History of 4-H Newfoundland

The development of the 4-H program in Newfoundland began in 1937 with Junior Garden Clubs, which was organized by the Department of Agriculture. In 1945, these became known as Rural Youth Clubs when the Divisions of Agriculture and Adult Education co-operated to help meet the growing need for a youth program. However, the emphasis shifted to the importance of and need for local leadership. Although the name 4-H was adopted by some groups, it was not until late 1951 that 4-H clubs were officially organized as such under the joint sponsorship of the participation. In 1959, the Division of Adult Education was divided, with the 4-H program being the responsibility of the Division of Community Leadership Development, Department of Education.


The Division of Community Leadership Development, responsible for the implementation of the 4-H program, remained in the Department of Education until 1969 when it was transferred to the Department of Community and Social Development. This transfer was short lived. In 1970, the divisional title of Community Leadership Development and the 4-H program was transferred to the Department of Education and absorbed into the Division of Physical Education and Youth. The 4-H program remained there until the restructuring of government took place in the fall of 1972. At that time, the Department of Rehabilitation and Recreation was created and the 4-H program was again transferred, this time to a new Department and 4-H was integrated into the Youth Services Division. 4-H has remained within the Youth Services Division and was transferred to the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Culture April 1, 1979. However, in July, 1980, some government departments were restructured and the Department of Culture, Recreation and Youth was created which included the Youth Services Division. In May, 1989, Youth Services Division was transferred to the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs. It remained there for two years.

During the early changes and transfers, the 4-H Provincial Council was organized on January 26, 1974. It is comprised of adult volunteer 4-H leaders who represent 4-H District Councils, who in turn represent the local 4-H clubs. During the first two years of its organization, the 4-H Provincial Council served as an advisory body for the 4-H program. Today it operates in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources to ensure that the 4-H program continues to grow and develop
according to extension education principles.