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

For up to the minutes 4-H news, please subscribe to the Lincoln County 4-H blog at:


As a subscriber to this blog, you will receive an email on Fridays of everything that has been added to the blog.

  • Fun, Hands On Learning From Home April 3, 2020
    Dear Parents and Caregivers, As always, Extension and 4-H want to support youth and families with fun, hands-on learning that helps young people build life skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. World events are making things more challenging right now. But we don’t let that stop us! Extension educators from around the […]
  • Cabin Fever Fridays – April 3, 2020 April 3, 2020
    Cabin Fever Fridays   Are you getting a little taste of cabin fever right now? Looking for something new to do over the weekend? Every Friday during our Safer At Home stay, an edition of the Langlade & Lincoln County 4-H Cabin Fever Fridays will be posted and emailed to our 4-H families.   The […]
  • Cupcake Wars – Decorating Contest March 20, 2020
    Now is the time to showcase your decorating skills. Lincoln County & Langlade County youth let your creativity shine by decorating cupcakes.   The Cupcake Wars contest is open to all youth in Lincoln & Langlade Counties, not just 4-Hers. Photos are due March 26. Photos will be uploaded to Facebook for community judging. The […]
  • Canning Rings Needed for 4-H Craft March 5, 2020
    Do you have any canning rings just laying around collecting dust?  If so, pack them up and bring them to the Lincoln County 4-H/UW Extension office.  We will be using them for a craft at an upcoming event.  Please drop rings off by March 20th.   Thank you!
  • Washington DC Experience for 4-Hers in 7-11th Grade February 25, 2020
    Let’s Go To Washington DC!  Are you interested in joining us on the trip of a lifetime?  This experience is going to be AMAZING! We are blending the Lincoln & Langlade County 4-H Programs for this trip. Lincoln County 4-H was awarded the experience and they are inviting Langlade County 4-H to join them.  Twenty […]
  • W.O.W. – Summer Camp for Youth in Grades 7-10 – Leadership Team Info January 29, 2020
    What is W.O.W.?  W.O.W. is an acronym for A Walk on the Wild Side.  It is a multi-county 4-H Camp experience for youth in 7th-10th grade.  Focus will be on environmental education, wildlife ecology, leadership, and more; all packed into a fun & engaging camp experience. Information on camper registration will be available later.  Leadership […]
  • Lincoln County 4-H is kicking off its Centennial Celebration with a Community-wide Barn Dance! January 27, 2020
    Barn Dance February 29, 2020 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Merrill Town Hall   Lincoln Country 4-H is 100 years old this year and is celebration with be a Barn Dance!  This is a free community-wide family event and everyone is invited to join in the celebration of this exceptional youth organization!  Music will be […]
  • 4-H Summer Camp – Counselor & Adult Staff Applications January 26, 2020
    4-H Summer Camp is just around the corner.  Now is the time to begin preparing our camp staff for a fun filled educational experience. Once again, Lincoln, Langlade, Price, and Oneida will be camping together at 4-H Camp Susan just north of Antigo, WI Adults and 4-Hers (8th grade and older) are welcome to join […]
  • Adopt a river! December 30, 2019
    Looking for a perfect outdoor STEM-based project for a club or family?  Want to help preserve the wondrous Wisconsin wilderness? Become a Water Action Volunteer and ADOPT A RIVER! Lincoln County 4-H has been contacted to see if any of our members, clubs, or families would be interested in becoming part of the the Water Action […]
  • Calling all new leaders!! December 23, 2019
    Are you a new leader? In order to initially be recognized as a 4-H volunteer leader in the Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development program, all adults age 18 years and over must participate in the Youth Protection Program.  The purpose of this training is to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants.  VIP training is […]

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 



Sharing is Caring - Click Below to Share