4-H Youth Development

Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development is a program of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension in partnership with local, state and federal government in each Wisconsin county.

4-H youth development programs have been and continue to be delivered in a variety of ways. From neighborhood and community 4-H clubs to after school programs, 4-H youth development provides young people a chance to learn new skills, gain self-confidence and contribute to their communities. Opportunities are created to provide youth real world experiences that teach leadership and citizenship skills.

4-H youth development programs provide 4 essential elements for young people:

  • Belonging (Heart of 4-H) – Youth need to know they are cared about by others and feel a sense of connection to others in the group.  This is done through 4-H by the development of a Positive relationship with a caring adult, providing an inclusive and safe environment.
  • Mastery (Hands of 4-H) – Youth need to feel and believe they are capable and experience success at solving problems and meeting challenges to develop their self-confidence.  By exploring 4-H projects and activities, youth master skills to make positive career and life choices.
  • Independence (Head of 4-H) – Youth need to know that they are able to influence people and events through decision-making and actions.  By exercising independence through 4-H leadership opportunities, youth mature in self-discipline and responsibility and learn to better understand themselves.
  • Generosity (Health of 4-H) – Youth need to feel their lives have meaning and purpose.  By exploring 4-H community service and citizenship activities, youth can connect to communities and learn to give back to others.

Research Shows 4-H Helps Young People Excel beyond Their Peers

For a decade, preeminent youth development scholar, Dr. Richard Lerner, and the team at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University have been working with faculty at land-grant universities to conduct “The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development”.  This is a longitudinal study that began in 2002, surveying more than 7,000 adolescents from diverse backgrounds across 44 U.S. States.

This in-depth, longitudinal study has discovered that the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that young people receive through their participation in 4-H plays a vital role in helping them achieve future life successes.  Highlights of the results include:

4-H youth make more healthy choices.  Young people in 4-H are:

  • 3.4 times more likely to delay sexual intercourse by Grade 12;
  • Shown to have had significantly lower drug, alcohol and cigarette use than their peers; and
  • 2.3 times more likely to exercise and be physically active.

4-H’ers excel in school and the sciencesYoung people in 4-H:

  • Report better grades, higher levels of academic competence, and an elevated level of engagement at school;
  • Are nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college; and
  • Are more likely to pursue future courses or a career in science, engineering, or computer technology.

This study also finds that girls in 4-H are more than twice as likely to participate in science, engineering, or computer technology programs than their peers.

Young people in 4-H are committed to improving their communities.  A notable trend of the study indicates that 4-H youth are 3.4 times more likely to actively contribute to their communities when compared with youth who do not participate in 4-H.

To learn more about “The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development”, visit www.4-H.org/about/youth-development-research

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  • Lincoln County 4-H Dog Review Meeting on August 28th August 18, 2017
    The 4-H Dog Project Committee will be holding a meeting for all 4-H dog project members, their parents/guardians and leaders to review this year’s dog trainings and the Fair Dog Show.  Right after the show is a great time to think about what went well and ideas/suggestions for next year.  Please try to attend the […]
  • Lincoln County Fair Association Announces Review Meeting Date August 15, 2017
    The Lincoln County Fair Association will be holding their Fair Review Meeting on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 7 p.m. in the Lower Level Conference Room 156 of the Lincoln County Service Center (801 N. Sales Street in Merrill).  We encourage exhibitors, department workers, and anyone else who has comments or suggestions for the 2018 […]
  • 4-H Promotion at the 2017 Lincoln County Fair August 14, 2017
    Thank you to Pat Chieves, Yvette Chieves, Fern Langhoff, Becky Kludy, and Bailey Iwen for promoting 4-H during this year’s Lincoln County Fair.  Pat and Yvette manned a 4-H Informational booth located in the Bierman Expo Hall.  While Becky, Fern and Bailey manned the 4-H Project Place Tent located at the west end of the […]
  • 4-H Booth at Merrill Community Night Out August 14, 2017
    During the recent Merrill Community Night Out held on August 8th, Becky Kludy, Bailey Iwen and Debbie Moellendorf set up a booth with 4-H information.  Bailey and Becky led youth visitors to the booth in a project of making a paper bag puppet with about 50 youth participating in this activity. Visitors to the booth […]
  • Looking for 4-H After School Club Coordinator August 11, 2017
    We are currently seeking an individual to serve as the coordinator for our six 4-H After School Clubs in Lincoln County from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. 4-H After School Club Coordinator – Lincoln County (October 2017 – September 2018) Position Description) Interested individuals should submit a cover letter and resume by Monday, […]
  • 2017 WI 4-H ARTS CAMP…It’s the Place to BE to Explore Your Creativity! August 11, 2017
    Are you interested in the “ARTS”?  Are you going into grades 6, 7 or 8?  Do you want the opportunity to explore different types of art, while making new friends and developing new skills?  If you answered yes to any of those questions, then please plan on joining us for the 2017 WI 4-H Arts Camp, […]
  • 2017 Volunteer e-Forum and Annual Club and Group Training August 11, 2017
    You’re invited to the 2017 National 4-H Volunteer e-Forum.  One adult leader is required to attend at least one of these training as this series will serve as the Annual Club and Group Training.  All sessions will be held at the Lincoln County Service Center in Lower Level Conference Room 156.  Please contact Cherie at […]
  • Adult and Youth Leaders – Mark Your Calendars for Fall Forum and Hall of Fame Celebration August 11, 2017
    Don’t miss out on a great statewide workshop for youth and adult leaders!!! “4-H Grows True Leaders!” • “Belonging Starts With YOU!” • “Belonging Grows With YOU!” • “Belonging….YOU Make a Difference” What: Fall Forum and Hall of Fame Celebration When: November 3-5, 2017 (starting with registration at 6:00 p.m. Friday, November 3 and ending […]
  • Fall 4-H Shooting Sports Adult Certification August 11, 2017
    The fall certification workshop for adult volunteers is scheduled for September 15/16, 2017 for Wood County, Marshfield, WI. Volunteers wishing to become a shooting sport leader or who want to add a certification may attend this certification workshop. Interested volunteers will need to contact their local UW-Extension 4-H office for details on becoming a sh […]
  • 4-H AVIAN QUIZ BOWL July 13, 2017
    The Avian Quiz Bowl will consist of three- or four-member teams. Teams will be quizzed on various aspects of poultry and eggs from hatching to management to cooking, competing against other teams in a game show format.  There will be both a junior (under 14 yr) and senior (14-18 yr) division. Senior division winners will […]

If you have any questions regarding 4-H Youth Development in Lincoln County, please contact:

Deborah (Debbie) Moellendorf, Educator
U.W. Extension Lincoln County
801 N. Sales Street, Suite 101
Merrill, WI 54452
Phone – 715-539-1072
FAX – 715-539-8323
Email: deborah.moellendorf@ces.uwex.edu