Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication


Date of this Version

June 2003


Published in The Journal of Agricultural Education, volume 44 (2003), pages 1-8. Used by permission.
The Journal of Agricultural Education (JAE) is a publication of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE). Its back issues are available online at


In order to serve rural and urban 4-H members, 4-H relies heavily on adult volunteer leaders. Dramatic rural-to-urban shifts in Nebraska's population base have resulted in 4-H becoming more heavily reliant on urban adult 4-H volunteer leaders than ever before. Assumptions about volunteer motivation, recognition, and perception of program quality should be challenged to determine if the old assumptions based on a past experience with predominately rural volunteers fit the new mix of 4-H volunteer leaders in Nebraska. The study reported here compared the motives of urban and rural 4-H volunteers and identified differences in recognition strategies by:

1. Classifying demographics of respondents;
2. Identifying preferred forms of recognition;
3. Assessing perceptions of program quality; and
4. Analyzing primary motivation of volunteers using statements.