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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  • Tractor Safety Information April 18, 2019
    The Extension Langlade County office is coordinating a Tractor Safety Course for youth ages 12-16, June 17-20, 2019. The course includes classroom safety instructions for tractors and farm machinery operation, hazard recognition and correction, and how to approach farm safety with a positive attitude. Please see the brochure below with exact dates and times […]
  • 1st Annual Lincoln County 4H Bits N Bridles open to the pubic model horse show April 17, 2019
    Interested in taking part or learning more about showing model horses?  Model horse showing is a hobby built around the collection of scale model horses, with equal focus on honoring the (real) horse show industry as well as the artistic merit of the miniatures. Come take part in the 1st Annual Lincoln County 4H Bits […]
  • Cultivating Creativity: Garden in a Box April 16, 2019
    Cultivating Creativity: Garden in a Box 4-H Families and Community Youth Wednesday, April 24, 2019 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm Otts Garage 805 Main Street Merrill, WI 54452 Cost: $5.00 per person (Bring payment that evening) Registration due Tuesday, April 23, 2019 Registration link:  http://bit.ly/2v4ENuM
  • Drug Take Back Every Day in Lincoln County April 12, 2019
    Spring has finally arrived. As you get started spring cleaning this year, consider disposing of unused or unwanted medications. Wisconsin has seen a significant increase in opioid overdose deaths over the last several decades. In 2000, there were 111 deaths due to opioid overdose. In 2017, that number increased to 916. That’s more than a […]
  • Lincoln County 4-H is promoting Random Acts of Kindess April 1, 2019
    RESEARCH shows that 4‑H’ers make positive contributions to their communities. This April, as part of True Leaders in Service and National Volunteer Appreciation Month, 4‑H’ers across the nation will pledge their hands to larger service – leading positive change that empowers their peers and their communities.  True Leaders in Service will officially kick-off […]
  • Badger Dairy Camp – Important Information March 19, 2019
    Unfortunately, there will not be a Badger Dairy Camp this year.  Please read the press release for more information.   BDC Press Release (Final)
  • Babysitting Training March 14, 2019
    Students in grades 5-8 are invited to come and learn the basics of how to safely provide care for young children and also get ideas for fun activities to do with the children. Wednesday March 9:00am – 3:00pm Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services 712 E 2nd Street Merrill Cost: $20.00 per student Class size […]
  • 4-H Drama, Lip Sync and Music Festival March 13, 2019
    Do you like to sing or dance? Perhaps you play an instrument or enjoy performing lip sync? Or maybe you want to try acting? Then plan on entering the 4-H Drama, Lip Sync and Music Festival. The 2019 4-H Drama, Lip Sync and Music Festival will be held on May 11, 2019 beginning at 9 […]
  • 2019 4-H Meats Judging Contest Announced March 12, 2019
    An opportunity for 4-H youth interested in learning more about judging meat. Learn more at: https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/youthlives…/…/4hmeatscontest/
  • 4-H Express – February/March 2019 Newsletter March 6, 2019
    Here is the latest issue of the Lincoln County 4-H Express!  If you are a 4-H member and didn’t get one in the mail, let us know — but the easiest way to stay up to date is the read it here! February March 2019

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