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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  • Cultivating Creativity – 4-H Horticulture and Art Together Again! December 17, 2018
    Join us for an evening of Cultivating Creativity with horticulture.  You do not need to be enrolled in the horticulture project to participate.  Both youth and adults are welcome.  Feel free to bring a non 4-H friend too. See flyer for more information.  Register at http://bit.ly/2EzdJL4
  • 4-H Horse Leaders Mtg – Regional December 17, 2018
    Regional 4-H Horse Project Leaders Meeting This is an opportunity for our area 4-H Horse Project Leaders to share about their county programs, learn from others, and possibly create a few multi-county events for the 2019 year. See the flyer for more information.
  • Older Youth Group Activity at TB Scott Library December 12, 2018
    All 4-H Older Youth (6th Grade and older) are encouraged to join us at the TB Scott Library on Jan. 31st from 5-7p.m.  We will be assisting with the “Stuffed Animal Sleep Over” and then have a short meeting afterwards. This is a great opportunity for us to give our hands and hearts to this […]
  • 4-H Newsletter – December 2018/January2019 December 12, 2018
    The newest edition of the 4-H Express is printed and will be mailed shortly.  You may also refer to the attached copy. December-January 2018 -19- Final
  • December 4-H Updates November 28, 2018
  • 4-H International Program is seeking 2019 Host Families October 5, 2018
    Summer 2019 4-H International Exchange Opportunities! Published on September 27, 2018 by amber.rehberg Have you ever thought about traveling abroad? Are you interested in learning about other cultures and lifestyles? Would you like to make international connections? If you said yes to any of the above questions, then you should consider participating in the […]
  • Thank You’s August 23, 2018
    Reminder… It is important to remember those people who sponsor events or activities at the fair.  If you receive a trophy for an award, it is important to show them that 4-H appreciates their support. Show them how much their support is appreciated by sending them a thank-you note. This practice is not only good […]
  • 2018-19 After the Bell Program Starts September 10th August 23, 2018
    For the 2018-19 school year, the “After the Bell” program will begin on Monday, September 10, 2018.  This free program is available for all middle school students whether they attend public or parochial school from 3:05 – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday in Room 118 (enter the school through Door 14) at the Prairie River […]
  • Interested in becoming a 4-H Shooting Sports Leader August 20, 2018
    The 4-H Shooting Sports program is only successful when adults volunteer to work with youth in this project and when youth are given the opportunity to develop safe shooting skills and develop a better understanding of wildlife ecology. To serve as a 4-H Shooting Sports Leader, individuals must complete the Youth Protection process, be at least 18 […]
  • 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 […]

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

Holly Luerssen, 4-H Program Coordinator for Lincoln and Langlade Counties.
U.W. Extension Lincoln County
801 N. Sales Street, Suite 101
Merrill, WI 54452
Phone – 715-539-1072
FAX – 715-539-8323
Email: holly.luerssen@ces.uwex.edu