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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  • 4-H Goat Clinic on June 28th June 20, 2018
    Do you have questions as you prepare to exhibit your goat at this year’s Lincoln County Fair?  Heather Klimek will be hosting a 4-H Goat Clinic on Thursday, June 28th from 2 to 4 p.m.   The flyer below with more information about the clinic was mailed to all enrolled goat project members. June 28 2018 […]
  • Adult and Youth Leaders – Mark Your Calendars for Fall Forum and Hall of Fame Celebration June 8, 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 […]
  • 2018 4-H Dairy Promotion Program June 7, 2018
    2018 4-H Dairy Promotion Program  Presented by the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin All 4-H youth organizations in Wisconsin are invited and encouraged to participate in the 2018 Dairy Promotion Program, presented by the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. Please read the information below carefully to take advantage of the opportunity to earn dairy promotion merchandise. […]
  • Outstanding Fair Volunteer Award Nominees June 7, 2018
    The Outstanding Fair Volunteer Award is given to two fair volunteers who have done an outstanding job of volunteer work at the fair. There is no limit as to the number of years the volunteer has served. Volunteers are nominated for the award, and a committee of community members who are not associated with 4-H […]
  • 4-H Talent Explosion June 7, 2018
    A number of you participated in various events throughout the year such as Drama, Lip Sync & Music Festival. You do not always receive the recognition that you should, and many community members are not aware of the abundance of talent you all have. Our annual 4-H Talent Explosion will be held on Sunday, August […]
  • Beautify the Fairgrounds during the Fair June 7, 2018
    Many clubs participated in the Fair Board flower planter project each year. The Fair Board is asking clubs to again help in beautifying the fairgrounds by bringing their flower planters this year. The Fair Board would like to have all 4-H clubs help decorate with flowers/plants to put around the fairgrounds during the fair. Planters […]
  • 2018 Farm Olympics June 7, 2018
    Farm Olympics are back thanks to the willingness of our 4-H  Leaders! If you’re up for the challenge, round up your teams and get ready for the fun! Each team should have 6-8 members of mixed ages! There must be at least one elementary, middle and high school student on each team. Clubs can register […]
  • Remember… it’s not about the color of the ribbon June 7, 2018
    We are looking forward to another successful Lincoln County Fair with lots of Junior Division exhibits. While it’s great to have lots of Junior Division exhibits at the fair, what’s really important is what the youth learned throughout their involvement in 4-H, in the project, and in the process of making or preparing their exhibit. […]
  • Operation Military Kids – Super Summer STEM Spectacular!! June 7, 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 […]
  • State 4-H Plant Science Day July 10th 2018 June 7, 2018
    Plan now to participate in the State 4-H Plant Science Day event to be held Tuesday, July 10that the Waushara County Fairgrounds in Wautoma. Youth in grades 3-13 can test their knowledge about plants while learning how to judge and identify a wide variety of plant specimens. Youth can also compete in photography, speaking, poster and floral arranging contest […]

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