Primary Source: 4-H Club Promotional Materials

During World War II, 4-H Clubs and the Extension Service worked with communities to spread awareness about and help stimulate food growth and preservation. The following is primary source that promotes the 4-H program and food conservation.


The men of our fighting forces are giving all of their strength and vitality to defend the freedom and continued existence of this country. Those of us who remain here at home must do our fighting on the "home front" and it is our job to see that our soldiers, sailors and aviators have all the necessary and adequate supplies of food, clothing and ammunition needed to wage a successful and victorious war.

Here in North Carolina there are about 500,000 boys and girls of 4-H club age who, with the proper guidance and direction, could exert a tremendous influence and render a valuable service to the Nation in this war emergency. It is our duty as an Extension organization to direct as many of these rural boys and girls as possible towards the production and the conservation of food. Our goal for this year should be not less than 150,000 members in the 4-H clubs, with each member conducting a food production or a food conservation project.

The goal for the club members of a given county this year should be at least the production of enough food by those members to feed all the men leaving that county for the armed services.

To meet this challenge, each Extension worker must assume his share of the job. The program needs to be so coordinated and organized as to use every hour of our time in the most efficient and valuable way.

J. O. Shaub
Director of Extension

What will mobilization mean

The guiding of our present membership, and as many other boys and girls as is possible, in selecting and conducting at least one food production or conservation project. It will mean an all-out mobilization of rural youth for Victory. A week for focusing attention upon the activities of the 4-H Club and giving prestige and publicity to its wartime club programs.

Why mobilize

In approximately 500,000 farm youth in North Carolina is a vast resource of power and energy. While boys and girls can do much to help win the war through individual action, their efforts, if properly organized and directed in groups such as the 4-H Club, can make a major contribution to the war effort. The 4-H pledge is an all-out promise of the club member for clearer thinking, greater loyalty, larger service, and better living for club, community and country.

How can the job be done

Every extension agent will be expected to do his share of the club work. The home demonstration agent, the county agent, the assistant agent -- all will have to conduct club meetings. This may mean a division of work, with each agent having certain responsibilities, and it will certainly mean a coordinated and organized program with every hour of time used in the most efficient way possible. There will need to be a complete mobilization of the 4-H membership. Leaders must be selected, trained and used. Essential subject matter information and material and necessary supervision for conducting project activities must be provided.

To guide the agent in the furtherance of this program the following plan is recommended. Remember this is to be an all-out program for Victory, and our job as an extension organization is to enlist and guide as many young people as is possible in producing and conserving food, in promoting special war activities, and in maintaining a high spirit of moral[s] and a high standard of 4-H Club work.

Plans for 4-H mobilization for Victory

The objective

The production and/or conservation of the maximum amount of food by 4-H Club members; at least the equivalent of the amount required for the men in the armed forces from the county.

The goal

The enlistment of 150,000 boys and girls, or 50% of the eligible youth for membership in 4-H Club work in each county, in production or conservation projects.

Things to do before mobilization

  1. Be sure that all extension workers have a thorough understanding of the program. All extension workers within each county should meet together and consider plans for the job to be done and for its execution.
  2. Ask each old member to secure a new member.
  3. Acquaint the following people with the plans and reasons for mobilization:
    1. Members of the 4-H County Council.
    2. Officers of the local clubs.
    3. School people -- arrange for definite schedule at Chapel periodTime set aside during the school day for assembly, originally for religious services. or other desirable time.
    4. Neighborhood leaders.
    5. Members of civic, women's, home demonstration, and other clubs; ministers; etc.
    6. The general public.

Mobilization work

  1. Explain the purposes of 4-H mobilization at a special meeting of each club, preferably at a Chapel period when all students of club age may attend.
  2. Make a patriotic appeal to all boys and girls of club age and explain to them how they can help bring Victory through the production and conservation of food, feed and fiber.
  3. Explain in detail the projects recommended. Request that the boys and girls return these forms to a teacher or leader appointed as sponsor for the club, who will forward them to the agent's office.

Follow-up work

  1. Immediately following the enlistment of members, assemble and group the names of members according to neighborhoods, using the neighborhood map as a guide.
  2. Select neighborhood 4-H leaders. See page 9, Section IV.
  4. Prepare and assemble subject matter material in suitable form for projects selected and present it to the club members at the next regular meeting. Copies of the same information should be given to neighborhood 4-H leaders. Suitable material has been promised by subject matter specialists.
  5. Acquaint the neighborhood leader with the program, its importance, and the opportunity it presents the neighborhood leader for rendering a service. See page 10, Section V.


Credit text

North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service, "4-H Mobilization for Victory, 6–14, 1943" (1943), cover letter and pp. 1–2. Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries.