It’s harvest time around the area. For those of us who have grown up in this community, seeing combines on the road this time of year is a normal occurrence. Another common occurrence in many households is participating in 4-H. What some may not know, is the 4-H program was started by a man born here in Champaign County.
Born in 1868, A.B. Graham was raised in a small rural farm until it was destroyed by fire. The family moved right over the county line to Lena, Ohio where Graham graduated before receiving his teaching certificate. Graham began his teaching career in 1868 back in Champaign County, with a particular enthusiasm for teaching young people about agriculture. On January 1902 Graham held the first meeting of the boys and girls club in Springfield. These meetings were the precursor to what is now the 4-H program. In 1905, Graham became the first superintendent of agriculture extension at the Ohio State University. His work with the agriculture extension in Ohio and beyond were instrumental in helping to make the 4-H club nationally recognized. Today the 4-H club has over 6 million members. Thanks to A.B Graham, students have an opportunity to learn about not only agriculture but also a variety of other valuable skills. We are thankful for the lasting legacy A.B Graham has left on our entire community.