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 Scholarship Application is Now Open! April 8, 2021
    Scholarship Applications are due May 1, 2021! Qualifications: • Currently enrolled in the Lincoln County 4-H Program. • Completing senior year of high school, as well as enrolled in a technical college or university for the upcoming fall. • A cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required. Directions: • Application must be submitted by May 1st […]
  • Attention New 4-H Volunteers! Register for your VIP training today March 9, 2021
    Another round of Volunteers In Preparations Training is coming your way. Are you an adult interested in becoming a 4-H Volunteer? This course is one piece of the approval process. Don’t let this pass you by! To be a recognized leader as a 4-H volunteer in the Wisconsin 4-H Youth development program.  All adults ages […]
  • STEM Workshops with PBS Wisconsin Education Team March 8, 2021
    Join the Langlade & Lincoln County 4-H Ambassadors as they team with the PBS Wisconsin Education Team to present 2 virtual STEM workshops.    You’re A Star –  Tuesday, March 30, 10 – 11 am Youth in Grades 5K-2 Want to learn more about Black Space Scientists, PBS KIDS, and participate in a hands-on, building […]
  • Calling All Teens: Learn to Strengthen Your Calm March 5, 2021
    Today’s teens face many challenges. They are being pulled in many different directions at one time, with little guidance on how to deal with the multiple demands placed on them. This FREE introduction to Strengthen you Calm is a one-session zoom-led mindfulness workshop that introduces teens to strategies and techniques that will help them focus […]
  • Help the 4-H Ambassadors Food Drive! March 3, 2021
    Lincoln County 4-H Ambassadors need your help! They will be collecting items for the Kinship of Tomahawk. Drop off location will be at the Lincoln County Extension Office 801 N Sales Street in Merrill or H&R Block in Tomahawk. HELP the Ambassadors WIN the friendly competition against Langlade County 4-H Ambassadors.
  • Lincoln County MASS Project: Important Information December 18, 2020
    Hi Everyone! Because of everything going on in the world, we will not be having an in-person mandatory meeting for beef this year. Instead, we are asking if you are interested in showing beef for MASS this year to complete the following steps below: Text Holly at 715-218-4383 or email lincolncomass@gmail.com your name and how […]
  • Support Lincoln County 4-H: Buy 4-H 2019 Lincoln County Plat Books September 29, 2020
    Several people have contacted the Extension Office inquiring about the “2020 Plat Books” that they have received a postcard about. Unfortunately, these plat books are not connected to the Lincoln County 4-H. We do not have these 2020 plat books, nor will any of the proceeds from their sales go to Lincoln County 4–H. HOWEVER, […]
  • Celebrate Lincoln County 4-H’s Centennial: 100 for 4-H! September 10, 2020
    A century is 100 years — so why not celebrate the Lincoln County centennial by doing 100 of  ANYTHING? Choose something you love to do and do it 100 times to celebrate the Lincoln County 4-H Centennial! Do 100 jumping jacks or sit-ups Walk 100 steps or yards or miles Do 100 acts of kindness […]
  • Lincoln County 4-H Express – August/September 2020 August 18, 2020
    The August/September Lincoln County 4-H Express is now out!  Look for it in the mail. If you don’t get a hard copy or would rather read it online, you can do so:  Lincoln County 4-H Express Aug/Sept 2020 (PDF, 12 pages).
  • Monarchs Matter – A Family Activity August 12, 2020
    Are you looking for one last family day trip before school starts? Join us at Copper Culture State Park in Oconto as we explore the world of Monarch butterflies through hands on learning. (A State Park sticker is not required to enter the park.) See flyer for more information including a registration. Use this link […]

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@wisc.edu 



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