Research-driven programming developed by our nation’s Cooperative Extension System.

High Quality Positive Youth Development Programs

4-H has a long history of helping youth “learn by doing”. When youth are thoughtfully guided through the do-reflect-apply process, there is tremendous potential for positive youth development and growth.  4-H focuses on teaching new topics and life skills development. Trained 4-H volunteers facilitate the learning that occurs in non formal settings like 4-H club meetings and activities.  The 4-H result is a fun fulfilling learning experience.

Programs of Distinction

Programs of Distinction showcase and celebrate the scholarly standards and best practices in 4-H high quality positive youth development in local 4-H programs from across the nation. Programs pass a rigorous peer review process and meet evaluation criteria to receive this distinction. Visit the USDA for a complete listing of Programs of Distinction, and information including submission and evaluation guidelines.

Youth Scientists Impacting the Future

Robotics. Aerospace. Alternative energy. Engineering. Environmental science. Agri-science. Veterinary science. These are just a few of the programs that 4-H youth participate in everyday and learn new skills that make a difference in our communities. 4-H’ers are using aquaculture to raise fresh vegetables and seafood. 4-H youth are winning international rocketry competitions and using GIS technology to map a section of the Appalachian Trail. Our hands-on programs empower youth and provide them with opportunities to grow, learn, and become confident kids.

Did you know?

Hands-on interactive projects get more students interested in science at an early age compared to traditional lectures and textbooks. Learn three ways to attract youth to STEM and STEM education – read more.


Empowered Citizens Engaged in Community Leadership

4-H Citizenship programs empower young people to be well-informed citizens who are actively engaged in their communities and the world.

By providing them with opportunities to connect to their communities and adult leaders, youth gain a clear understanding of their role in civic affairs and are able to build their decision-making ability.

This solid foundation helps youth understand and acquire the skills that will allow them to become astute leaders for the 21st Century.

Healthy Living

4-H Healthy Living Programs

4-H healthy living programs help 4-H youth learn how to lead lives that balance physical, mental, and emotional health. 4-H healthy living programs are available through local 4-H clubs and through grant-funded programs. Focus areas for 4-H healthy living programs include nutrition, childhood obesity, drug awareness, bullying prevention, health and fitness, safety, stress management, and food science.

4-H healthy living programs and enrollment are managed by local offices – find a local 4-H office near you. For questions regarding 4-H healthy living programs, please contact your local 4-H office. Use our healthy events checklist to make your 4-H events healthy.