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Nebraska State Historical Society

4-H logo

I Pledge...

The three-leaf clover emblem of Boys' and Girls' Clubs was introduced around 1908. The leaves stood for head, heart, and hands. A fourth leaf was added in 1911. Originally for hustle, it was later changed to health.

4-H pins
4-H pins from the 1930s.
Courtesy: Alma Louzek Barth

The Nebraska Farmer

The Nebraska Farmer, August 27, 1927.
Vol.69 #35


By 1924 the use of "4-H Club" was adopted nationally, the name and emblem were patented, and a common base was established for club work around the country.

Quilt block
Quilt block made by Jan Selk Stehlik in 1948.
Courtesy: Jan Stehlik

1932 newspaper clipping with pattern for 4-H quilt block.

The 4-H motto and the 4-H Pledge were adopted nationally in 1927.

Motto: To Make the Best Better

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.
(In 1973 this pledge was updated to include "and my world.")

Members giving the 4-H pledge in 1943. In the 1960s, the word "club" was dropped and the organization became simply "4-H."
NSHS M134-19430824 SUB#8

The 4-H Creed for Members

  • 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, to plan, and to reason.
  • I believe in the training of my HEART for the nobleness it will give me to become kind, sympathetic, and true.
  • I believe in the training of my HANDS for the ability it will give me to be helpful, useful, and skillful.
  • 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.


4-H exhibit

4-H Takes Root
in Nebraska

The University

I Pledge...

Once a 4-H family;
Always a 4-H family

Club Work

Manuals, Songbooks,
Record books

Volunteer Leaders

Getting the Word Out

War Time

County Fair Time

State Fair


Club Weeks

National Congress
& Conference

State Camps

International Affairs

4-H Today

Centennial Celebration

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Last updated 6 March 2003

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