UACES Facebook Arkansas 4-H clubs celebrate National 4-H Week
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Arkansas 4-H clubs celebrate National 4-H Week

Oct. 3, 2023

By Rebekah Hall
U of A System Division of Agriculture 

Fast Facts:

  • Oct. 1-7 is National 4-H Week, theme is “I Heart 4-H”
  • 4-H is largest youth organization in Arkansas, nation
  • 4-H programming focuses on STEM, healthy living, civic engagement and leadership

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(Newsrooms: with file art of 4-H member activities)

LITTLE ROCK — On Oct. 1, the green and white 4-H flag was raised at the U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington, D.C., where it will fly through Oct. 7 to celebrate National 4-H Week. In Arkansas, 4-H members, volunteers, leaders and staff are highlighting the program’s impact on youth in all 75 of the state’s counties.

Arkansas 4-H members at the Arkansas State Capitol
FROM AROUND THE STATE — As the nation’s largest youth development organization, 4-H has more than 6 million members. It’s also the largest youth organization in Arkansas, with more than 11,000 members and 600 4-H clubs. (Division of Agriculture photo.)

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack proclaimed Oct. 1-7 as National 4-H Week on Sept. 28. As the nation’s largest youth development organization, 4-H has more than 6 million members. It’s also the largest youth organization in Arkansas, with more than 11,000 members and 600 4-H clubs. The 2023 theme of National 4-H Week is “I Heart 4-H,” which “reminds us that every child has valuable strengths and real influence to improve the world around us,” according to Vilsack’s proclamation.

Debbie Nistler, assistant vice president-extension for 4-H and youth for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said 4-H Week aims to encourage families to participate in the organization.

“National 4-H Week is a great opportunity to promote 4-H during a time when youth and their families are deciding what activities they would like to engage in during the year,” Nistler said. “We want 4-H to be an attractive option.”

Nationally, 4-H’s mandates are STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — healthy living, civic engagement and leadership, Nistler said.

“These mandates lead our work in areas that help grow the individual and connect them to their futures and their communities,” Nistler said. “The essential elements of 4-H are belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. These elements help guide how youth engage and provide an intentional path to grow skills and competencies as they engage in 4-H.”

To celebrate the week, Arkansas 4-H’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages will be highlighting different 4-H programs, including 4-H Yoga and Tech Changemakers, and encouraging followers to wear 4-H’s signature green color and share how they love 4-H. Ashley Dingman, extension program associate for 4-H youth development, said she encourages 4-H supporters to tag Arkansas 4-H in their social media posts using #AR4H and #IHeart4H.

Nistler said 4-H is an important program for Arkansas youth because it helps cultivate skills and passions in many different fields, all of which create brighter futures.

“4-H provides a unique opportunity for youth to find their spark,” she said. “A certain project or passion may lead to a future career. That may be an animal science project, but more youth now engage in projects related to STEM, healthy living, leadership, natural resources, and even space through NASA programs.”

To learn more about Arkansas 4-H, its programs and scholarship opportunities, visit the organization’s website at or follow on social media.

4-H is a youth development program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the Division of Agriculture. The program teaches participants life skills through the “learn by doing” model. Program participants gain knowledge through non-formal, science-based, experiential education activities.

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.  

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact:
Rebekah Hall