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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  • Parenting After Trauma Program April 21, 2018
    Parenting After Trauma flyer For additional information call 715-539-9228.  
  • Winnebago County 4-H Rabbit Show April 18, 2018
    2018 Winnebago County Rabbit Fun Show FINAL
  • 4-H Poultry and Small Animal Swap April 18, 2018
    4-H Poultry and Small Animal Swap will be held at the Shawano County Fairgrounds,990 East Green Bay Street, Shawano, WI 54166 on  Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 7:00 am-11:00 am Public Welcome!    Held in Indoor Shelter!   Come Early! Raffle and Refreshments Available This event is sponsored by the Shawano County 4-H Poultry and Rabbit Key Committee.  […]
  • Required Training for Beef, Swine, Sheep, Poultry, Goats, Dairy and Rabbit Exhibitors April 17, 2018
    Due to the snow storm that hit our area the weekend April 14-15th, the YQCA training scheduled for that weekend in Langlade County has been rescheduled for Monday, May 14th at 6 p.m.   There is also still time to sign up for Saturday,  April 21st training being held in Lincoln County at 10 a.m.  To […]
  • Small Ruminant Meetings April 2018 April 16, 2018
    Sheep and Goat Farmer Meetings April 2018  
  • Lincoln County 4-H Horse Group Meeting Cancelled for April 16th April 16, 2018
    Due to school cancelation today, we will also be canceling our 4H horse project meeting for tonight.  We will meet again next month May 21st.  See you all then! **Reminders** – T-shirt orders are due at the next meeting May 21st.  Come to the meeting to order your t-shirt or send the form and check […]
  • Tractor Supply Company Mobile Fair Tour announces “Great Neighbor Essay Contest” April 13, 2018
    TSC is searching for 4-H and FFA “Great Neighbors” at each of their mobile fair stops this summer and fall.  Tractor Supply Company’s Great Neighbors Essay Contest is open to all Wisconsin 4-H and FFA members who plan to be at Wisconsin State Fair August 2nd through August 5th; winners are required to be present. To […]
  • Operation Military Kids – Super Summer STEM Spectacular!! April 13, 2018
    We’ve been asked to spread the word about this year’s Super Summer STEM Spectacular! The camp runs from Aug 2 – 5 and is open to youth with a parent/guardian/sibling in the military, ages 9 – 13. Registration ends July 1 and the participation fee is $100. Visit the OMK website and see attached flyer for more […]
  • Mandatory Meeting for all Jr. Dairy Exhibitors April 7, 2018
    Potential Dairy Exhibitor Mandatory Informational Meeting – Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. in the Upper Level Assembly Room at the Lincoln County Service Center (801 N. Sales Street in Merrill – enter lower level/south entrance and follow the signs to the meeting room).   Individuals who are considering exhibiting in the Jr. Dairy department […]
  • 2018 State 4-H Obedience and Showmanship Dog Show April 7, 2018
    The 2018 State 4-H Obedience and Showmanship Dog Show will be hosted by Portage County. It will be held at the Central Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in Marshfield, WI, on October 12-14, 2018.  Complete details and the 2018 State 4-H Dog Show Entry Book will be posted on the State 4-H website at https://fyi.uwex.edu/wi4haganimalscience/state-4-h-dog-show/ when […]

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