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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  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Training February 13, 2019
    We have been asked to extend an invite to 4-H volunteers to the upcoming Youth Mental Health Training in Wausau on Monday, March 4th.  The training information can be located here:  https://blogs.extension.wisc.edu/opioids/youth-mental-health-first-aid-extension-regional-trainings/ Registration deadline is coming up in 10 days.  We are limited to the number […]
  • Camp Counselor Applications – Deadline Extended! February 6, 2019
    Are you 8th grade or older?  Have you applied to be a Camp Counselor?  We are excited to say that a few you have.  If you are thinking about it check out the info below. Contact Holly, 4-H Program Coordinator, for more information.
  • Not in This Neighborhood Program Date Changed to April 3rd at Tomahawk School February 5, 2019
    Parents and community members are encouraged to attend this free program on Wednesday, March 6th at 6:30 p.m. in the Tomahawk High School LMC (enter through Door 6).  Officer Brett Susa, Tomahawk School Resource Officer and Debbie Moellendorf, Positive Youth Development and Health and Well Being Educator with UW-Madison Division of Extension Lincoln County w […]
  • Emmet Project – STEM Activities for everyone! January 31, 2019
    The Emmett Project will be back in February with new and exciting hands on activities for all youth (3rd grade and older). Come see what fun you can have! See the flyer for more information.    
  • Save A Life – Learn About Preventing an Overdose January 25, 2019
    Healthy Minds for Lincoln County will be hosting an event to help the public learn more about safely and effectively using prescription pain medicines on Tuesday, February 26th from 6:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Spruce Room at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital, 401 W Mohawk Drive in Tomahawk.   (Please use the Rehab Entrance on […]
  • E-Cigarette PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY January 25, 2019
    This health advisory is being issued by the State and Local Health Officers to inform the public about the alarming statistics on current e-cigarette use among youth in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, current e-cigarette use among Wisconsin high school students increased 154% between 2014 and 2018. In 2014, just under 8% of Wisconsin high school students […]
  • 2019 Summer Camp Counselors – Wanted! January 11, 2019
    It’s that time of the year to beginning thinking about summer camp!! Yay! If you are a youth 8th grade and older, you are welcome to apply for a counselor or Jr Director position for our newly formed North Central WI Quad County Summer Camp Program. This camp will include Lincoln, Langlade, Price, and Oneida […]
  • 4-H Communication Contest – Feb 16th January 11, 2019
    Showcase your communication skills and share your knowledge in a hobby, baking skill, favorite story, or original speech.  Try something new and give the 2019 Lincoln County 4-H Communication Contest a try!  Registration is due Jan. 28, 2019.  See attachment for directions and registration information. Speaking Contest info – Lincoln
  • Family Relationships Matter December 21, 2018
    Your source of well-researched, quality information about families and relationships can be found at: parenting.uwex.edu.
  • ACT Raising Safe Kids Parenting Class begins January 3rd December 21, 2018
    Sessions for ACT Raising Safe Kids Parenting Class begins January 3rd from 4-6 pm at our Family Resource Center in Merrill.  See the flyer for more information. ACT Raising Safe Kids Program flyer

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