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Louisiana 4-H documentary to air March 12

Louisiana’s Lucky Clover: A Century of 4-H, a half-hour TV documentary, will be broadcast for the first time on Louisiana Public Broadcasting and its affiliate stations on March 12 at 7:40 p.m.

Produced by the LSU AgCenter, the documentary tracks the formation and development of this youth organization from the first “corn club” in Avoyelles Parish in 1908 to today’s vast network of clubs and projects across the state that involved about 225,000 young people in 2007, according to Paul Coreil, vice chancellor and director of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service.

“4-H is the largest youth organization in the country,” Coreil said. “And Louisiana was one of the first states to recognize the potential.”

The documentary uses rare photographs and film footage to guide viewers through the history, which includes many stories people today may not realize, said Mark Tassin, director of the LSU AgCenter 4-H and youth development program.

For example, during World War II young club members raised $3.5 million in war bonds, enough for the military to build a cargo ship, or Liberty ship as they were called. The ship was named the “Floyd W. Spencer” in memory of a popular Louisiana 4-H agent and former LSU football player, Tassin said.

This documentary includes clips from interviews with more than 30 people, said Randy LaBauve, LSU AgCenter communications specialist and the documentary’s producer. Among those featured are Lt. General Russel Honoré, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden and Leonard Knapp Jr., grandson of Seaman Knapp, one of the founders of the nationwide Cooperative Extension Service.

“The club’s symbol, the four-leaf clover, has proven to be the perfect representation of the young people, leaders, volunteers and agents who have, indeed, brought good luck and good fortune to Louisiana,” Coreil said.

LaBauve will also be making arrangements for the documentary to air on other Louisiana stations during the course of the year. DVD copies of the documentary will be made available for sale later this year with the opening of the 4-H Museum in Mansura, La., which is in Avoyelles Parish. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Louisiana 4-H Foundation, Coreil said.

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