For more than 100 years, 4‑H has been the nation’s leading youth organization to welcome young people of all beliefs and backgrounds, giving youth voice to express who they are and how they make their lives and communities better. These values are an inherent part of the 4‑H program since our founding when too often the perspectives and potential of young people were overlooked in improving their communities. As a result, a powerful program called 4‑H was created and has grown to empower nearly six million kids across the country today willing to take on societal issues such as addressing community health inequities, advancing innovations in technology, engaging in civil discourse and advocating for equity and inclusion for all.
Our alumni often share that the life lessons, skills, and values they gained from their 4‑H experience still motivate and influence what they do today. You will frequently hear words like confidence, character, acceptance, leadership, resilience and compassion. These very same traits are the ones we see exhibited every day from 30,000 trained youth development professionals and 500,000 volunteers nationwide who believe unequivocally in the value of every young person. These individuals are anchors of their community welcoming youth with open arms, open minds and open hearts with the goal of inspiring young people to succeed in all aspects of their lives and see their greatest success as the impact they leave on others.
4-H welcomes young people of all beliefs and backgrounds, empowering them with skills to lead for a lifetime. The 4-H Youth Development Program uses a learn-by-doing approach to enable youth to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need to become competent, caring and contributing citizens of the world. This is accomplished by using the knowledge and resources of caring adults. The goals of the 4-H Youth Development Program are to:
Provide informal, educational programs for youth in grades K–13 (one year out of high school)
Encourage responsibility, community awareness and character development in youth
Strengthen skills for adults working with youth
Improve community partnerships and collaborations
Youth can join 4-H and take part in 4-H clubs, special interest programs, educational programs, camps, animal and other shows and public speaking program. All 4-H clubs are led by screened, trained 4-H adult volunteers.