| Share

4-H Youth Development

North Dakota 4-H logo

4-H Mission

4-H Youth Development education creates supportive learning environments for youth and adults to reach their fullest potential as capable, competent and caring citizens. In support of this mission, we will:

2x2x2x4x logo
(Source: Lerner and Lerner, 2011)

  • Provide formal and non-formal community-focused experiential learning.
  • Develop skills that benefit youth throughout life.
  • Foster leadership and volunteerism in youth and adults.
  • Build internal and external youth/adult partnerships for programming and funding.
  • Strengthen families and communities.
  • Use research-based knowledge and the land-grant university system.

Achievement of this mission will result in capable, competent, and caring citizens.

4-H is a youth organization that spans all interests, all races and backgrounds and is great fun.

4-H provides hands-on, real-life experiences through projects, activities, and events. Youth are involved in 4-H through clubs, school enrichment programs, independent study, after-school programs, and special interest programs. Our program is available to all youth, and offered in every county of North Dakota by an Extension agent. 4-H is the largest and only research-based youth organization in our state. We reach approximately 20% of the eligible-age (5-18) youth in our state with programs offered through the NDSU Extension Service.

4-H History

The 4-H program was founded between 1900 and 1910 to provide local educational clubs for rural youth from ages 9 to 19. 4-H was designed to teach better home economics and agricultural techniques and to foster character development and good citizenship. The program, administered by the Cooperative Extension Service of the USDA, state land-grant universities, and county governments, emphasizes projects that improve the four H's: head, heart, hands and health. For more information about the history of 4-H, take a look at National 4-H Council's 4-H history page.

North Dakota 4-H Program

The North Dakota 4-H Program is designed for young people in grades K-12. Youth K-2 (ages 5 to 7) are considered Cloverbuds and do not participate in competition. 4-H membership begins with youth in grade 3 and extends through grade 12 (ages 8 to 18, as of September 1). Clubs may take different formats. A community club has members from a community/area. Project clubs have members with a similar project interest but may reside in different communities. Clubs may also be formed in after school settings or on military bases. Organized clubs or groups are under the direction of an adult and managed within the scope of the NDSU Extension Service.

A snapshot of North Dakota 4-H details how the NDSU Extension Service is helping the youth of North Dakota. Additionally, enrollment and participation data are collected from each of the 53 county offices on an annual basis.  A summary of the data can be found at: www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/4h/Staff_Resources/EnrollmentStatistics.pdf

Websites to explore

North Dakota Center for 4-H Youth Development: www.ndsu.edu/4h

USDA/NIFA 4-H Program: nifa.usda.gov/program/4-h-positive-youth-development

National 4-H Council: 4-h.org

National 4-H Curriculum: 4-h.org/parents/curriculum
National 4-H Curriculum focuses on 4-H’s three primary mission mandates: science, engineering and technology; healthy living; and citizenship. State 4-H programs within the Cooperative Extension System, National 4-H Headquarters at USDA, and National 4-H Council provide leadership for the development of National 4-H Curriculum. This partnership provides the knowledge, resources, and management necessary to develop and market quality youth curriculum.

What is my role in the 4-H program?

County, area and state staff all have the opportunity to contribute to youth educational programming. Set goals for your youth programs for the next year. This may involve 4-H curriculum development, Agriculture in the Classroom work, an educational event and much more. Talk to your supervisor about your specific job description and how you can support the 4-H program



Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.