4-H and Youth

Wisconsin 4-H and Community Youth Development programs are part of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension in partnership with local, state and federal government in each Wisconsin county.

4-H and Community 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, they provide 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 provides 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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  • 2018 Youth as Partners in Civic Leadership Conference August 15, 2018
    November 9-11, 2018 Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center Wisconsin Dells What is YPCL? The mission of the Youth as Partners in Civic Leadership Conference (YPCL) is to advance youth voice in Wisconsin by increasing the capacity for youth and adults to share civic leadership in local communities, schools and organizations. We advocate for a youth voice and […] […]
  • Lincoln County 4-H Award Nominees Needed August 15, 2018
    Friend of 4-H Award – As in the past, Lincoln County 4-H will recognize one or two community people (non 4-H leaders) who have helped 4-H in the past year(s). Any 4-H member, parent or leader may nominate a leader for the award. Past recipients were noted for special project workshops, providing space and support […]
  • Trips and Awards, Ambassadors, Scholarship and Camp Counselor Applications… August 15, 2018
    The Older Youth Resumes will be due November 1.  We chose to reduce the number of applications youth must prepare and submit throughout the year in hopes that we will get higher quality applications and more young people will apply!  We went to a resume (with cover letter) process to provide our 4-Hers with this […]
  • 2019 COORDINATORS NEEDED!! August 15, 2018
    The arrival of the new 4-H year means that we are in need of volunteers to coordinate county events/activities for the upcoming 2018-2019 year. Communications Contest – Usually held on a Saturday in mid-February. This includes the Speaking, Demonstrations, Illustrated Talks and Puppetry entries. Drama, Music and Lip Sync Festival – Usually held on a […]
  • Make A Difference Day! August 15, 2018
    Mark you calendars for…. Make A Difference Day! October 27, 2018 Though it may seem early, we are announcing this year’s Make A Difference Day date so people can mark their calendars.  The event will take place on Saturday morning, October 27th.  Volunteers are needed both inside and out.  If you are interested in helping […]
  • HAVE A PROJECT WORKSHOP! August 15, 2018
    Plan a project workshop during your regular club meeting (or at a different date).  Plan it far enough ahead that we can advertise it to other clubs.  We would be happy to include it in the 4-H Newsletter.  Most clubs don’t have leaders for every project in which their members are enrolled.  A countywide workshop […]
  • Adult and Youth Leaders – Mark Your Calendars for Fall Forum and Hall of Fame Celebration August 15, 2018
    Don’t miss out on a great statewide workshop for youth and adult leaders!!! Keynote Speaker: John-Paul Chaisson-Cárdenas, Iowa State 4-H Youth Development Program Leader What: Fall Forum and Hall of Fame Celebration When: November 2-4, 2018 (starting with registration at 6 p.m. Friday, November 2 and ending 11 a.m. November 4) Where: Green Lake Conference Ce […]
  • 4-H Clubs Invited to Create Newest Cedar Crest Ice Cream Flavor August 15, 2018
    Cedar Crest Ice Cream, Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation have teamed up again to present the “Cedar Crest Ice Cream 4-H Flavor Contest” for Wisconsin 4-H clubs. More than 1600 clubs are eligible to create and submit a flavor ‘recipe’ with the top clubs named as finalists, and the top flavor produced for summer 2019. […]
  • New 4-H Volunteer Leaders Wanted August 15, 2018
    Volunteers are critical partners to the overall success of 4-H and making a difference in the lives of young people. 4-H relies on caring, active adults to provide hands-on guidance and mentoring to build confidence, leadership and a sense of responsibility in young people who participate in 4-H.  As partners with UW-Extension 4-H Youth Development, […]
  • Project Discovery Day August 13, 2018
    Project Discovery Day is designed to provide youth in 5-year old kindergarten and older, a chance to discover what they can learn and do in 4-H.  During the day, youth can choose to participate in a variety of sessions that are led by 4-H adult and older youth volunteers and University of Wisconsin-Extension staff members.  […]

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