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4-H Pledge, Motto, & Colors

Program Contact: Yakima County 4-H Program Coordinator
(509) 574-1600 •

The Big Picture

4-H spans the 106 Land Grant Universities across the United States and beyond, with programs throughout the world in 70 countries and counting.  Around 7 million youth participate in these programs.  YOU are a part of a global community of 4-Hers working together to better their communities and learn about the ways they can make a difference.

If you’re curious about the international impact of 4-H, there’s a project for that!  Check out 4-H Around the Globe, an intermediate level 4-H project that explores 4-H in Ghana, Kosovo, Nicaragua, and South Korea.

Four H icons - lightbulb for head, heart for heart, open palm for hands, and apple for health

4-H Traditions

4-H Pledge

I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking,
my HEART to greater loyalty,
my HANDS to larger service,
my HEALTH to better living,
for my club, my community, my country and my world.

4-H Motto

“To make the best better”

4-H Slogan

“Learn by Doing”

4-H Colors and their Meaning

Green is the most common color in nature and it represents life, youth, and growth.

White symbolizes the high aspirations and ideals of 4-H.

The 4-H Parents Pledge

I pledge my HEAD to give my child the information I can,
to help my child see things clearly and to make wise decisions.
I pledge my HEART to encourage and support my child
through success and disappointments.
I pledge my HANDS to help my child’s club;
if I cannot be a leader, I can help in many equally important ways.
I pledge my HEALTH to keep my child strong and well
for a better world through 4-H,
for my child’s club, our community, our country and our world.

The 4-H Creed

I believe in 4-H Club work for the opportunity it will give me to become a useful citizen.
I believe in the training of my HEAD for the power it will give me to think, plan and to reason.
I believe in the training of my HEART for the nobleness it will give me to be kind, sympathetic and true.
I believe in the training of my HANDS for the ability it will give me to be helpful, skillful, and useful.
I believe in the training of my HEALTH for the strength it will give me to enjoy life, to resist disease, and to work efficiently.
I believe in my country, my state, and my community and in my responsibility for their development. In all these things I believe, and am willing to dedicate my efforts to their fulfillment.

4-H “Holidays”

National 4-H Week – first full week in October starting on a Sunday

Check out the history of National 4-H Week at the National 4-H History Preservation Project!

Global 4-H Day – November 1st

Did You Know…?

  • 4-H began, though without its current name, in Iowa and Ohio in 1902 when schoolteachers connected with their state agricultural colleges to teach children the basics of home and farm management.
  • Groups that would eventually become 4-H clubs had spread to several states by 1912.
  • The first clover was introduced as a symbol for these land-grant agriculture clubs by O.H. Benson in 1908 and it included 3 H’s, which stood for Head, Heart, and Hands.  The fourth H, originally representing Hustle, was added in 1911 and the clover symbol was patented in 1924.  It was protected by Congress in 1939.
  • 4-H is older than the Cooperative Extension Service!  Cooperative Extension Service was formed by the Smith-Lever Act passed in 1914.
  • The 4-H Creed was originally created for Wyoming 4-H in 1918,
  • The first official 4-H Club charter was offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1922.
  • The 4-H Pledge and 4-H Motto were approved by state leaders meeting in Washington D.C. at the National 4-H Club Camp in 1927.  The Motto was proposed by Carrie Harrison, botanist in the Bureau of Plant Industry and approved by state leaders.  The Pledge was written by Otis Hall, the state leader in Kansas.  The original pledge reads:
    I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
    my heart to greater loyalty,
    my hands to larger service, and
    my health to better living,
    for my club, my community, and my country.
  • The very first official county 4-H agents were hired in 1928.
  • The National 4-H Club Foundation was organized in 1948.
  • The final line of the pledge was changed to “for my club, my community, my country, and my world” in 1973.”

Sources of these dates:  4-H History from Michigan 4-H and the National 4-H History Preservation Program’s page on the 4-H Motto, Creed, and Pledge.