Historically, the collaborative efforts between rural teachers and 4-H have provided enhanced opportunities for youth that would not have been otherwise possible. As resources continue to diminish in rural communities, this collaboration is valuable to both schools and the 4-H organization. Currently rural schools are concentrating on the increased demand for academic accountability through performance testing and other evaluation instruments. This trend has resulted in less time for the elective outlets that have traditionally been an important part of school. At a time when 4-H could help fill an important gap in rural communities, changes within the organization have left some volunteers feeling overwhelmed. This article offers a theoretical framework for understanding the feelings and values of rural 4-H volunteers during a period of dramatic organizational change.

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