The Programa Interamericano para la Juventud Rural (Inter-American Rural Youth Program) and Rural Modernization in Cold War Latin America

Jan 01, 2011 | by
  • Description

This article explores the 4-H agricultural youth clubs that flourished in Latin America between 1960 and 1975. It places those clubs within the broader context of the internationalization of American agricultural extension and economic hegemony in the Global South during the decades following World War II. In the three decades before World War II, fifteen million rural American youth and several hundred thousand adult volunteers participated in 4-H agricultural and homemaking clubs administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Organized by experts from land grant colleges and the USDA and partially funded by agricultural and financial firms, 4-H clubs educated rural youth on a host of topics: the labor and technology of "modern" agricultural and home making, the appropriate divisions of gendered labor in "farm families," the cultivation of healthy bodies, and the meanings of "citizenship" in democratic societies. After World War II, the USDA developed similar clubs around the globe in coordination with the United States military and NGOs like the 4-H Foundation and Nelson A. Rockefeller's American International Association for Economic and Social Development (AIA). T