New book shows lifelong impact of 4-H through stories, images


COLLEGE STATION—Starting from humble roots in rural Texas more than a century ago, the Texas 4-H program has grown into one of the state’s premiere youth development organizations, with about 600,000 Texas youth enrolling annually as 4-H members or Clover Kids, said program administrators.

The Texas 4-H program is the youth development component of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, part of the Texas A&M University System. The importance of this organization toward youth development and producing future leaders has been memorialized in a new book published by the Texas A&M University Press.

The 236-page book, titled The Lifelong Impact of 4-H: Stories from Texas, includes 35 black-and-white photos and features more than 30 stories from families and individuals whose lives have been touched by 4-H during more than a century of Texas history.

“This interesting, surprising and informative book also demonstrates the value of the Texas 4-H organization as a ‘training ground’ for future leaders and professionals in other fields, including the NFL and U.S. Senate,” said Dr. Chris Boleman, director for Texas 4-H Youth Development at College Station and National 4-H Council board member who wrote the foreword for the book.          

The book was edited by Dr. Toby Lepley, assistant state 4-H leader for operations with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in College Station, which administers the Texas 4-H program, and Dr. Martha Couch, associate director for 4-H and youth emerita for AgriLife Extension and a National 4-H Hall of Fame inductee.

“People involved in 4-H and even those who weren’t in the program but were familiar with it will enjoy reading this book,” Lepley said. “These personal stories of learning and friendship within the context of rural Texas will allow those who read the book to find themselves somewhere in it.  It’s also a great history of the organization that is responsible for instilling the character and life skills young people need to become responsible citizens and successful adults.”

Available in cloth cover with a publication date of Oct. 21, the book is priced at $25 per copy and can be ordered by calling toll-free 1-800-826-8911. It will also be available from online and other well-known book retailers across the country.       

Information on this and other publications available through the Texas A&M University Press can be found at


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