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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  • State 4-H Dog Obedience and Showmanship Show May 22, 2017
    The Monroe County 4-H Dog Project will be hosting the State 4-H Dog Show this summer.  It will be held August 18-20 in Tomah at the Tomah Recreational Park. Entries will be due on July 1st.  The show booklet and complete details is posted on the State 4-H Website at http://fyi.uwex.edu/wi4haganimalscience/state-4-h-dog-show/
  • Sheep Breeders Co-op Summer Field Day to be held July 8 May 16, 2017
    The 2017 Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Co-op Summer Field Day will be Saturday, July 8 at 2 pm.  It is hosted by the Troxel and Hildebrandt families at Troxel Columbias, which is located 6127 9th Avenue, Plainfield, WI (Waushara County).  They will share information on feeding, lambing, weaning, fall breeding, replacement selections, and equipment selections.  Yo […]
  • 2017 Lincoln County Fair Entry Process May 12, 2017
    2017 Fair Entry Process The 2017 Fair Exhibitor’s Handbook is available online at the Lincoln County Fair website (lincolncofair.com) by clicking on the Exhibitor tab. The handbook is in PDF format and can be printed off entirely or just the sections you are interested in.  The handbook is available to view at the UW-Extension Office […]
  • 2017 4-H Summer Camp Information May 11, 2017
    Still a few days left to register for this year’s  Summer Camps. Registrations are due Monday, May 15th for both Junior and Intermediate camp. Lincoln County will be camping with Taylor, Portage and Waupaca Counties.  Registration information is available below and included in the April/May 4-H newsletter.  Registrations for camp are due May 15th. Junior […] […]
  • Babysitting Training offered June 14th May 5, 2017
    Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – Community Services is offering a Babysitting Training on June 14th at the Tomahawk Library from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The cost is $20.  See the flyer below for more details.  Register by June 8th. Babysitting Training on June 14 2017
  • Upcoming Dairy Project Opportunities May 3, 2017
    Dairy Project members were sent a letter on May 3rd with information that we have been asked to distribute by the Jr. Dairy Committee about upcoming meetings and other information. A big thank you to the committee and advisors for all of their hard work!!! Potential Dairy Exhibitor Informational Meeting – Wednesday, May 24, 2017 […]
  • 2017 4-H Dairy Promotion Program May 2, 2017
    Presented by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Each 4-H club in Wisconsin is invited and encouraged to participate in the 2017 Dairy Promotion Program, presented by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB). Please read the information below very carefully to ensure that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to earn free dairy promotion merchandise! […] […]
  • 2017 Fill the Gazebo May 2, 2017
    Fill the Gazebo is a huge community-wide food drive, huge enough for donations to fill the gazebo at Normal Park in just three hours.  This year’s event will be held on Saturday, August 5th from 9 a.m. to Noon.  See the flyer below for more information about how you can get involved. 2017 Fill the […]
  • Tomahawk 4-H Project Discovery Day a Success May 2, 2017
    Sixteen youth from throughout Lincoln County were at the Tomahawk Middle School on Saturday, April 22, 2017 where they participated in a variety of 4-H project sessions as part of Project Discovery Day. Youth participated in session on topics such as painting a fish family, mod podge, jewelry making, paper quilling, exploring science through making […]
  • 2017 4-H Drama, Lip Sync and Music Festival Results May 2, 2017
    Lincoln County 4-H’ers shared their dramatic and musical talents on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Tomahawk School Auditorium for this year’s Lincoln County 4-H Drama, Lip Sync and Music Festival.  Martie Pahris, along with Dan and Jenny Marzu served as judges for this year’s event.  The festival was planned and coordinated by the Hi-Lo’s […]

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