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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  • 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 […]
  • Winter Wonderland Fun: Multi-County Older Youth Event! December 27, 2019
    Come and join other older youth (6th grade and above) from around the area for some Winter Wonderland Fun! There will be ice skating, games and more!  The cost is $3 per person, with another $1 for skate rental!  the concession stand will be open for snacks! Sunday, February 16th — 2-4 p.m. Merrill Area […]
  • Share your talents at Project Discover Day! December 23, 2019
    The next Project Discover Day will be held on March 28th in Merrill We are looking for adults and older youth would would be willing to lead workshops!  Project Discovery Day is sponsored by the Lincoln County 4-H Leaders Association, Inc. and UW-Extension 4-H Youth Development in Lincoln County. The schedule for the day will […]
  • 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 […]
  • Annual Leader Training December 20, 2019
    Each year Wisconsin 4-H offers an annual training for all adult and youth leaders in 4-H.  These trainings provide valuable information and teach useful skills that will help all 4-H volunteers become better leaders and teachers.  Topics will include creating welcoming environments, risk management, visioning and more! This training is a great resource for a […]
  • Calling all Creatives! December 17, 2019
    Lincoln County 4‑H is looking for a creative and memorable slogan and logo that we can use all next year to help celebrate our Centennial! Slogan: We are looking for something short, just a few (less than 10) of words! It’s our 100th year and we want to make it memorable! Give us something we […]
  • Voluntary Greatness! December 17, 2019
    Hello All Volunteers, 4-H Youth, and Extension, It is hard to believe that a year has come and gone! With the dropping temperatures and winter weather, please be mindful when working outdoors with youth. It is important to dress appropriately and be aware of changing conditions. It was great to see so many people at […]
  • 4-H Club Officer Training November 19, 2019
    Calling all 2019/20 4-H Club or committee youth officers and all older youth interested in learning more about club officer positions. Are you a new club officer?  Maybe you are in a new officer position?  Or maybe you just want to learn more about what a club officer really does so you can be one […]
  • 2019 Horse Leadership Conference – Oshkosh, WI October 8, 2019
    It’s time to start thinking about attending the 2019 Horse Leadership Conference.  THEME:  RESPECT FEATURED SPEAKER: SARA NOVOTNY Sara Novotny is a multi-carded judge who spends her spare time training and exhibiting horses and working with clientele of all ages. Her day job is instructing students at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Animal Science and [ […]
  • Join Us for the 4-H Recognition Banquet! September 26, 2019
    We have had a great year here in Lincoln County 4-H and it’s time to celebrate that!  Please join us for our annual Recognition and Awards banquet on Saturday, October 26th at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church (1708 E 10th Street in Merrill). Lincoln County 4-H provides opportunities for members and volunteers to be recognized […]

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