These days, 4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, Health) touches the lives of nearly 100,000 Iowa youth. Of course, there are also millions of alumni - including yours truly. In fact, I'm a huge proponent of 4-H and am proud to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Iowa 4-H Foundation.
4-H is, without a doubt, the premier youth development organization in our state and it has a sizable presence in every other state, too. 4-H even has international reach. It's not just for farm kids or only about agriculture, a frustrating misconception.
4-H is for everyone and the breadth of the programming is truly eye opening and impactful.
According to the history books, the origins of 4-H can be traced to the late 1800's and early 1900's. Of course, Iowa played a big hand in that. There is a one-room schoolhouse in Clarion, the county seat of Wright County, where the 4-H emblem originated. Now one of the most recognizable logos in the world, that logo/emblem actually had very humble roots in rural north Iowa.
On a recent Saturday, I stopped by the site. The school building was not open, but I did stop to take a look at the plaque out front.
The plaque clearly has some age to it and is a little challenging to read. It would be nice if they could create an additional sign that is more legible.
In 2017, the school was moved to it's current location from a spot on the west side of town on Highway 3. It is now part of Clarion's Heartland Museum. The museum is only open by appointment during the winter, but I'm told that it has some regular hours during warmer months and is very nicely curated.
I think this bit of history is great for Iowa and I am delighted to see that the school is being well preserved. I will look forward to stopping by another time when the rest of the museum is open.