In 4-H, we believe in the power of young people. We see that every child has valuable strengths and real influence to improve the world around us. We are America’s largest youth development organization—empowering nearly six million young people across the U.S. with the skills to lead for a lifetime.
Talent is Everywhere, Opportunity is Not
In 4-H, we believe that opportunity should not be pre-determined by any person’s circumstance. Emanating from our purpose—inspiring the potential of ALL young people to thrive, no matter their circumstance.
Too many of America’s youth are lacking the opportunities that prepare them to lead in life and career. They are missing experiences that grow the life skills they need—like confidence, independence, resilience and compassion. Experiences where they have the freedom to learn by doing, grow from failure, express their ideas and use their influence to drive positive outcomes.
4-H provides kids across America with life-changing programs and skills that give them the confidence, training and mentorship they need to fulfill their potential. Not in the future. Now.
The 4-H Experience
For more than 100 years, 4-H has shown that the more access kids have to Positive Youth Development, the more they harness their talents, skills and potential to thrive in life. 4-H is equipped to help close the opportunity gap through its national reach and scale of positive youth development — programming and positive youth-adult relationships — by engaging young people anywhere, anytime. Reaching nearly six million youth across urban, suburban and rural communities, with or without internet access, 4-H provides hands-on experiences where they can learn by doing, grow from failure, express their ideas and use their influence to drive positive outcomes.
4-H is delivered by Cooperative Extension—a network of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides positive youth development experiences where young people learn by doing and leading. Kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship where they are given a sense of belonging and an opportunity to spark their potential with guidance from adult mentors.
4-H Reach and Scale
4-H’ers have reached the pinnacle of virtually every industry and sector, including true leaders such as Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Jennifer Nettles, Facebook executive and “News Feed” inventor Andrew Bosworth, former U.S. vice president Al Gore, singer Calista Clark, retired NBA player and business entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Olympic track medalist Elle Purrier St. Pierre, journalist Craig Melville and New York Governor Kathy Hochul, to name a few.
National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 4-H is the youth development program of our nation's Cooperative Extension System and USDA.