their livestock to your fairs. All in all, I expect you find this pretty good country to live in, and you are proud of it--and you have every right in the world to be proud of it."
President Dwight D Eisenhower
Perhaps there was no other president quite as accessible to 4-H'ers than Dwight Eisenhower. When he helped dedicate the opening of the National 4-H Center in 1959 near the close of his presidential years, he started out by saying "I like the 4-H'ers"... it may just be that simple - he made himself accessible to 4-H'ers so often, simply because he liked them.
Eisenhower wins "Favorite American" Contest
4-H'ers Glen McDoniel, Tuckerman, Arkansas, and Opal Faulkner, Pine Ark, Georgia, winners of Progressive Farmer's "Favorite American" contest, greet the favorite - Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of Columbia University, with token gifts from their home counties. Opel, now at Shorter College in Georgia, and Glen, a freshman at David Lipscomb in Nashville, Tennessee, agree that Eisenhower wasn't like a general at all, "He was so kind and friendly."
Number 2 on the "Favorite Americans" list, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, suggested 4-H projects when Opal asked about training for young people who couldn't attend college.
Ike Meets with Representatives from 1953 4-H Club Camp
Wearing a lei of orchids and laden with bouquets, President Eisenhower poses with Chizuko Kinro and Bernice Tanaka of Hawaii and Carole Joan Plant, Colorado, who holds the honorary plaque presented to the president on behalf of 4-H Clubs everywhere. (from August 1953 National 4-H News)
While the entire 1953 National 4-H Club Camp delegation visited the White House, President Eisenhower chatted with a few delegates chosen to make presentations on behalf of the entire delegation.
President sends Message to 1953 4-H Club Congress Delegates
In a letter from the White House:
G. L. Noble
National 4-H Club Congress
Conrad Hilton Hotel
I am delighted to send warm greetings to all of you attending the 32nd National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago.
As honorary chairman of the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work, I am happy to see continued evidence of the enthusiasm so characteristic of the work of our 4-H Clubs. The practical education gained through 4-H Club projects and the character-building activities of the clubs help all of us to assure the nation of useful, dedicated, self-reliant citizens.
On this occasion I am especially glad, also, to send congratulations to Ann Wade of Georgia and Kenyon Giese of Wisconsin for having received the highest national 4-H Club honors of achievement this year.
Signed, Dwight D. Eisenhower
1954 4-H Report to the Nation team Meets with the President
During 1954 National 4-H Week the 4-H Report to the Nation team presented their report to President Eisenhower. The young people were the national achievement, citizenship and leadership winners named during the recent National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago. They were: Achievement - Anne Wade, Ochlochnee, Georgia, and Kenyon Giese, Loganville, Wisconsin; Citizenship - Bobby Newton, Creedmoor, North Carolina, and Nancy E. Mason, Statesville, North Carolina; Leadership - John Murray, Jr., Lakewood, Colorado, and Janet Kuska, Omaha, Nebraska.
The President was given the 4-H report on 1953 achievements, and hand-tooled leather wallets made by Wisconsin 4-H'ers were presented to the President and Mrs. Eisenhower. The President told the group that only recently he had grilled steaks from a steer presented by Kansas 4-H'ers in the solarium on the top floor of the White House.
W. A. Sutton, Georgia, and Margaret Clark, North Carolina, teamed with Leon McNair, National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work, and 4-H staff of the Federal Extension Service to escort the young folks around the city. The schedule was arranged by the Federal Office. For the trip and the stay in Washington, all were guests of Chicago's Conrad Hilton hotel, headquarters of the National Congress. Robert Quain, manager of the Hilton, and his wife were in Washington to act as host and hostess.
Remarks to the National 4-H Club Camp Delegates - 1954
On June 17, 1954 President Eisenhower addressed the delegates to 4-H Camp in the Rose Garden of the White House.
"Mr. Secretary, and my young friends:
"First, of course, it is my privilege on behalf of the administration to welcome you all here to your Nation's Capital. This I do with very real pleasure. Likewise, I hope I can speak for all of you when I welcome to our shores those among you who are from other lands and who will spend some time with us.
"Now, sometime ago, I made a vow that I would never meet during the next few months with any group and make public or private statements that did not have some connection with the program that is now before Congress to be enacted into legislation. Having said those words, I will mention only one little phase of it, in which I hope most of you are interested.
"One item in that program asked for the vote for people of your age. It seems to be, for the moment, stymied. But I hope that part of it, at least, you will get behind, and work for as hard as you know how. I personally think that your judgements in the destiny of this Nation are about as good as those of some of us who are many years your senior.
"Now, I realize that you are interested, first of all, in the basic occupation of our country, the production of foods and fibers and the preservation of our soil and our water, and that kind of thing. And in all of that work, I wish you every kind of success.
"By the way, the delegation here from Arkansas, won't you please assure the 4-H Club that gave me the pig, that the pig is doing well--very well.
"Now, I was delighted to find that this year this great group had taken as two of the themes to engage its attention, good citizenship and promotion of world understanding.
"Indeed, I think these two subjects are identical. I don't believe you can be a good citizen today without helping to promote world understanding. Certainly, we know that no nation in this modern day, however strong, can live alone. Therefore, if we are going to live, we have to do so. In some understanding of the hopes and aspirations, and needs and requirements, and the capacities of the other nations, just as we hope they know something about us.
"We want to ship to them our surpluses, particularly our farm surpluses, and we, therefore, must buy in return from them certain things. Now this requires earnest study and understanding on our part, because when we begin to buy things from abroad, there are likely to be parts of our economy temporarily damaged, and maybe people thrown out of work. We have got to think these things through. We have got to think of them not merely from our side, but from the other fellow's side. In this exchange program in which you, are now engaged, I see tremendous possibilities. I particularly congratulate those among you who are this year having the opportunity to engage in that particular work.
"If you are going thoroughly, earnestly, to study this problem of world understanding, you are not going to limit yourself, either, merely to economic matters. You are going to study the histories, the cultures of other nations, how they came to where they are, how much they have contributed to our civilization, how much, in turn, we can contribute to theirs. Because I assure you, if there is one thing of which I know to be true, there is no true peace in the world except through the understanding you people are studying. That is the reason I put so much of my faith in the future of the world in you people, because you are approaching it at the right end: to understand before you make your conclusions, before you reach these pontifical and weighty decisions that affect the lives of all of us. You are trying to understand, and I can't tell you how much I believe in it, support you, and believe in you.
"So, as you go about this work, may God prosper you, because in the real success of this kind is our future happiness, prosperity, and peace.
"I hope that as time goes on, I will get to see some of you more intimately than is afforded by this one chance to stand up in front of you and expose you to some of the things that I so deeply believe. Maybe, one of these days, I will get a chance to meet with each of you and sit down and let you do the talking--which I greatly prefer.
"Thank you for the compliment of asking me out here. It has been wonderful to see you."
(Note: In his opening words "Mr. Secretary" the President was referring to Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson.)
President Eisenhower Visits Iowa State Fair
This may be the only photo showing 4-H'ers with two U.S. Presidents, Eisenhower and Hoover. Both Presidents were visiting the State Fair which was celebrating its centennial.
President Meets with 4-H'ers During National 4-H Week
During the 1955 National 4-H Week the 4-H Report to the Nation team presented their special 4-H annual report to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Oval Office of the White House. The privilege of making the presentation went to Elden Holsapple, who compared notes on cattle and farming with the President, himself a neophyte farmer in Pennsylvania. Part of the report given to the President was a narrative of the work Elden had done in narrowing the gap between research and its practical application on the farm.
Observing that it was the start of National 4-H Week, the Chief Executive said: "All of you, working under the skilled guidance of public-spirited volunteer leaders, can help to build better homes and communities, and a better understanding for peace and progress in the world."
Remarks to the National 4-H Conference Delegates - 1955
On June 21, 1955 President Eisenhower addressed the 4-H Conference delegates in the Rose Garden at the White House at 12:30 p.m.
"I could use a lot of you up on my farm right now, as you know that we are trying to get it into order and shape. We talk about farm problems. We talk about farm products. And you have heard often of the importance of the farm economy to the entire national economy. You have heard about the importance of this crop and that crop and what it means in national income.
"As I see so many young people, I am tempted to talk for just a moment about the most important crop of all in this country: yourselves.
"You produce the future producers of our agricultural supplies of all kinds, and you send to the city annually some one-half of your entire personnel. These cities get their infusion of new blood from our agricultural regions. The point that I should like to make is that I believe you have more than an ordinarily good opportunity to prepare yourselves well for leadership in the future activities of our country.
"As a farm individual, you are first close to the soil and from the soil must come all the things by which we live. You are a business person. You have to be a professional person if you are going to farm correctly--at least the scientists are scaring me to death about the things I don't know about my farm. And you must be a working man, you must be able to take care of the things that you do in order to produce a good cow, or calf, or a crop of corn, or wheat, or cotton--whatever. So you are gaining, in the practical way, an all-round experience of the problems of the various classifications of our citizenship, as you are gaining likewise an understanding of our whole economy and where the agricultural economy fits into it. In this whole effort I think that membership of the 4-H Clubs with their stress upon citizenship-becoming good citizens, good leaders--is probably one of the greatest products that our agricultural regions are giving us today--I am sure of it.
"I wish that I could have a few minutes with each of you, to try to tell you what I believe is in front of you, not in terms of the commencement speaker, who labors in very measured, solemn tones to paint the horrible side of the future and the challenges in front of you, but just to talk a little bit about some of the things I believe maybe I have learned, and how much I envy you what is in front of you--to stop and think of the things you are going to see. It is so fascinating that we could stand here for the rest of the day talking about them. In this great and fast-changing world, you are not only going to participate, you are going to be leaders--on the farms and in the cities. You are going to influence others, and you are learning today in the best possible way through these 4-H endeavors and these 4-H Clubs how to do it well.
"I think the only real thought I want to leave with you is this: I congratulate you heartily both on when you were born, what you have done, and what you are going to do.
"Thank you a lot, and goodby."
President Receives Report to the Nation during 1956 4-H Week
Six of the Nation's outstanding 4-H'ers in leadership, achievement and citizenship met President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his office at the White House during the 1956 National 4-H Week. Those meeting with the President, as shown in the above photo, who received national honors at the last National 4-H Congress in Chicago in December, include from left: Ann Guindon, leadership, Plankinton, South Dakota; Franklin McKay, achievement, Clayton, New Mexico; Angela Heine, achievement, Ellendale, North Dakota; Eldon Rebhorn, leadership, Oswego, Illinois; Nellie McClure, citizenship, Cleveland, Tennessee; William C. Thiesenhusen, citizenship, Muskego, Wisconsin; and President Eisenhower.
The Report, which exemplified the 4-H theme, "Improving Family and Community Living" through 4-H club work, was bound between two handsome green covers with the title and border printed in gold. The main text told how "the David A. Morrow family of Blair county, Pennsylvania, had made use of 4-H principles and projects to develop a highly successful dairy consisting of 62 select Guernsey cows. It has been an important factor in developing four phenomenally successful children, and a happy, contented family life," according to an article in the April 1956 issue of National 4-H News. According to the article, the President showed genuine interest in the pictures as Angela Heine turned the pages and briefly pointed out their significance.
Eisenhower hears about Drought Problems from Rural Youth Groups
In early 1957, when President Eisenhower toured the drought conditions in Texas representatives of rural youth groups told him first hand how the dry spell had affected their programs.
In the below photo appearing in the April 1957 issue of National 4-H News, the President is shown with, from left: Wayne Estis, Blackwell FFA; Joyce Lynell Dobb, Eldorado FHA; Mary Beth Schooler, Robert Lee 4-H Club; and Wayne Sharp, San Angelo 4-H Club.
President Receives "Report to the Nation" - 1957
The top two winners in achievement, leadership and citizenship were in Washington, D.C. for the 1957 National 4-H Week. On Monday of that week they met at USDA in Secretary of Agriculture Benson's office and then he escorted the group to the White House to meet with the President. Earl Davis from North Carolina presented President Eisenhower with the "Report to the Nation" book. The President carefully looked through the book and listened as the group pointed out the different parts. The six 4-H'ers chatted about their projects and Ike's farm. He told them about his livestock, remarking that he recently gave a 4-H'er one of his steers. Annie Gutierrez from California presented the President with two bridles made by a 4-H handicraft leader. They said, "To Ike from 4-H," and Annie said he seemed genuinely pleased with the gift.
Remarks to the National 4-H Conference Delegates - 1957
On June 18, 1957 President Eisenhower addressed the 4-H Conference delegates in the Rose Garden of the White House at 10:00 a.m.
"For a long time I have been meeting with members of 4-H Clubs and the Future Farmers and I don't know of any meeting that brings to me a sense of greater satisfaction and hope.
"I think people my age feel that they are at last trying to work for the future, and when I get with people of your age then I suddenly realize you are the future, and you are going to do the things that we now wish we could do. We must have faith that each generation gets better, more efficient, and I am quite positive that all of those things that you are dreaming now, and we are hoping for you, you will do.
"So when I see such a healthy, good-looking group of people as this, it sends my spirits up. I don't know where you could travel in the world and call together a bunch of people of any age and get a greater sense of satisfaction than I do in looking at you now.
"I hope you are having a good time. I hope that not only you are finding your trip here to the Capital instructive, I hope you are finding it thoroughly interesting and enjoyable.
And by the way, just a few years from now I will be really farming in earnest, and maybe I'll call on some of you for advice. I'll need it.
President Sends Greetings for 1958 National 4-H Week
From The White House, Washington
My warm greetings to all of you as you plan ahead for National 4-H Club Week. You and your leaders can take great pride in your achievements of the past year, and in the greater goals that you have set for yourselves for this year's accomplishments on your farms, in your homes, and your communities.
It is gratifying to know that during this Club Week, you will honor parents--not only your own, but all parents. Mothers and fathers, as our first teachers, influence our lives immeasurably and deserve great credit and deep appreciation for the wise guidance and great inspiration they give us.
My hope is that the spirit and promise of this week's observance will carry through not only 1958, but to the time when you have homes and families of your own. The training and experience you are receiving now in 4-H Club work will enable you to build the kind of homes that create a nation of peace, strength, and progress.
(Signed) Dwight D. Eisenhower
Remarks to the National 4-H Conference Delegates - 1958
On June 19, 1958 President Eisenhower addressed the 4-H Conference delegates in the Rose Garden of the White House at 12:15 p.m.
"Thank you very much. I think, youngsters, that I had better unbutton my coat to show off my insignia. Actually, it was kind of a real "to-do" on this. We made a great problem of it, because normally I wear a vest and I had to get out of my vest to get into this, so I had to be dressed for the occasion.
"I cannot tell you how often I have to met with groups of 4-H people. It is always an inspiration to meet with you. I happen to be one of those people who is interested not only in your whole organizational work, your ideals, your slogans and all the rest of it, but so much of the actual work you do. I am a farmer at heart.
"And, incidentally, that reminds me of something about your Pennsylvanians here, One day I gave a 4-H boy a heifer if he would get busy and fatten her and put her in a show. I wonder if he had any luck about it. Is he here? No? All right. I had just forgotten all about that. I honestly wanted to see what the little heifer did.
"The nice thing about this meeting today is that I understand it is the tenth anniversary of your international program which really constitutes a feature of what I call the People-to-people Program for promoting world peace. Because of that, I am particularly pleased to have you present a peace pipe to me. It connotes for us a symbol of peace. It was a peace between different peoples as well. It was used not only among the Indians themselves in their several tribes--but also between the warring Indians and white men. And finally in the councils and through the councils that they carried out under that spirit, there were arrangements made that if not completely just at that time, have through the years worked for the benefit of both of those peoples.
"I think it is for many reasons that the particular program you are now carrying forward bears promise for great fruitfulness in the future. First of all, you are interested in these agricultural pursuits, and so many of the people today that are called the less well-developed or the uncommitted people or the newly-liberated people who have won in recent years their independence--do have the food problem. They are not well fed. Indeed, in some countries we know that the annual income is not over seventy-five dollars a year. How could they be well fed?
"You people can do, therefore, not only a great deal in a technical way of showing how the rates of production in this country have been multiplied. When I was a boy visiting in the South, half a bale for an acre as a yearly crop of cotton was a good average, and a bale was miraculous.
"Today I saw reports from the Department of Agriculture, last year on certain acreage it was five and a half bales an acre!
"We have so greatly increased production per unit that here is something that you people can, by your meetings with our foreign friends here present, and when you visit them abroad, tell them something about the techniques which we have brought about.
"And if we can do that, we will do much in pushing still further along the road to mutual understanding which means world peace finally.
"It is more than that, though, far more than the technical, here. You 4-H-ers are young. You have not yet acquired so many of the prejudices, the emotional antagonisms that so often prevail in people of my age. It is very hard to get rid of these things. You people are meeting others of your own age in other lands, of other religions, of other races, other colors. But of what importance it is if you are struggling for the same great ideals, principles, aspirations that they are and how helpful we could be to them. Then we would be talking not only from the brain to the brain on the way you can raise more corn or cotton or wheat or hemp, but you would be talking from the heart to the heart. Then there would be, coming directly, better understanding among ourselves, a grater elimination of prejudice and these mutual antagonisms, a relief from the burdens of armament, a use of our resources for the better development of our human resources, and in the long last, better promise of universal, just peace.
"I see today not just greater problems for you young people, I say there are greater opportunities today to improve what we have got than any other generation has known. We live with difficulties that seem almost to overwhelm us unless we keep our faith in our God, in ourselves, and in our country, and in the dcency of our own convictions with respect to other people, and with them bring this old world to a better level of understanding than it has ever known before. And that will be something to live by, to work with, and for, all your lives.
"I envy you your youth. I would like to start in right along with you in that kind of job. Thank you very much. Good to see you and thank you for the pipe."
(Note: The insignia to which the President referred was a tie clasp bearing the 4-H Club four-leaf clover symbol.)
Ike sends Message to Kick Off 1959 National 4-H Club Week
It is a pleasure to send greetings to the members and leaders of the 4-H Clubs as they join in the annual observance of 4-H Club Week. The four-fold emphasis of this fine organization - head, heart, hands and health - reflects a broad effort toward general fitnss and well-rounded development. I am sure that the training and experience which are received in 4-H activity help develop maturity of judgement, good citizenship and those qualities of leadership that are needed and valued in every walk of life. Best wishes for another year of stimulating, enjoyable work in the 4-H Clubs of America.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
Presenting a scroll of appreciation from 20 million 4-H alumni to President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the White House was one of the many pleasant experiences for this delegation of 4-H members attending National 4-H Conference, left to right: Bill Jones, North Carolina, Dwight Walker, New Mexico, Marilyn Wood, Texas; Merry Jo Stewart, Colorado; John Carlin, Kansas and Linda Lou Gould, Indiana. "Ike" accepted the scroll, which read in part: "The Alumni believe that 4-H training will inspire all peoples to live together in good fellowship and peace, united by the international bond of 4-H friendship. Realizing that character of inestimable value is being woven into the fibre of the Nation through 4-H training, the 4-H Alumni deem it a cherished privilege to rededicate themselves to the ideals and objectives embodied in the 4-H pledge..." The group also gave the President a small flowering dogwood tree, which will be planted on the Eisenhower farm near Gettysburg. (from March 1959 National Committee COMMENTS)
I like 4-H'ers - Remarks at the Opening of the National 4-H Center
by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 16, 1959
"Miss Hollmer, Mr. Secretary, Distinguished Guests and Friends:
"It is truly a great privilege for me to come here for these few moments to be with the 4-H'ers and the people who have brought about the development of this Center.
"I am here just because I like the 4-H'ers. I have liked them ever since I first met them. I have met them in every kind of hamlet, city, place, and under every possible condition, and never yet found one who seemed to demonstrate any trait or characteristic that I found unpleasant. I like them.
"One reason I like them is because they are young. They are America. They are America of tomorrow and next year and the decades to come. And since every true American is dedicated to America's future as well as to the solution of any of its current problems, we must look toward these young people and say here is a representation or the focus of our dedication.
"Next, I like 4-H'ers because they are dedicated to excellence. They want to do things better. They do so many things. One I am interested in is that they always bring up, fatter steers and nicer looking ones.
"The next thing I like about them is their example to other young people. They are doing useful things. They are leaders. They lead us to greater dedication to our country, a greater expression of the love for our country that we all feel. They are, by their work, indeed making this country a better one.
"There are dozens of other reasons why I like these people. In the rural areas they are agents for bringing to everybody everywhere some new knowledge, new information, and certainly new inspiration. They do the same in the cities.
"As long as we have young people of these characteristics, devoted with their hearts and their heads and their hands and their health to doing these things, America cannot be anything but successful.
"And so, as I have the honor of cutting the ribbon which is the symbol of the dedication of this building, I pledge to all of 4-H my continued support, admiration, respect--and I say again, affection.
"Thank you very much."
(The President's opening words referred to Anita Hollmer, New York delegate to the National 4-H Conference then meeting at the National 4-H Center, and Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture.)
Eisenhower's Gives Farewell Remarks to 4-H Conference Delegates
On April 25, 1960 President Eisenhower addressed the delegates attending the 1960 National 4-H Conference in the Rose Garden of the White House.
"First of all, my thanks to both of you for acting as representatives of this group in giving me this little emblem. I don't know whether I can wear it all the time these next nine months, but starting next January I see no reason why I shouldn't keep it about me all the time. As a matter of fact, I am very proud to be so designated because while my years will not allow me membership except on an honorary basis, still I would like to be one of your members.
"I don't know how many times in the last seven or eight years I have had the opportunity of welcoming representatives of the 4-H groups. I remember that I helped to dedicate your headquarters out on Connecticut Avenue. At other times we have also met together. This shall be my final meeting, and I want to leave with you a little message. Possibly I have repeated it time and again, but I think it will not be tiring if I give to you something of what is in my heart and mind when I talk about the opportunities of 4-H people to do something for the world.
"Humanity has common problems that cry out for solution. These are problems of starvation, misery, suffering, and disease throughout the world. Unless the battles against these evils are waged intensively and with increasing success, the kind of world that we want, for ourselves and for those who come after, is not going to be achieved.
"Back of the solution of these problems we must have real understanding. This word is bandied about a great deal by people when they don't want to be specific. But I mean the understanding of the problem as a human - not because you are an American or because you are a Frenchman or a Brazilian or any other nationality. We all must take heed of a human problem and a human need and see why we cannot solve it by a cooperative effort, because we all should understand it on the same basis.
"It is not necessarily true, I think, that we can always think as an individual from another nation. Each nation has its own traditions, its background, its history, its own heroes. That makes some difference of approach to most problems. But these problems I am talking about so clearly belong to all peoples, to all humans, that we can forget various kinds of nationality and achieve a very great deal of understanding among ourselves.
"As we do that - as we reach greater understanding - there will be every day greater and newer fields open to us in which these same attributes of cooperative attitude can be exercised and brought to bear. We will all be happier and better people. By that I mean not just ourselves, because of the satisfaction of doing the decent thing, but actually in the development of greater spiritual, intellectual, cultural, and material strength in the world.
"This is what we want to do.
"This puts a great deal of responsibility on people who like yourselves already understand a great deal of these problems. It also opens a greater field of opportunity. Part of the responsibility is to make yourselves physically and mentally, intellectually and spiritually fit for the job. This is one of the great functions of the 4-H movement. It is one reason that I am so proud of it.
"Because you all are classed now as young leaders, the opportunity you have is that you can influence others all over the world to show the same self-interest in their problems. Young people can all have the same dictates of conscience, of gratification of doing something decent for other humans.
"Only as the whole world becomes better unified through the kind of understanding that you people are already doing so much to promote - only as the world peoples understand each other's weaknesses and strengths and have greater sympathy for common problems - is there going to be greater assurance of a durable peace with justice.
"This is what we all want.
"Now my young friends, as I leave you and say goodbye, at last in present capacity to 4-H, I tell you no one could have more confidence in what young America can do, and will do, than I have. Since the earliest days of dealing with the youth of America in the military forces, I have developed the most tremendous respect for the capacity, the imagination, the dedication, and devotion of our youngsters. I don't want at this moment to be buttering you up. I don't mean that.
"I mean you have got a tremendous responsibility, a great opportunity, and a great capacity to discharge your responsibilities and to take advantage of the opportunities to the benefit of America, yourselves, your families, and the whole world.
"And so in my new capacity, you will probably see me again. But, as President, goodbye."
(In his opening sentence President Eisenhower referred to Brenda Ann Tjaden of Kansas and Jimmy McCormick of Tennessee, delegates to the Conference, who presented him with a tie clasp bearing the 4-H emblem and inscribed with the words "Partner in 4-H")
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Kennedy Meets Accepts 1961 4-H Report to the Nation; and, Honorary Chairmanship of National 4-H Service Committee
President John F. Kennedy became the honorary chairman of the National 4-H Service Committee in early 1961, following a tradition established more than 35 years earlier, being the sixth President to hold the title.
In accepting the honorary chairmanship, President Kennedy also granted permission to have six national awards presented in his name to the three boys and three girls who earn highest honors in Achievement, Citizenship and Leadership at the National 4-H Club Congress.
President's 1961 National 4-H Club Week Message
"My warm best wishes to each of you as you look forward to National 4-H Club Week, starting March 4. I would commend you especially for your achievements in leadership and citizenship. Through your emphasis on Head, Heart, Hands, and Health, you are making a valuable contribution to our country's welfare and progress. Your energy, ability, and perseverance - supported by parents, club leaders, and other public-spirited men and women - are a vital force in America's strength and growth.
"Now two and one-third million strong, you are learning today to put science to work in your homes and on your farms. Tomorrow your training and your experience will help you become leaders in your communities, States, and Nation. There you will have a great opportunity to help provide a more fruitful life for peoples at home and abroad, and to help other countries gain for themselves the peace and freedom they strive for.
"I am sure we can count on you in 4-H Clubs everywhere to help us face the challenge that lies ahead. I have faith in the future as we plan and prepare for it together."
John F. Kennedy
President Kennedy Meets with 4-H Peace Corps Trainees
"The second group of trainees for the Brazil 4-H Peace Corps project are completing their work at the National 4-H Center. The 14 women and one man will bring the Brazilian project to full strength - all teams with one man and one woman - to assist with 4-S Club work.
"There is a continuing need for people with a background in 4-H Club and similar rural youth programs, says Warren E. Schmidt, coordinator of the National 4-H Club Foundation's Peace Corps project. In addition to new 4-H projects that may develop, people with this training can often make important contributions in many of the other Peace Corps activities." (from October 1962 National 4-H Club Foundation Journal)
Kennedy's National Farm Safety Week 1963 Proclamation
By the President of the United States of America
Whereas hundreds of thousands of rural volunteer leaders and 4-H Club members actively participate in organized farm, home, and highway safety programs; and
Whereas these community, State, and national safety programs have proved effective in reducing the number and rate of accidents among farm people; and
Whereas accidents nevertheless continue to kill or disable nearly a million farm residents annually, and cause needless suffering and economic waste to both the agricultural community and the Nation; and
Whereas increased emphasis on the safety and productive efficiency of farm families is vital to assure a continuing abundance of food and fiber for the well-being of all Americans;
Now, Therefore, I John F. Kennedy, President of the United States, do hereby call on the people of the Nation to observe the week beginning July 21, 1963, as National Farm Safety Week; and I urge all farm families, and all persons and organizations allied with agriculture, to engage in a purposeful, united effort to reduce further the number of farm, home, and highway accidents.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this fourteenth day of February in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unitd States of America the one hundred and eighty-seventh.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
By the President:
GEORGE W. BALL
Acting Secretary of State
President Kennedy had issued a similar proclamation for National Farm Safety Week 1962, prominently mentioning 4-H boys and girls.
4-H'ers Give Report to President Kennedy in 1963
On March 5, 1963, the President graciously welcomed the entire 4-H Report to the Nation team and queried each 4-H'er as to past projects and future plans. He also praised the 4-H program for what it does for the nation's youth and for giving other countries "a good impression of America - and American agriculture.
From the 4-H'ers the President received a leather-bound, embossed volume of the 4-H "Report to the Nation" and the first copy of the "World Atlas of 4-H," a special leather-bound, embossed edition.. He in turn gave each of them the White House souvenir pen.
Progress Report by the President on Physical Fitness
On August 13, 1963 President Kennedy made a Progress Report on Physical Fitness. The President stated, in part: "...Thirty-two states now have State Fitness Councils, and last year alone, 13 strengthened their physical education requirements. Twenty-one now offer special summer programs, more than half of which have been started since 1960.
"This increased interest by the states has been reflected in school activities. The number of schools conducting fitness programs has increased 20 percent since the 1961-62 school year, and today, in nine states, every elementary schoolchild has a daily physical-education program. In 1960, fewer than half of the nation's secondary schools tested their students for physical fitness. This year 96 percent conducted such tests.
"Not all of the forward strides can be measured by these statistics. Private groups ranging from 4-H Clubs to the YMCA have developed programs in cooperation with the Council, and the American Medical Association has emphasized the urgent need for physical fitness programs and periodic health checkups in the elementary schools."
Kennedy's Remarks to Agricultural Leaders From Latin America
On October 8, 1963, in the Flower Garden of the White House, President Kennedy spoke with a group of 59 farm leaders from four Latin American countries who had spent six months in the U.S. living with American farm families as part of the Alliance for Progress program. The President said, in part:
"...It seems to me the important principle which I am sure you have learned, which this country has learned, which other countries, I think, are beginning to learn, is that agriculture cannot be controlled successfully or dominated by the national government. It requires very dedicated work by the individual on the farm and it requires extensive cooperative and community work.
"Whatever you can find of our experience in the organizations of young people - 4-H Clubs, Future Farmers of America - the very intimate relationship between our farms and our universities, the organizations that we have set up to transmit knowledge quickly among the farmers so that they can be the most advanced, we hope, in the world, I hope some of these experiences will be useful to you.
"The solution of the problem of agriculture in this hemisphere I would regard as a key. There is no reason why, with all of the tremendous advances and information and knowledge - there is no reason really why any of our people should be hungry or that they should live on an inadequate diet."
President Lyndon Baines Johnson
Johnson, as Vice President, Receives 4-H Reporters
President Accepts Honorary Chairmanship
The President of the United States has traditionally been honorary chairman of the National 4-H Service Committee. Here is President Johnson's reply to the director of the National Committee, Norman C. Mindrum, who had requested the President to serve in the position of honor:
The White House
January 24, 1964
Dear Mr. Mindrum:
I deem it a pleasure to accept your kind invitation to serve as Honorary Chairman of the National 4-H Service Committee, Inc. I will also be happy to permit the traditional awards to be presented, in my name, to those 4-H Club members holding superior records in citizenship, leadership and achievement.
Please accept for you and your associates - and convey to the entire 4-H Club organization - my cordial good wishes for the continued success of this rural youth program.
Sincerely, Lyndon B. Johnson
LBJ Accepts 4-H Report to Nation Team Report
President's Challenge for 1966 National 4-H Club Week
Johnson Receives 1966 4-H Report to Nation
The 4-H Report-to-the-Nation team chosen at last year's National 4-H Congress, met with President Johnson in Washington, D.C. They presented him a bound report of the activities of 4-H clubs in the U.S.A. While the 4-H'ers visited with the President, he commented that he and Mrs. Johnson always enjoyed having the 4-H'ers visit the White House during National 4-H Conference. They have been especially impressed with the letters of appreciation the members write. While they waited for their appointment with the President, Mrs. Johnson visited with the Reporters and expressed special interest in 4-H community beautification activities included in the report book. Shown with the President (left to right): Margaret Devreaux, Joe Day, Mary Jo Smith, Martha Lee Poland and Jack Bossard. Also shown in the background were Kenneth H. Anderson, 4-H Service Committee, and Secretary of Agriculture Freeman. (from November 1966 National 4-H News)
Special Message to the Congress on America's Children and Youth
On February 8, 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson sent a major message directed at Congress recommending a 12-Point Program for America's Children and Youth.
In one passage the President says:
"We are a young Nation. Nearly half our people are 25 or under--and much of the courage and vitality that bless this land are the gift of young citizens.
"The Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, the Teacher Corps volunteer in a Chicago slum, the young Marine offering up his courage--and his life--in Vietnam; these are the Boy Scouts, the 4-H Club members, the high school athletes of only a few years ago. What they are able to offer the world as citizens depends on what their Nation offered them as youngsters."
President Richard M. Nixon
Nixon Meets with Delegates to Regional 4-H Camp as VP
"I touched his arm..." "I shook his hand..." "I could see the fillings in his teeth..." "Heard every word he said..."
These are some of the comments of 4-H camp delegates following Vice President Richard M. Nixon's informal talk before the group on the steps of the Capitol.
This was the highlight of the 12th Annual Regional 4-H Club Camp, August 9-17, 1959, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The 126 youths in attendance represented 348,000 fellow Negro 4-H'ers in the 17 states of th Southern region. They were accompanied by 32 Extension leaders.
The Vice-President praised 4-H in his brief talk. "With young people like yourselves growing up in America," he said, "I know tomorrow is in safe hands." (from October 1959 National 4-H Club News)
Remarks at the Illinois State Fair
On August 18, 1971 President Richard M. Nixon spoke at 2 p.m. in the Junior Livestock Pavillion at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
"Governor and Mrs. Ogilvie and Julie and I want to express our appreciation to all of you who have welcomed us so warmly--and I am not speaking of the weather but welcomed us so warmly at the Illinois State Fair.
"I have sort of been reminiscing a bit of the times I have been to this fair before. The first time, Governor, was in 1952. At that time I was a candidate for Vice President, and I remember speaking in the fairground. But I have never had the chance before to drive through the fairground to see the exhibits. I must say, I saw more people than I saw exhibits, but it was really a great experience.
"I understand--and incidentally, I don't know whether I am correct--but they tell me this is the biggest State fair in America. I am going to be in Ohio in a few days. Can I say that there, too?
"I would like to just say something particularly, if I could, to the Future Farmers, the 4-H, and all of the young people who are here. You are in the great occupation of farming or agriculture. I am sure that these days you rather wonder whether that is an occupation in America that is here to stay; you rather wonder whether it is one that really matters.
"I know that if you have been listening to television and reading newspapers, or even in the classrooms, you hear about the fact that we have less farmers than we have had in previous years, although we produce more, and that maybe agriculture isn't as important now as it once was.
"Let me tell you something: I have had a very great privilege in my public life as a Congressman, Senator, Vice President, out of office, and as President. I have traveled over 70 countries. And one of the major areas in which the United States of America is tremendously fortunate is in the productivity of American agriculture. Now, there are some places in some industries where other countries, because they have lower costs than we have, or because maybe they even do better than we have, where they have passed us. But you can be proud of the fact that American agriculture today is the most productive in the world. We produce more food at less cost than any country in the world.
"And we can be proud. We are proud of all those, the older people and the younger people, who hqve made America first in the world, and you are going to keep us first in the world in agriculture. We thank you very much."
(The President, and his daughter, Julie, were accompanied around the fairgrounds by Illinois Governor and Mrs. Ogilvie.)
President Nixon Challenges Youth at 50th 4-H Congress
President Richard M. Nixon helped make the Golden Anniversary of National 4-H Congress in Chicago very special by attending and addressing the entire delegation on December 1, 1971. He personally presented the Presidential trays to the six Presidential tray winners as Honorary Chairman of the National 4-H Service Committee. Some 700 media reps covered the event--
"Mr. Chairman, all of the distinguished honorees, and all of those attending this Golden Anniversary Congress of 4-H:
"I want all of you to know what a great inspiration it is for me to be here, to see you, to hear you, to see the young people that represent America.
"As I was doing a little homework before coming out here, I found some interesting things about 4-H. I suppose, like most people, I had the idea that 4-H was almost exclusively an organization with its interest in agriculture and farming.
"4-H was born on the soil. 4-H has its roots in the soil. But as you know, approximately 35 percent of your members are from farm communities and 65 percent of your members are from smaller towns, larger towns, and even large cities.
"Another thing that is very interesting about this organization is that you are all winners. I found that out by going into the background. I knew that I would have the privilege of presenting these beautiful silver trays to the winners who have been picked from all over the country; but I understand everyone here, of the 3,000 attending this meeting, has been recognized as an achiever or winner in his own community or in his State. I congratulate a group of winners, the largest group of winners I ever saw, here in 4-H.
"Another thing that I found in studying the background of this organization is that you come from all the 50 States, and that insofar as your age group is concerned, it represents what we generally refer to as the teens - the lower teens, the middle teens, and the like.
"After reading all of that information, I had to make a decision about what to talk about, and naturally, the first inclination would be to talk about agriculture. It is an extremely interesting subject. It is vitally important at this particular time in our Nation's history. It is essential that America continue the great strides we have made forward in productivity in agriculture, because when we hear of problems of competing with nations abroad in terms of other technologies, in agriculture America leads the world, and because we do lead the world, it means that only five percent of America's people can produce enough to feed and clothe all the people of America, and to provide very much for people abroad when they are in need.
"This, of course, is something that needs to be said, and those who come from the community of agriculture can be very proud of what American farmers, people in agriculture, have done for this country and for the world. And yet, as I thought further about the problem, I realized that you were a broader group simply than one interested in agriculture.
"You are interested in all of America, because you come from all of America. You come from the cities and the towns and the farms, and because the America of the future will be yours and what you make it, you, therefore, I think, would like whoever appears before you, and particularly one who appears in the capacity that I do, as President of the United States, President of all the people, you would like to have me address you not as a narrow, special-interest group, but as young people representing the young people of America.
"I would like to do that today. I would like to say some things that I have been wanting to say for a long time to a young audience, a young audience representative of the whole country. You are that audience, and that is why I have chosen this forum for the purpose of saying these things.
"I am going to begin with a proposition that perhaps is a little different from what you sometimes hear. It seems to be somewhat the fashion for a speaker speaking to a young group to point out what a terrible time this is to be growing up in America -- the problem of a war, the problem of environment, the problem of jobs, all the other things that we see and that we hear about. There are many problems. I am keenly aware of them. I think about them a great deal, as you might imagine, just as you think about them a great deal.
"But then I tried to put myself back a few years, many, many years, when I was as young as you are, and I thought of what I thought about America then, I thought it was a great country.
"At that time, particularly as I entered the 20's of my life, America was in a depression. But I looked to the future with hope, because I realized that whatever our problems were, that this country, our country, could solve them; that this was the place that I would choose to live in if I had to make a choice of all the countries in the world. I believed that then, and I believe that now.
"I want to tell you why I think you should believe it, believe it very, very deeply today, not with any pollyannish statement in which we cover up those things which are wrong about our country and wrong with this world, and not with any statements in which we downgrade the great dangers we confront in the world; but laying it on the line like it is, the kind of America you are in today, the kind of America you can make tomorrow, the kind of a world we can have, particularly you can have, by the end of this century, in the year 2000, when we celebrate a new year that comes only once in a thousand years.
"One of the reasons that I speak in optimistic terms is this: Just to stand before this great assembly of young leaders and young achievers, as you are, to feel your idealism, your commitment to excellence, is to stand on the threshold of the brightest future the world has ever known. I believe that.
"You are coming to maturity at a time which history will remember as a great period of emancipation for young Americans. Your generation has the opportunity to participate more fully in the American adventure than young people have ever been able to do since Revolutionary times 200 years ago. You can remember those days as you read them in history.
"How stirring they were. More than half the population of America at the beginning was less than 20 years of age. The cause of liberty was the cause of youth and of age alike. Citizens belonged not to this or that generation; they belonged to America. Hamilton, in his late teens, emerged as the leading voice for independence in the State of New York. Jefferson, at 33, authored the Declaration of Independence. Sixteen other patriots in their 30's, three in their 20's, Franklin at 70, the old man of the group, joined Jefferson as signers of the Declaration of Independence.
"That was the young America at the time of our birth. Then, in the course of two centuries, things changed. They changed radically. In the 1950's, when you were born, generational stereotyping and pigeonholing by age groups became all too common. Most young people in those years went intensely and quietly about the ordinary tasks of just growing up. Some of the young in those years, in the 50's, however, went underground into a Bohemian subculture. It i obvious, now that older people at that time should have been asking why, but few bothered to ask why that was the case. It was so much easier then just to tag one group as "the silent generation" and the other "the beat generation" and just leave it at that.
"Then suddenly in the 60's every thing seemed to go to the other extreme. A new breed of young men and women shook the Nation. They wrote a record dominated by remarkable good; but also shadowed with ominous wrongs - civil rights laws on the one side; urban riots on the other; campus reform and academic anarchy, a war against aggression in Asia; a war against war in the streets of America, a surge of participation in politics and a wave of terrorist bombings, a rich new diversity in life styles and a grim new plague of drug abuse, all of these side by side in that stirring decade of the 60's.
"All in all, it was a time when youth reached vigorously for a new role as full partners in American society. The result was monumental, and yet the cost in disruption and alienation seemed almost prohibitively high.
"Why was the record of the youth movement only mixed in the 60's, when it should have been magnificent? It was only mixed because it took the form of an outside force, rather than of integrated, individual participation in the larger society. It was forced into that form by the rigid generational walls erected in American attitudes and institutions over the years. Its frustrations and excuses and excesses arose in large part from the painful experience of battering against those walls - an experience that dramatized the need to sweep them away once and for all.
"And so came the end of the 60's, and America awoke to several important realizations. They saw that to regard a person's date of birth as more important than his own unique individuality is to indulge in the insidious bigotry called "age-ism". They saw that it is wasteful, stupid and unjust to restrict the generations in a narrow structure in which those in the middle of life would monopolize the centers of power, while the young would plod along in apprenticeship or chafe in alienation, and the aging would draw social security, preferably well out of sight.
"They saw it was time to pull down the generational stereotypes - involved, hip, silent, beat or lost - and to raise a new standard of brotherhood, tolerance and mutual respect between those generations.
"As these new attitudes have taken hold, young America has passed from its stormy night of recent years into what I believe will be a bright, new morning.
College turmoil has subsided sharply, not in resignation, but in wisdom. High schools, young working people, the next declared target of the radicals have not caught fire as they had expected to. Opinion surveys have detected a rising disgust with political radicalism, even in the strongholds of the counterculture.
"Most of you in this great audience are not only witnesses to these developments, you are leaders in them. You could not be leaders in a more important cause. For the more convincingly the young majority demonstrates its resilience and level-headedness, the faster you will find the so-called Establishment responding to your hopes, opening to your aspirations.
"The young in America are no longer going to be treated as a mass or a bloc in this country - neither as a generation apart nor as a generation idolized. You deserve better than that. And you will have better, for America is rapidly moving to take you, the young, into full partnership as individuals in our society.
"Your country knows how much it needs you, and we are proving that, not just with talk but with action.
"We need your voice first in the political process, as soon as you are prepared for that trust - and that should not take 21 years of your life. That is why I was able last July to certify passage in record time of the 26th Amendment lowering the voting age to 18.
"We need your abilities, your insights in the making of public policy. and that is why I have directed departments in the Federal Government and agencies throughout the Executive Branch of the Government to recruit young talent and to hear young ideas, and that is why I have brought an unprecedented number of men and women in their 20's into positions of trust on the White House staff.
"We need your energies in the urgent work of helping the less fortunate across America and in other lands. That is why we have moved to expand and improve the Pace Corps and VISTA programs by merging them to form a new volunteer service agency, ACTION.
"That is why we have initiated the University Year for ACTION to draw thousands of young people into this new effort, and that is why we have also worked outside Government to make volunteerism a vital force in the independent society - so that every single American who wants to serve his fellowman can have an avenue for doing so.
"Young people of today, every survey shows, are more generously committed to human betterment through voluntary service than any generation before you. Your own work in 4-H has shown what mountains that commitment can move. I urge you to redouble it, to share it, to maintain it throughout your lives.
"Very few of you will enter Government as a full-time activity. But whatever your jobs may be outside of Government, I would ask that each of you make a commitment now to pledge a part of your time to voluntary service for your community throughout your lives. It will be worthwhile.
"We need to be sure that you are free to shape your own career along the lines that will provide maximum fulfillment for you in adult life. That is why we have reformed the draft to reduce the uncertainty and duration of its pressures on young men.
"That is why we are moving toward the goal of a zero draft, an all-volunteer armed force. That is why we have pressed for a new college loan system to insure that no qualified student in America who wants to go to college will be barred by lack of money. And that is why we are developing new career education and youth employment programs in recognition that something over half the college-age young do not go to college but do need salable skills and they do need good jobs and they should be prepared for those jobs with an education designed to do exactly that.
"We need your ideas. We need them in the national debate on issues, goals and directions. That is why the 1971 White House Conference on Youth was different from any that had ever been held before since they first began in 1909. It was a wide-open forum, run by young Americans, of them and for them.
"Since 1909, older people, as they have been meeting at these conferences, have done so at the President's invitation to talk about youth. But we felt that that kind of generational condescension was out of step with the 70's, so we turned the conference over to the young people themselves - let us find out what they would tell us.
"Now I am first to tell you that not everything they did and not everything that they said lined with my own point of view or that of others in our Administration. But I totally recognize, and I defend their right to say it. We need to hear it. We need to know what people, and particularly young people, want for the future of this country.
"Certainly the time when the young are to be seen and not hard is gone in America - and gone for good.
"More than 300 of the conference's recommendations have just undergone six months of intensive review by the affected Federal agencies. When the results of that review are announced, the extent of agreement between conference hopes and Government action will further weaken the myth of an unbridgeable generation gap and will further strengthen what the conferees called their sense of "kinship with persons of good will of all generations."
"The sense of kinship, forged into a firm, new alliance of the generations, will be essential if we are to seize the breath-taking opportunities opening up for America and the world in the coming decades.
"The greatest of these opportunities is peace - peace not just for a few years, but for a whole generation and beyond. Something we have not had in his century. Such a peace I believe is coming, and the United Stats is leading the way.
"We are concluding our involvement in the Vietnam war, and we are doing so in a way that is responsible, honorable, and constructive for the long-range stability of Asia and the Pacific region. We have done and will continue to do all in our power to help defuse the explosive situations in the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. We have acted, an historic step, to nd the isolation of nearly one-quarter of the world's population in China. We have moved from confrontation in negotiation with the Soviet Union, with limitation of nuclear arms, relaxation of tensions in Europe, and increased trade among the possible results.
"I know these meetings, particularly at the highest level, with the leaders of the Soviet Union and the leaders of the Peoples Republic of China will lead some to assume that the act of meeting mans the end of differences between persons from here and there. That of course will not be the case. We have basic philosophical differences.
"As we look down the road to the end of the century, what we have to realize is this. With two hundred and fifty million people in the Soviet Union, seven hundred and fifty million people in mainland China, for the United Stats not to be in a position to talk to those leaders in the event that there is a confrontation someplace in the world could lead to a conflict which would mean suicide for both sides.
"And that is why we have taken these steps, so that when we do have differences, and we will have differences, for many, many years to come, we will talk about them and not fight about them. The world that has taken shape as a result will be far less dangerous, I believe, than the one you have grown up in.
"You were born at approximately the end of the Korean war. You have lived much of your life through the Vietnam war, and now the question - what confronts you in the future? I believe it will be less dangerous. But it will be even more challenging because as the danger of war recedes between great powers, the challenges of competition between nations living at peace with each other also greatly increases.
"Political, economic and military power will be concentrated in many centers instead of just a few. Look at the change for example since World War II. Immediately after that war, the United States had no competitors in the world. We produced half the world's goods with seven percent of the world's people. And now today, there are five potential economic giants in the world. The new Europe, with England in the common market, the Soviet Union, Mainland China with seven hundred and fifty million people; and a resurgent Japan. Not to mention of course, the potential from the future of Latin America, Africa, and other parts of Asia. And so, competition in the works of peace will be intense.
"America cannot maintain its position of leadership unless we work at the very best of our abilities, unless we bring the best out of our young as well as our older people. But there's something else that we should say about this world, something that I hope very much for you.
"The world in which I have grown up has not been an open world. Not an open world because so much of it was closed by curtains. Iron curtains, bamboo curtains, call it what you will. I want the world that you grow up in to be an open world. Not a world without differences, that would be a very dull world, but an open world in which there will be a chance for anyone who wants to, to know the other people of the world.
"Yours will be an open world, I believe. and it also will be quite literally a new world. One in which more than 60 new nations and 60 percent of the people living in the world came into being since World War II. It will be a world where America's enormous economic and technical advances which have gone into war in generations past, can be turned more fully to the service of mankind in the generation ahead. What an appealing idea it is to young people with your ideals to see that all of this tremendous capacity that America has, so much capacity to do so much for good is turned to the works of peace rather than to the works of war, because then, when the manacles of war at last are struck off the hands of the American giant, think of what our potentialities will be.
"Together, we can work toward conquering hunger, poverty, disease, ignorance, here in America, where it does exist, and also even abroad. We can achieve a new birth of vitality in our democracy, our economy, our arts and our culture. We can strike balance between quantity and quality in national growth, between dynamic cities and a healthy countryside in this wide land. With the heartland of this country revitalized again, contributing as it ca to the will, to the growth and the balance of America, we can rescue a threatened environment, a cause in which I know you are all so deeply interested, and form a higher partnership with nature, and we can truly build a new America in a new world.
"That's why I said at the outset that the most exciting time and place to be young and to be alive in all the record of mankind, is right here in America, now in the 70's.
"From the very first we have been a people who set high goals, we dreamed large dreams, we shared from the heart with our brother man.
"You all remember what Jefferson wrote when this was a weak country, and a poor country, he said: "We ask not just for ourselves alone, but for all mankind." It was presumptuous for him to say it then because there wasn't much that that young weak America could do about the problems of mankind. But because he said it, and because there was an idealism there, America did catch the imagination of the world. But compare the situation now to then. If Jefferson were to say today, "We ask for all mankind" he could be believed, believed because what sets these times apart from any earlier period of our history is that we now have not only the will to work miracles but we have the means to achieve them.
"The heavy responsibilities of world leadership, the restless perfectionism that nags at our national life, I know that these things seem burdensome at times. Some of us must feel at times, wouldn't it be well to leave all these responsibilities, just live to ourselves, as an island in the world, and let the rest of the world go by? It wouldn't be well, it wouldn't be at all. We can feel tempted to complain about these things, but it's provincial and craven to do so.
"The power of not merely wishing good things, but of doing good, in the whole history of mankind, has been granted sparingly to very few men and women and nations. And that power in full measure is what you have. It's destiny's great gift to the United States today. The power not only to wish good things, but the power, if we organize, if we work, if we set our goals high enough to do good things in america and abroad.
"Generations before could yearn for peace. We can build peace, and we are. They could feel compassion for the oppressed, the destitute, the refugees of the earth. We can provide help for them surpassing all other nations, and we are. For example, in the current tragic situation between India and Pakistan the United States provides more help to the refugees there than all of the other nations of the world put together. We should be thankful that we have that kind of ability and can help in that way. We could not do it unless America were the strong, economic, productive people that we are. Others can speculate about political, economic and social systems that would set the human spirit free. We can fashion such systems - and we are.
"We can do these things - but so much depends on you who are so young. How committed will you be? Listen to Thoreau: "Cast your whole vote, not a trip of paper merely, but your whole influence." You have the freedom almost literally, to reach the stars - and with it comes the responsibility to stretch for them with all your might. Don't let your hearts grow earthbound, for the universe is out there waiting for you.
"In the spring of 1968, when the first sweet taste of freedom came to Communist Czechoslovakia, a group of students marched to party headquarters at midnight and shouted for the reform leader, Alexander Dubcek, to confront them. They were impetuous and impatient - full of that young fire which our Youth Conference delegates called "the rage of love for... unimplemented principles... and... unfilled potential." Dubcek came down in the street to talk to the students, and one of them asked, "What are the guarantees that the old days will not be back?" "You, yourselves, are that guarantee," replied Dubcek. "You, the young."
"You know the rest of the story. The hopes of the Czechs for freedom met reversals, but the words of Dubcek are not less true for that. Here in America "the rage of love" has not turned out in young hearts, but the flame is purer now, fed with new reason and realism. Man's destiny of freedom is in your keeping, it's in your guarantee. With a lifetime of adventure and promise before you, I have every confidence that that splendid destiny of America is in good keeping -- and that you will make good its guarantee.
President Gerald R. Ford
Ford Attends Special 4-H Breakfast for House Speaker Carl Albert
The National 4-H Alumni Award was presented to the Honorable Carl Albert of Oklahoma, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, during a special breakfast at the Capitol on February 7, 1974. Pressing Congressional business prevented Speaker Albert from being present to receive the ward at the 1973 National 4-H Congress; thus this event was arranged by Olin Corporation, sponsor of the National 4-H Alumni Awards Program.
Continuing emphasis is being directed toward club and county activities in this program. The recently revised leaflet, "Involve 4-H alumni in Your Program Today," provides many ideas and suggestions to increase alumni participation, and a new set of guidelines has been established for nominating former 4-H'ers and selecting those to receive county, state and national recognition. (from Spring 1974 National 4-H Service Committee COMMENTS)
President Welcomes 4-H Citizenship Delegates
President Jimmy Carter
President Addresses Delegates to 50th Anniversary Conference
On April 17, 1980 President Carter made remarks to delegates attending what was billed the 4-H Club's 50th Anniversary Conference at 12:24 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House.
The President: "Hi, everybody. How many of you know how long the 4-H has been in existence?"
Delegation: "Since 1902"
The President: "1902"
"I'm very grateful to be with you today, here in truly an historic place. As you know, all the Presidents who've served the country have lived in this house behind me except George Washington, and the White House was finished when the second President was serving his term. I'm delighted to have the representatives of the 4-H, who represent 5-1/2 million young people and more than a million others who work closely with the 4-H members themselves.
"As I began to think about what to talk about, coming out here to meet with you young people, who represent such a fine character of American life, I thought about the long time--this is your 50th anniversary--I thought about the long time that you've represented unchanging American values in a changing world--values like learning from doing, values like cherishing a family, values like caring for a community, values like leadership, regardless of age, and values like honesty and decency and integrity and compassion and concern.
"Those things don't change. And they're particularly kept alive, in my judgment, by young people who are bright and fresh, not burdened down with doubt and concern, but have a fresh hope for the future. And those who are burdened down with concern and who are discouraged are wrong. Those who have a bright hope for the future, particularly in our country, are right. I know that about a fourth of the members who are represented at the conference are from urban areas, but those same values are extended in those environments, just as they are on the farm.
"As a farmer myself who now lives in an urban area--[laughter]--I would like to point out that of all the success stories I know in our country in economic terms, the number one success story is in agriculture. God has blessed us, as you know, with unbelievably fertile land and with natural resources far beyond the dreams of any other people on Earth, and we've taken good care of that land over which we have stewardship. We have the best diet, the most plentiful supplies of food. We also serve as a benevolent distributor of food and feed products, of fibers, wood products, to other people throughout the world.
"I've seen good progress made in recent years. In the last 3 years, since I've been here, farm income has gone up tremendously. We have set world records for export of American agricultural products to foreign countries every year since I've been in office. We've taken the Federal Government's nose out of the affairs of farm families in an unprecedented way. And we've had an opportunity also to let farmers control their own business, to store their own products on their farm, in an unprecedented fashion, and then to market their products when it is most advantageous to them, rather than being at the mercy of the middlemen, who sometimes take advantage of changes in the market, when the farmer has, in the past, had to sell their crops just during the harvest time.
"I don't want to mislead you. As you well know, we've got problems in our country, serious problems for agriculture. Farmers are faced with very high inflation rates, like all of us are, and they're especially burdened with extremely high interest rates. We're doing all we can about it.
"The Federal Reserve Board, for instance, today acted to make sure that they're extending seasonal credit to farmers on an extended basis in banks of all sizes. And this will help farmers to get credit, as it goes up and down with the seasons, in a much more effective fashion than we had anticipated. We've approved lately $2 billion in emergency loans, which is being administered now in a very fast fashion. And we're taking other action to make sure that the farm families are protected as much as possible from this blight of inflation and high interest rates that really permeates almost the entire world.
"I would like to point out to you that a President and every member of 4-H and your families and counselors and those around you have to make difficult decisions in times which try our patience and times which try our courage and times which test American unity.
"I spend a lot of time, day and night, worrying about the 53 Americans who are held in Iran and trying to deal with the changing circumstances there to ensure that we protect our national honor and the principles of our Nation and also protect the lives of those hostages and work toward a thing that we value very highly, and that's freedom.
"We're also concerned recently, from Christmas Day, with the unwarranted invasion by the Soviet Union of the small, relatively defenseless, freedom-loving, deeply religious country of Afghanistan. We've tried to marshall support for political and economic action, not only in our own country but also from around the world, to prove to the Soviet Union that they cannot invade a country like this without suffering very serious adverse consequences. We've taken some powerful action, along with other nations, but we've done it in a peaceful fashion.
"We've not only kept peace for ourselves, but we've tried in the Mideast, for instance, to bring two people formerly filled with hatred--Egyptians and Israelis--to a spirit of friendship and cooperation and a mutual search for accommodation, with open borders and trade and tourism and exchange of their leaders. Week before last--last week, as a matter of fact--President Sadat was here meeting with me, as you know, and this week Prime Minister Begin was here meeting with me. And it is in our interest to have peace in the Middle East.
"But the point is, we can use the power and the prestige and the strength of our Nation as a superpower to feed other people, to keep our own people strong, to keep peace on Earth, to protect principles that are dear to all human beings, and to bring peace to others.
"I know you face the next few years with a concern about the problems, but this is not anything new. Those, when I was a child, who faced the 1930's saw coming the worst depression this Nation has ever suffered. Those who were your age in 1940 were faced with the Second World War, when literally millions of people were killed in a brutal battle that lasted 4 years.
"The 1950's--we were faced then with a war in Korea and with the times that tried us. In 1960 racial disturbances tore our cities apart and separated the North from the South and blacks from whites, and we had extreme violence; 1970--the highly divisive Vietnam war that separated not only people in Vietnam but separated one American from another, as we search for a way to keep the peace and to repair the damage that had been done by that war, and then Watergate later on.
"These kinds of things have tested every generation of young people and the present problems are not as bad as any of those that I've outlined to you as we enter the year 1980, not as bad as '70, '60, '50, '40, '30.
"And I would like to point out one last thing. When our Nation has been under the most difficult circumstances, that's when our strength has been most apparent. When the American people are united and can see a challenge clearly, we have never failed to answer a difficult question, to solve a difficult problem, or to overcome an apparently insurmountable obstacle. Our country is so strong and so blessed that we ought to be on our knees thanking God for wht we have in this country.
"And there's one final blessing that I haven't mentioned strongly enough. some of you've seen actually or seen the pictures of the wall that separates East Berlin from West Berlin. You've seen boatloads of people leaving Vietnam and other parts in Indochina; you've seen people crammed, 10,000 in the Peruvian Embassy in recent days in Cuba--all trying to find one thing. Does anybody know what it is?"
The President: "Freedom, trying to find freedom. And the thing that makes our Nation strong is that we have that freedom. It's the freedom to differ; it's the freedom that comes with the emphasis placed on individuality; it's the right for us to use whatever talent we have as we see fit. It lets us accommodate change rapidly; it lets us roll with the punches and come up again to fight for an even greater future for our country.
"I'm grateful to you for coming here. I'm also grateful to you for the outcome of the public opinion poll that I read about Monday. [Laughter] Ten to one, you know, is pretty good. [Laughter] And I'm also grateful for the fact that I share a lot with you in my own past, when I was young, and I'm also grateful that as President I share a future to make the greatest nation on Earth even greater in the years ahead.
"Thank you very much. God bless all of you."
(Delegates Kenneth Guin of Alabama, Carol Noble of Nebraska, and Robert Sherrad, Jr., of North Carolina presented the President with a report prepared by 4-H members, a commemorative plate, and a T-shirt for Amy Carter)
President Ronald Reagan
President Accepts Honorary Chairmanship of Council
President Ronald Reagan has accepted an invitation of National 4-H Council to become Honorary Chairman of its Board of Trustees. He also has given permission for the presentation of the Presidential Trays in his name to six national winners selected from the achievement, leadership and citizenship awards program during National 4-H Congress. Every president, beginning with Calvin Coolidge, has accepted this invitation of Council. (from Spring 1981 National 4-H Council Courier)
Reagan Chats with 4-H'ers at Ag Day Festivities in 1983
Raymond McHenry, a 10 year old 4-H'er from Loudon County, Virginia, shakes the hand of President Reagan following the National Agriculture Day ceremonies in the lobby of the USDA Building on March 21, 1983. Raymond and his brother, Duncan, 11, attended the ceremony to show their Polled Hereford 4-H heifer to the President. Accompanying President Reagan is Secretary of Agriculture John Block, a former 4-H'er.
National Agriculture Day pays tribute to American farmers and to USDA employees for their part in contributing to the success of American agriculture.
National 4-H Board of Trustees Meet with the Honorary Chairman
Ronald Hamilton, Jamestown, California, upper right in photo, was among teenage volunteers and other youth honored by President Reagan at a White House ceremony in the Rose Garden during National Volunteer Week in 1985.
The President, in his remarks, said:
"Our American tradition of neighbor helping neighbor has always been one of our greatest strengths and most noble traditions. American ingenuity, coupled with organizational know-how, has provided the basis for innovative approaches to meeting the needs of our communities.
"The spirit of volunteerism and compassion for others is a vital part of our national character. Each year close to a hundred million Americans help their neighbors through voluntary service. Citizens from every walk of life volunteer their time, energy and resources to help those less fortunate than themselves. We can never fully measure the positive effects that each kind word or deed has upon this great and wonderful land of ours...
"And so I hail the spirit of compassionate patriotic enterprise that National Volunteer Week is meant to strengthen. I ask my fellow Americans to exercise their right and responsibility to take an active role in their neighborhoods, town, cities and their nation.
"I can only repeat what I have said before: volunteers make a difference. May God bless each and every one of you."
President Graciously Accepts 4-H Jacket in 1986
President Ronald Reagan proudly displays a 4-H jacket presented to him by Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico on behalf of the 1986 New Mexico delegation to National 4-H Conference.
Reagan Featured in 1986 Print Promotion Display Ad
President Reagan, as honorary chairman of National 4-H Council, appeared in a series of print public service announcements developed jointly by the Extension Service, USDA and National 4-H Council.
President George H. W. Bush
4-H Center Court at The White House
It was 4-H Day at the White House tennis courts as seven Maryland 4-H members, coached by tennis star Pam Shriver, demonstrated their talent to President and Mrs. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The 4-H'ers were part of the second annual Great American Workout on the South Lawn of the White House on May 1, 1991.
The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS), a partner in 4-H's health and fitness programs, and recipient of the 1990 Partner-in-4-H Award, sponsored the activities which kicked off May as National Fitness Month.
Dozens of celebrities joined the 4-H'ers and other youth to hear the PCPFS chairman Arnold Schwarzenegger speak on youth fitness.
"Our youth are this country's greatest asset and its future," Schwarzenegger said. "We must do all we can to see that they are physically fit through daily physical education classes, more parental involvement and innovative community programs.
"Surveys show that the fitness of American youngsters has not improved in the last decade and in many cases has deteriorated," Schwarzenegger continued. "Clearly, this is not acceptable. We must do all we can to reverse this trend."
Some of the celebrities on hand for the event included "Home Alone" star Macaulay Culkin, Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton, Olympic decathlete Bruce Jenner, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and golfer Lee Trevino.
All of the 4-H participants thought meeting the President and Schwarzenegger was exciting. (from Summer 1991 The Fifth Leaf National 4-H Council quarterly newsletter)
Bush Cites Tennessee 4-H'er as "Daily Point of Light"
President Bush recently named 4-H'er Jerry Martin of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, a recipient of his "Daily Point of Light" citation. Martin, 16, is an active guardian of the environment.
Martin has been involved in 4-H wildlife and forestry projects since he was 11 years old. He has taken the leadership in conservation projects aimed at improving and safeguarding the environment for people, wildlife and farm animals. Martin organized a campaign to create a bluebird habitat in his community, building and placing nesting boxes to encourage the threatened species. He also monitors water quality in the streams in his area. Martin has enlisted others in the cause of the environment by creating exhibits on environmental issues for fairs, schools and businesses in his community.
The "Daily Point of Light" recognition honors those who take action to combat society's problems and to urge all Amricans to take responsibility for service to others. (from Fall 1990 National 4-H Council Quarterly)
Jerry Martin's recognition is but one example; there have been many 4-H Daily Point of Light Awards recognized over the years.
The Daily Point of Light Award, created by President Bush in 1989 as part of his Inaugural Address invoking the vision of a "thousand points of light," honors individuals and volunteer groups around the country who are helping to meet critical needs in their communities and creating change every day. The award now has a bi-partisan presidential legacy for more than two decades.
President Bill Clinton
4-H and Prevention of the Crime Problem
In remarks to the community of Billings, Montana on May 31, 1995 in Alterowitz Gymnasium at Montana State University, President William J. Clinton said:
"...There were a lot of difficult and controversial issues that the Congress had to face in the last session. One of them was the crime bill, which split the country over the issue of gun control, I think largely because of the rhetoric as opposed to the reality. I supported and signed the crime bill that put another 100,000 police out in our country. It put police, I think, in some 40 communities here in Montana--already have received funds to hire more police officers here--perhaps more. It increased the application of capital punishment to about 60 new offenses. It provided for more funds for States that have to build prisons. It provided some funds for prevention programs to give young people in trouble something to say yes to as well as something to say no to. You know, if every kid in the inner cities in this country belonged to the 4-H, we wouldn't have much of a crime problem, but they don't have that option here, and a lot of you know that."
The following day, on June 1, 1995, in remarks in a Roundtable Discussion with Farmers and Agricultural Leaders in Broadview, Montana, Kelly Raths, a 4-H representative, expressed support for full funding of the agricultural extension program. President Clinton responded:
"When I was at Montana State yesterday, I said if every kid in America were in 4-H, we'd have about half of the problems we've got. I believe that."
Kelly Raths responded "That's right."
President George W. Bush
Bush Helps Kick-Off 4-H Centennial; Receives Partner in 4-H Award
On January 17, 2002, President George W. Bush and Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman joined 4-H members from Texas and the Metropolitan Washington area to officially inaugurate 4-H's 100-year anniversary at a White House meeting.
"As a former member of 4-H, I know first-hand the value of this outstanding youth development program," said Veneman. "For 100 years, 4-H has provided unique opportunities for its members to learn, to grow and to work cooperatively in their communities and for their country. President Bush's continued support of 4-H and other youth development programs demonstrates this Administration's commitment to young people and to their education."
Joining the President and Secretary Veneman were 4-H members Jared Locklear of Cameron, Texas; William Jolley of Washington, DC; Molly Curran of Laytonsville, Maryland; Sarah Piechocinski of Montgomery Village, Maryland; Norman Huang of Rockville, Maryland; and Ashley Wells of Rockville, Maryland. During the meeting, 4-H presented President Bush with its highest honor, the "Partner in 4-H" award for his support of 4-H and the Texas Cooperative Extension Service while serving as Governor of Texas. President Bush was nominated by Gayle W. Hall, an associate professor from Texas A&M and a 4-H Youth Development Specialist, who was also in attendance.
USDA has also approved $1.4 million for the National 4-H Council, the national, private sector non-profit partner of 4-H and the Cooperative Extension System, to develop a cooperative development educational program. The program will provide individuals with an in-depth understanding of how agribusiness related cooperatives play an important role in increasing profitability and global competitiveness for ranchers, farmers, and entrepreneurs.
"4-H has been a leader in helping youth develop leadership and technical skills in all parts of the nation," said Veneman. "These funds will contribute to 4-H's important role in providing young people with quality education and development programs."
Since its inception in 1902, 4-H has been known throughout the country for its strong programs in helping rural youth develop leadership and technical skills. Today, 4-H has 6.8 million members who are participating in such projects as the Citizenship and Civic Education Program, Communications and Expressive Arts Program, Consumer and Family Sciences, Environmental Education and Earth Sciences, Healthy Lifestyles Education, Personal Development and Leadership, Plants and Animals, and Science and Technology. (from USDA Newsroom January 18, 2002)
President Bush Presents Environmental Youth Awards
On April 22, 2004 - Earth Day - President Bush, in the East Garden of the White House, welcomed the award winners in the President's Environmental Youth Awards completion from the 10 Environmental Protection Agency regions from around the country. Two of the award winners were 4-H Clubs.
The President said: "Welcome to the East Garden. We're glad you're here. This is a perfect place to honor some of America's finest young stewards of the environment. By working hard to preserve our natural surroundings, you've made important contributions to your communities and to our nation... The award winners today span the entire country, from Barrackville, West Virginia to Shakopee, Minnesota, to Albuquerque, New Mexico. You've cleaned parks, you've restored wetlands and you've organized conservation projects. As volunteers, you've given your time and talents in many different ways, and together you're helping to achieve a great national goal: to protect and pass along the great natural beauty of our country.
"Showing concern for the environment is one way of showing your love for America. Americans are fortunate to be able to breathe clean air and enjoy the beautiful diverse landscapes of our vast continent. By getting your hands dirty and helping to clean up your communities you're putting your ideals into action and you're making America a better place. I hope you know that.
"As each of you have learned, good stewardship can be a lot of fun. Working outdoors is a chance to clear your mind, or to get exercise, or to be with your family and your friends. That's one of the reasons I like to go down to Crawford. I like to get outdoors. I like to clear my mind. I like to be with my family and my friends. And I like to work on our ranch to restore native grasses and to make our hardwood trees flourish.
"The other thing you're doing is you're setting an important example of service. I don't know if you know this or not, but this week is called National Volunteer Week. It's a time to recognize millions of citizens who are working hard to improve the communities in which they live... You've proven with your projects that many small acts taken together can add up to something big, improving the environment; while people who volunteer to love a neighbor just like they'd like to be loved themselves are part of doing small gestures, which makes America a better place. Your efforts are helping to ensure a cleaner world for future generations. I want to thank you for your hard work. I look forward to congratulating you as you come up to receive your awards."
Bush References 4-H during 2004 Re-Election Campaign
Several times during President Bush's re-election campaign speeches he made local references to 4-H. The following is an example:
In Wheeling, West Virginia on August 29, 2004, President Bush said, "Today when I landed, I met Nancy Weeks. Nancy works with the 4-H National Youth Development Program. She takes time out of her life to teach values to kids. I'm sure there's Scout leaders here... people working with kids. I know there's people here feeding the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless, loving those whose souls need love. See, the strength of this country is the hearts and souls of the American citizens. That's our strength. I'm running again to rally the armies of compassion, which are changing this country one heart and one soul at a time."
4-H'ers Showcase Projects During Youth Corps Picnic
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sixteen young people met President George W. Bush and talked with him about their 4-H projects showcased in action exhibits at an August 6, 2004 Republican Youth Corps Picnic at Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, New Hampshire.
As the first 4-H member to greet the President, Molly Hanlon demonstrated how to make fabric napkin angels. "I was surprised how easy it was talking to the President and how interested he was in my project," she said. "another thing that was really wonderful is that he went to all of the displays and projects, he didn't skip any."
After visiting with Molly, the President moved on to Amy Hanlon's rabbit display and took her sick bunny quiz. "It was fun making him take my quiz and he was a really good sport about it," Amy said.
Meggie and Paddy Bowling demonstrated spinning, while their brother Thomas presented President Bush with an elephant he'd made that morning using needle felting techniques. At the table featuring crafts projects, President Bush talked with Samantha Strebel, who demonstrated how to make envelopes, and Ashley Harris, who was painting garden gnomes. At a table focusing on health projects, Holly and Heather Weeks demonstrated how to take blood pressure and perform CPR. President Bush sat right down in the chair and asked Heather to take his blood pressure, later joking with the press corps that Heather had said he was in good health.
The President next visited the consumer and horticultural judging table coordinated by Chris Rice, followed by a display of quilts 4-H'ers had made for the ABC Quilt Project or for David's House, two organizations that donate handmade quilts to children facing major illnesses.
Lester Barthelemy demonstrated his skill at fixing leather saddles. Cacia and Morgan King had a display on 4-H Operation Military Kids and a shooting sports educational display. Clint Townson talked with President Bush about his sheep activities, focusing on feed and breed identification. Cori and Grace Magnusson shared their experiences creating robots.
In addition to the gift of the hand-made elephant, the President received a New Hampshire 4-H baseball cap from Chris Rice, a New Hampshire 4-H Making our Best Better T-shirt from Samantha Strebel, and a 4-H Liberty Bear from Clint Townson.
4-H volunteers Monica Hanlon, Susan Rice, Robin Weeks, Sue Strebel, Judy Cogger, Mike and Michele King, Lucy Rhodes, Brenda Barthelemy, Lisa Townson, Cheryl McCarthy, and Kris Magnusson helped with the showcase. Rockingham County 4-H Youth Development Educator Lynn Garland organized the event to show the diversity of interests youth pursue in the 4-H Youth Development Program of University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. (by Lynn Garland, Rockingham County 4-H Youth Development Educator)
President Bush Meets with the Texas 4-H Delegation
On July 28, 2008 President George W. Bush poses for a picture with members of the Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program in the East Room of the White House.
President Barack Obama
President Honors 4-H'er for Volunteer Service
Daniel Zimmerman, a member of the Original Wayne Small Paws 4-H Club in Butler County, Ohio, received the 2011 President Volunteer Service Award personally from President Barack Obama in April 2011.
President Meets With 4-H Conference Delegates
During the 2015 National 4-H Conference eight 4-H'ers were guests of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House on April 13 to share what their 4-H clubs are doing to tackle hunger in their communities. The group (l. to r.) are: Geneva Wright, Alaska; Gabrielle Parker, Maryland; Jacob Jensen, Utah; Kashawn Burke, Georgia; Kimberly Lopez, Idaho; Lorena Rivera, Idaho; Spencer Orr, Iowa and Andres Parra, Arizona. At the far right in the photo is Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. (photo by Pete Souza)
Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.
The 4-H Name and Emblem are protected by 18 USC 707