4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.
A world in which youth and adults learn, grow and work together as catalysts for positive change.
Who We Are
4-H prepares young people to step up to the challenges in their community and the world. Using research-based programming around positive youth development, 4-H youth get the hands-on real world experience they need to become leaders.
Through America’s 109 land-grant universities and its Cooperative Extension System, 4-H reaches every corner of our nation—from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. With a network of more than 6 million youth, 540,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 60 million alumni, 4-H helps shape youth to move our country and the world forward in ways that no other youth organization can.
The 4-H movement began around the start of the 20th Century and revolutionized how science was taught outside the classroom — through practical, hands-on programs and experiences. 4-H was also one of the first organizations in America that taught young people leadership skills and how to positively impact their communities.
Research shows that 4-H plays a special and vital role in the lives of young people. 4-H youth achieve higher marks in school, are more likely to attend college and contribute to their communities at higher rates than their peers. These findings are part of a landmark study from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development (PYD).
4-H leadership builds on the strength of state and local youth development professionals from our 109 land-grant universities and its Cooperative Extension System in partnership with 4-H National Headquarters at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The valuable work of 4-H is enhanced by partners from leading corporations, foundations, and organizations that have made a commitment to America’s youth. Together we are developing cutting-edge opportunities and providing high-quality experiences for youth to learn practical, real-world skills that will prepare them for the challenges of today and tomorrow.