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Guy L. Noble | 1947

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

A founding father of the National 4-H Congress and a tireless champion of getting business and government support for 4-H for over 40 years.

1888-1967 | Artist: Othmar J. Hoffler (1893-1954)

Impact & Accomplishments

In 1919, Guy Noble proposed that his employer, Armour Packing Company, offer trips to the International Live Stock Exposition in Chicago, as prizes for state boys and girls club members.

Noble organized tours for the youth, and the program was a great success. Two years later, he attended the first unofficial meeting of the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work, thereafter taking a leave of absence from his job in order to serve as the organization’s first executive secretary. Noble negotiated office and exhibition space for what would become the National 4-H Congress at the Union Stock Yards, and he promoted legislation to fund 4-H and extension programs. Guy Noble continued his work on the National Committee until his retirement in 1958.

Did You Know?

“A boyhood in State Center, Iowa, a degree in dairy husbandry at Iowa State College, and interims of work on railroads, Iowa farms, a Colorado ranch, and Washington and Alberta wheat fields” were the prelude to Noble’s work at Armour, according to Franklin M. Reck in his official history “The 4-H Story.”

The first 4-H Dairy Conference materialized in 1954 after Guy C. Noble proposed to the International Dairy Show Committee that a program should be specifically designed for 4-H youth involved in dairy achievement projects. Tours of dairy processing plants, the Chicago Stockyards, numerous exhibits and the International Dairy Show broadened delegates’ knowledge. The early days even featured a Dairy Show Parade down the Windy City’s famous State Street.

For the 10's of thousands who were fortunate enough to attend one or more of the 70+ 4-H Congresses held in Chicago it was, indeed, an experience of a lifetime. For the delegates it was awe-inspiring - new friends, new experiences, perhaps a time to think in ways they had never thought before. For the adults - the Extension leaders, representatives of donor companies, speakers and entertainers, even the media, it was inspiring - a week that often regenerated you to do your job better, lead your life more fully.

One of the grandest events in all club work - the annual banquet of the National 4-H Club Congress. This shows the 1926 banquet. From The 4-H Story by Hinshaw

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