Green four-leaf clover with white H's on each leaf in center, red text above and below, white background.
4-H is an organization for school-age youth. Members can compete in project areas including agriculture, livestock, science, health, and art and participate in community clubs, afterschool programs, and camps. Adults mentor 4-H members in leadership, project areas, and community participation. The organization began taking shape in the 1890s as youth clubs for hands-on learning focused on the environment began forming throughout rural areas of the United States. In 1902 in Ohio and Minnesota, the youth clubs became more organized and this is considered the official start of 4-H, although they weren’t called 4-H clubs until 1912. O.H. Benson of Iowa designed a three-leaf clover for area clubs in 1907 with three Hs standing for head, heart, and hands. In 1911 a fourth leaf and fourth H, representing health, was added. It became the official emblem in 1924. The Cooperative Extension System was created 1914 and began to oversee the youth program, taking the clubs nationwide.