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Our Story

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In the fall of 1971, 4-H State Leaders Dwight Palmer (WA) and Maurice Johnson (ID) were approached with an opportunity to implement a youth exchange program between 4-H youth and young people from Japan. That year, 179 delegates from the Labo Foundation in Japan came to stay with volunteer host families in Washington and Idaho.

In the four and a half decades that have followed, States’ 4-H has expanded its global programming to 31 countries across 6 continents. Nearly 60,000 youth have and families have been positively impacted by international exchange through States’ 4-H programs.

As the world has become smaller and once vast distances are now easily bridged by technology, the States’ 4-H mission is more relevant than ever. Our commitment to our mission is stronger than ever — to continue to empower today’s youth to be future global leaders equipped with respect, mutual understanding and the global perspectives and cross-cultural competencies needed to address global issues.

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