The investment of tax dollars means 4-H must distinguish itself from its youth-development peers. Such an argument can be developed by examining organizational research, the historical contributions and tradition of 4-H, and the contributions of the modern 4-H program. Although the context of 4-H has broadened beyond food production, it continues to contribute positively to the development of the U.S. economy. Extension's challenge is to prove 4-H's worth by demonstrating a clear return-on-investment to stakeholders. Doing so may be exactly what is required to justify the continuation of public funds.

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