The following is a condensed history of what is probably Jamaica’s most prolific youth organisation, the Jamaica 4-H Clubs. It is hoped that this will assist you the visitor to the website understand the inception and achievements of this August organisation which is now in its 77th year. This revised extract was adapted and revised from The History and Philosophy of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs by late 4-H stalwart Harold E. Folkes.
The genesis of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs is strongly linked to that of its parent body, the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) as it was during the JAS’ era of growth and development, that this baby was born. That was over 78 years ago.
Today, the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, which now has over 100,000 members, is a force to be reckoned with, as it is highly considered as the leading youth organisation in the island.
The JAS in the 1940’s declared as its major objective the training of farmers in good farming techniques. In its efforts to achieve this, a staff comprising of agricultural instructors and supervisors was created, which would become responsible for training and encouraging farmers to adopt new, improved and modern techniques and skills in various farming practices.
This however, would be an uphill task. In most cases, new ideas were not readily accepted and old habits died hard. Against this background, pioneer instructor, O.P. Martin created the idea of branch nurseries or “Juvenile Branches”.